Mobile-based health (mHealth) technologies such as smartphone recovery apps can help people with substance use disorder manage their recovery in more ways than once thought possible. For example, a person can monitor their reaction to triggers, create new habits, track moods along their recovery journey and join virtual supportive communities. Mobile-based health (mHealth) technologies such as smartphone recovery apps can help people with substance use disorder manage their recovery in more ways than once thought possible. For example, a person can monitor their reaction to triggers, create new habits, track moods along their recovery journey and join virtual supportive communities.
There has been an increase in the development and use of these Android and iPhone apps in recent years. These are a few well-regarded ones:
When you evaluate your app options for your self-managed recovery, one of the most crucial features of the app is access to live, real-time care and support. Your recovery may have more distressful times than others, and being able to connect to a therapist, sponsor or crisis hotline can help you build a tolerance to distress and contribute to harm reduction.
Another vital component in the app you choose should have clinically based assessments to bring more self-awareness of your mental wellness and moods. Because substance use disorder modulates along a spectrum, personal checks can tell you whether your drug or alcohol use is progressing or if you are at risk of having a relapse, so you can take measures to counter it.
A comprehensive recovery-focused mobile application should help you gain insight into your substance use triggers. The more you understand these triggers, the better equipped you are to tackle addiction and live a healthy life. Monitoring or journaling about environmental or internal triggers of your substance use can help you create new habits for sustained sobriety.
Having clear goals is essential because life can be unpredictable. Goals can keep you on track and focused. A recovery app that tracks your progress toward reaching particular benchmarks can keep you motivated. A well-structured, goal-oriented mHealth app can help with long- and short-term goals in your recovery.
Living with addiction can feel frustrating sometimes, and you might not understand why you feel or experience certain things when they occur. Therefore, another significant feature of a recovery app should be the inclusion of psychoeducation, like having a library of informative articles or videos. The more you understand of the recovery process, the better you'll become in asking for the help you need, when you need it.
Another vital consideration is that a decent recovery app protects your privacy. Recovery is your journey, and protecting your privacy should be the app's highest priority. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the app's privacy settings and make sure you're comfortable with them before you use it.
As mobile-based recovery apps become more prevalent in iTunes, Google Play and other mobile app marketplaces, future apps will become more comprehensive and practical. However, it's important to remember that these apps cannot replace the care received from clinicians, inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation facilities. If you feel that drugs or alcohol are depreciating the quality of your life, now could be the time you seek treatment to reset your life and recover.
There are significant differences between inpatient and outpatient alcohol and drug treatment. The end goal is the same—lasting recovery and a better life.
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