Using Technology in Addiction Treatment

Technology has become an essential part of people’s lives. Now, it may help some make life-altering changes for the good. New tech is being directed at addiction and how it can help addicts stay on the path of recovery.

Virtual Reality
One such technology is virtual reality. Computer fans and gamers have been enjoying the fun of virtual reality for several years, but it may have other uses. A professor from the University of Houston has been interested in the connection between virtual reality and addiction for more than ten years. He has even created a virtual reality lab to study the correlation.

The idea is that recovering addicts could enter a virtual world which would expose them to triggers and situations that would normally lead to drug use. If the addict can make the right decisions and stay on track in the virtual world, they may be able to do in the real world.

New technology known as iHeal intends to address the issue addicts have of giving in to cravings when they are no longer being monitored. Many times, they do well in a clinical setting only to relapse once they are on their own. iHeal is designed to alert recovering addicts of hazards which may lead to relapse so they can make adjustments ahead of time.
iHeal monitors physiological signs, which are transmitted to a smartphone and processed. If a change is noted, an alert will ask the person to input information about cravings and other data. The device will then provide intervention when it is most needed.

Addicaid is an app that uses information such as location to predict when someone might relapse. It provides treatment choices that are personalized to the individual to help them avoid relapsing. An example is if someone with an alcohol addiction problem went to a bar, the app could provide hotline numbers or ways to cope so they don’t take a drink.

Some new technology like Addicaid is in its infant stage, while others are still being developed. Until new technology is available, addicts must seek out treatment programs with tried and true recovery methods.