Since the discovery of mood and mind altering substances, people have struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol. Over the years, huge advances have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of alcoholism and addiction, and today individuals who suffer from either has multiple resources to help them recover from their disease. In 2017, the latest technology available allows for even greater access to help and provides new support tools for people in recovery.
The Latest Technology: Sober Apps
“There’s an app for that” was the tagline for iPhone commercials in 2010, and it was certainly true- the internet and the latest technology allow us to play games and music on our phones, connect with friends and family over social media, and even control the lights and alarm system in our homes from thousands of miles away. But an app to stay sober? That was previously unheard of, but today’s latest technology offers a host of resources for the recovering individual, specifically created to help track and support sobriety. Previously, technology and sobriety didn’t mix much beyond the use of hospital equipment to reverse overdoses or to detox patients, or at the pharmacy to track prescriptions of controlled substances. Obviously, these are vital resources, but new developments allow any addict or alcoholic with a cell phone signal to access hundred of phone apps that can help them in their recovery journey.
Some of the latest technology designed for recovery and for overall health includes:
- An app that acts as a sobriety test
Students at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts have developed a smartphone app that can measure whether or not someone has had too much to drink without taking a breath or blood samples. The app, called AlcoGait, runs on the user’s phone as they go about their normal activities. It works by evaluating the phone user’s walk, checking for changes in the pattern, or gait, to determine whether or not the individual is intoxicated. When it senses that the user is intoxicated, it buzzes to let them know that they have passed the legal limit. This particular app may not be useful for people who are trying to abstain from alcohol altogether, but when the developers are able to link it to a car ignition switch or to ride-share apps like Uber, as they plan to, it may help to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents, and keep people safe on the roads. For alcoholics, this app could prevent car fatalities until they decide to get help for their disease.
- A meet-up app for people in recovery
Sober Grid was developed in 2015 and is already a popular resource in recovery communities. The app is sort of like social networking for addicts and alcoholics in recovery, and it’s based on location. When a user downloads the app, they can scan the surrounding area and message other people close by who are also currently using the app. If someone prefers to be anonymous, they don’t have to reveal any personal information or even meet up with anyone, but users can message each other. This is a great tool for people in recovery who are traveling and looking to meet other sober friends or supports, or even for emergencies. For example, if you’re stuck in an airport and experiencing an urge to head to the bar, a quick scan can put you in touch with another sober person who can chat with you and be a temporary support.
- Recovery trackers
There are dozens of apps that can measure sobriety or recovery time. Some of them are limited to a 12 step program focus, some cap the number of addictions you can track or only track progress in one area, and some offer a variety of tools. A lot of these apps are helpful for individuals based on what their focus is or the kind of support they are looking for. For example, Quit That is an all-inclusive app that allows users to track how many hours, days, and months they have of abstention from any addiction, from candy to cigarettes to heroin. People who use Quit That can track their progress with as many addictions as they want, and the app also calculates how much money the user has saved over time by quitting their addiction. These types of apps are useful for people who want to measure their progress concretely, or who need a boost of encouragement in their sobriety.
- Meditation apps
Meditation is a huge part of recovery for many people, but in today’s busy world, finding the time to sit and meditate can be a struggle. Enter the latest technology! Today, addicts and alcoholics can download a multitude of apps that provide meditation prompts. Some of these apps, such as the digital version of the “24 Hours a Day” meditation book or the text of Alcoholics Anonymous’ “Daily Reflections”, have a twelve step focus that allows users to access twelve step readings for contemplation. Other apps simply give users access to thousands of non-secular guided meditation formats. One of these, called “Insight Timer” offers hundreds of options, from binaural beats and hypnosis to guided imagery meditations. This technology allows for any recovering person to meditate on his or her own time and in the style and format that works best for them.
Beginning Your Journey
The latest technology is a wonderful resource and allows recovering individuals to access support and resources 24/7 from any location. However, before these tools can be useful, the addict or alcoholic needs a clear head and a foundation of recovery. At Wellness Retreat Recovery, we utilize traditional and holistic therapies, along with evidence-based, innovative treatment methods to help addicts and alcoholics get and stay sober. If you need help, call us today at 1-855-762-3797.