Addiction occurs when a person is unable to stop using a drug or engaging in a particular behavior, despite the fact that it causes them mental and physical harm. The term “addiction” does not only refer to a dependence on drugs such as heroin or cocaine. It can also mean being addicted to video games or being dependent on a particular person.
There are other factors, although the most obvious sign of addiction is the need for drugs or substances. Some addictions make it hard for you to stop other activities like gambling, eating, or working. Addiction symptoms include mood swings and weight gain or loss. These are also signs of other issues, such as depression or eating disorders.
Technology evolves in an unpredictable and consistent manner. It is a continuous process that progresses from one invention to the next. This is why it is critical to consider the future of medicine immensely. How can new technologies be applied in clinical and pre-clinical interventions?
Technology has opened up some new areas of psychiatry. Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets enable clinicians, researchers, and the general public to provide and receive clinical care in novel ways. It allows them to monitor their progress and learn more about psychiatric illnesses.
Many health organizations like the Heights Treatment have leveraged the use of technology to treat mental health issues and addiction problems. Such health organizations help you reach your fullest potential by giving you the support, guidance, and community you need.
Their treatment team works together on each client’s case, drawing on the experience and skills of professionals. Also, they help you find meaning and purpose in your life by using a wide range of treatment methods in a warm and safe setting.
Access to technology has made it possible for people with substance abuse problems to learn more and find services that will help them get better. This is also helpful for those close to the addict, like friends or parents, who can learn more about addiction.
For research on addiction, people who use technology are pointed toward a set of personalized psychosocial interventions. This aims to change the way people use drugs. It also helps participants to:
- Gain new insights
- Get motivated
- Deal with cravings
- Innovate ways to deal with problems
- Avoid relapses
The different types of Internet-based interventions include:
These are self-guided programs that give either basic information and help or just information. These kinds of programs are run through websites that are set up in a way that lets you explore the information at your own pace.
Based on how the needed information is shared, these types of interventions can be broken down into four groups:
● Intervention That is Based on Information and Education
These kinds of programs are set up so that clients can get information about their specific problems, such as symptoms, diagnostic criteria, causes, and treatment methods. These interventions give basic information about addiction and related disorders that is easy to understand.
They also contain links to helpful information on other websites. The goal of these kinds of interventions is not to provide therapy, but they may sometimes have information about the therapy, like how to use the breathing control technique.
● Web-based Therapy That People can do on Their Own
These kinds of interventions go beyond just giving specific information. In addition to the personalized information they give, they also give therapeutic feedback. At first, a thorough evaluation of the behavior would be done. Based on the evaluation, the individual would receive behavior feedback.
The feedback can be displayed as large text or images on the screen, or it can be sent as an SMS or email. This could also spark ideas for how to change the behavior.
● Web-based Therapy That is Supported by People
This type of intervention, like self-guided approaches, attempts to change behavior by providing people with content that is intended to do so. This intervention also includes a human contact point that can be used for assistance, contact, or feedback. This is done by people who work in health or mental health, and volunteers.
Here, people help each other on a one-on-one basis. It can be through email, instant messaging, or webcam. This kind of intervention can be different in terms of how much, how often, how quickly, and how much human contact there is.
● System of Therapeutic Education
This is a web-based intervention for people with substance use disorders to learn psychosocial skills. It is based on the proven behavior change method of community reinforcement. It has different interactive multimedia modules, starting with basic cognitive and behavioral skills.
The therapeutic education system is self-directed and has the ability to make individualized treatment plans. Also, it checks how well a patient understands the material, and changes the pace and amount of repetition of the material to help the patient master the skills.
Effective recovery includes reminders of the reasons why one quit, and a focus on the advantages of an abstinent lifestyle. It also includes advice on how to be sober to promote long-term recovery. In order to send timely tailored reminders, providers and computers continuously gather data about the individual in recovery.
Reminders could be via text or voice messages via wireless handheld devices. Moreover, reminders are necessary for patients who have fallen out of their recovery process before addictive thinking returns. Examples of alerts include suggestions for nearby events that promote healthy living, inspirational messages, or reminders of major milestones.
Additionally, specific messages pertinent to their function as a supporter may be sent to counselors, relatives, and friends.
Retention in treatment is one of the best indicators of successful recovery. However, a large predictor of relapse is because many persons in treatment do not consistently show up for visits. Sending appointment reminders via text or voice message is one straightforward fix. The alert can also provide two-way contact, making it simple to phone the provider back for instructions, to ask about transportation issues, or to reschedule the appointment.
Self-help mobile technologies and digital apps are another of technology’s more recent uses in addiction treatment. There are many apps for overcoming addiction that only need a smartphone, data plan, and internet connection.
There are many different types of apps, from clocks and sobriety trackers to speakers and encouraging messages that will truly help you out. Young individuals with substance use disorders can use such apps to be closer to their journey to sobriety.
Digital help for people with addictions will keep getting better, and with time, there will be more options. The ultimate goal of digital technology is to make it easier for the patient and the doctor to work together to help the patient get better.
Smartphones have become the leaders in digital intervention because they have so many data sensors, big screens, and different communication channels.