Posts Tagged drug addiction recovery

Mobile Apps To Help In Drug Addiction Recovery

Recovery from addiction can be a difficult process. It would need a lot of support, encouragement and even technology to help the recovering individual become successful with drug addiction recovery. In this article, we will look at some mobile apps that help in drug addiction recovery.

Over the years, there has been an increase in the number of health-related apps. Nowadays, you can find apps for breaking habits, for tracking goals, and drug addiction recovery. Technology has given recovering addicts convenient and practical tools to help them walk away from addiction. From tracking sober time, managing triggers and emotions, and finding and sharing meetings, apps for addiction recovery are aplenty whether you are using an iPhone or an Android.

mobile apps for drug addiction recovery

Today’s youth just cannot live by without their smartphones. They post and check their Facebook timelines, play games, catch up on the latest news, and send messages to friends using their smartphones. For this reason, an app that can help them recover from drug addiction can make sense.

Here are some smartphone apps that can help with addiction recovery:

Sober Grid

SoberGrid uses geo-location features to help users connect with other people who are close by. The aim of the app is to help recovering addicts strengthen their recovery networks. It also serves as a platform for users to get support when they have a feeling that they might relapse.

SoberGrid also allows users to post their pictures on their Facebook newsfeed as well as block someone from using the app. Android phone users can download the app here.


For people who have just left a rehabilitation or recovery center, a relapse is still possible. They would need a tool that can help tell if such relapse is likely. To address this, software developers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created an app for achieving such goal.

iHeal comes with a device that is worn on the user’s arm. This gadget is designed to monitor bodily indicators such as body movement, skin temperature, and heart rate. The device also warns users if they are in the “danger zone” and adjusts itself accordingly depending on the situation.

Twelve Steps – The Companion

There are many 12-step based apps to choose from but Twelve Steps – The Companion is unlike the rest. It is both comprehensive and fun to use. It is also one of the first recovery apps that became available and has undergone several updates already.

The app’s home screen provides the user with their sobriety stats which are displayed in years, months, and years. It also has a “one day at a time” world that counts down the days of recovery until 1,000, which makes the recovery process fun and uplifting.

The app also includes the entire “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous. This feature comes in handy for traveling alcoholics who cannot carry the book all the time wherever they go. The app can be downloaded in the Apple Store as well as in Google Play.

For Android users, you can download here.

Field Guide To Life Pro

Field Guide to Life Pro is an award winning app from Betty Ford Foundation. It comes with a year’s worth of addiction recovery support. Among its main features include daily guidance, reminders and inspirations. It also includes a sober counter, a personal progress monitor, community support, and relapse prevention tools.

The app provides access to several video clips of recovery experts and people saying positive and encouraging messages to the recovering addict. App developer Hazelden was the recipient of The White House Behavioral Health Patient Empowerment Challenge Award for offering crucial first year support to recovering addicts.

For Android users, download the Field Guide to Life app here.


A-Chess is an acronym for Addiction – Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support system. The app comes with inputs from treatment providers, clients, family members, primary care providers, and technology experts. It comes with a bevy of features for predicting, detecting, and preventing relapse. With the app, users can connect with other members for support. It also provides the recovering addict with a platform to engage in discussion groups, and have video chat sessions with counselors.

The GPS technology that comes with the app alerts the user when they are near a high-risk location such as a liquor store. One of its most outstanding features is the panic button, which sends a text message to support prompting a response for assistance. While waiting for a response, the app will send helpful features such as relaxation guides, discussion boards, and even a recording of their own motivational recovery story. When they are in a high-risk location, the app will cause the phone to ring, and several recommended coping strategies will be displayed.

A-Chess works on smartphones running on Google Android 2.3 or higher. You can download the app here.

Friend of Bill

A simple sobriety counter can already do wonders to any recovering addict, but this easy-to-use app presents the duration of staying sober from years to as detailed as minutes. You have the option to change how this app displays the time of your sobriety. In addition, each significant statistic related to sobriety comes with a slogan to motivate you to go on.

Friend of Bill is available in iOS.

One Day At A Time

Carry the famous Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous on your mobile device. One Day At A Time contains everything that you will enjoy from the book. It contains built-in features such as keyword search, access to Daily Meditations, integration of sobriety dates of your fellow recovering addicts, and easy connection to emergency contacts.

Download this app for iOS and Android.


One effective method of avoiding relapse is by connecting with peer-recovery experts who can guide people towards full recovery. This is where the Ascent app can provide assistance, by giving users round-the-clock access to coaches who can help them get back on track in case of a potential relapse.

Unlike other downloadable apps, Ascent comes with a package that includes a connection to a coach and a support team. Users of the app can add notes for personal motivation, play videos about recovery, and track progress. It also provides opportunities to learn more about addiction recovery through the community messaging system.

Check this download page for Ascent.


No Replacement For Actual Intervention

It is worth noting that these apps can never replace face-to-face interaction or counseling. According to Nancy Bartnett, an Associate Professor at the Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, one of the drawbacks of these technological developments is if they could really treat a serious alcoholic. “It’s not the same as going into treatment or meeting with a counselor or getting medication,” Barnett said in a news release.

Meanwhile, Mary Andres, Associate Professor of Clinical Education at the USC Rossier School of Education, explained that these apps can never replace the real thing. “You can’t replace the value of face-to-face identification and the phenomena that happens in group.” Andres said.

Nevertheless, Bartnett believes that mobile apps can serve as bridges or as an adjunctive kind of help. “They can help people to get to treatment, help people to stay in treatment, and get them thinking about treatment,” Barnett explained.

Whether you are already in recovery or thinking about walking away from your addiction, these mobile apps may help you get to the right path and become successful with your goal of becoming finally free from drugs.

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Celebrate National Recovery Month This September

If you or someone close to you is currently recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, this is the perfect time to make your voices heard and make the public aware of the struggles of recovery.

national recovery month september SAMHSASeptember is celebrated all around the U.S. as the National Recovery Month, which provides an opportune time to highlight the importance of early intervention and preventive measures to rescue people from their addictions. This year marks the 25th time that the campaign is being held, with the advocacy stretching to the awareness of mental disorders as well.

The theme for this year is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out,” which gives recovering addicts the chance to have their voices heard and express their struggles in recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. The campaign hopes to put a positive spin on the issue by emphasizing the significance of a person’s behavior to overall well-being, as well as the benefits of prevention and immediate treatment.

Several organizations are putting their full support on the campaign, including the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

If you want to support the campaign through a monetary donation, you may send them through this page at You may also find more information about National Recovery Month from the SAMHSA website.

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Recovery Month: Beating Addiction Means Freedom

September is National Recovery Month, and across America, those who have gone through addiction – and beat it – look back at their experiences, and have renewed appreciation for having that part of their life behind them.

The 1st Fine Art and Written Word Extravaganza was presented by the Kane County Drug Rehabilitation Court.

drug abuse recoveryThe art show showcased various mediums of expressions – poems, essays, drawings, paintings, and collages, all of which illustrated the suffering and waste associated with addiction to alcohol or drugs. A statement on one of the entries rang true: “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but everyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Judge Patricia Piper Golden, presiding judge at Kane County drug court, shared that the event provided recovering addicts with the opportunity to share their creativity. Judge Golden shared: “What we try to do in drug court is to replace using behavior with positive behavior, and to do that, they go through treatment… An important part is to get to know each other without using.”

One of the drug court poems was from Eric D., who wrote: “Recovery, for me, has truly changed my life… Each day is brighter than the next … . Now I work an honest job, pay taxes and bills … . It’s nice to live a ‘normal’ life. This was all impossible while still using.”

Ed W., on the other hand, shared: “I would do whatever I needed/To get a fix/And I must admit it’s not worth/All of this… Not any more/That life is not for me/I have found life is so much/Easier drug free.”

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Overcoming an Addiction: Difficult but Necessary Struggle

An addiction can be like an illness or a disease that needs treatment. Treatment for drug addictions may be far more complicated than treating ordinary illnesses, and it often include long periods of time before an addict truly overcomes his addictions. There are certain steps that affected individuals can take to help them in their battle.

drug abuse treatmentThe first and most important thing that an addict must do is to admit he has problems and will himself to seek treatment. This may not be easy as the brain is immensely affected when under drugs or alcohol influence, making it difficult for those under the addiction to decide to go to treatment. The thought of having to take medications and undergo counseling would not be very appealing to them.

When a person finally decides to go ahead with treatment, it is crucial to find the best treatment facility that will cater to one’s specific needs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration can provide a list of recognized institutions in every area.

Remember that recovery isn’t an overnight thing. In many cases, the longer the treatment term is, the greater chances for full recovery. Having a history of drugs and alcohol addiction is one of the biggest factors why some can have “relapses.” This is why professionals dealing with addictions say that once you become a victim, treatment can be for a lifetime.

Finally, it’s good to find some other activity that will take an addict’s mind off drugs and alcohol. Avoiding places and scenarios that can make one vulnerable to drugs or alcohol is an effective way to get someone away from temptation. Some behavioral therapy can teach patients on how to cope with the stress and triggers of their past addictions.


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Factors That Complicate Drug Addiction Recovery

Recovering from drug addiction is never an easy task. The process of preventing relapse becomes even more difficult due to the presence of certain factors which complicate the recovery process. Awareness regarding the presence of such factors will help the service providers to understand the difficulties and adopt measures to avoid the associated problems.

Chemical dependency is often accompanied by certain psychiatric disturbances the most common ones being major depression, paranoid disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and psychopathic personality disorders. This co-occurrence of drug abuse with psychiatric problems is referred to as dual disorder and the situation demands an integrated treatment approach. Both the problems should be treated simultaneously failing which the untreated disorder will increase the chances of relapsing to the other disorder. Apart from continued counseling and group therapy, such clients should be given medicines as prescribed by the psychiatrist.

Certain problems are more common within dual diagnosed clients compared to those with single disorder. Such people may suffer due to psycho-social chaos which may be caused by certain inter-related factors such as loss of job, legal problems, family conflict, homelessness, indebtedness, and others. It is beneficial to prioritize the treatment goals in such situations. Involving the family members and strengthening the support and networking with other agencies to mobilize resources are extremely essential.

Many substances like Methamphetamines, when abused overtime, may lead to brain damage which in many cases could be irreversible. This damage may limit the addict’s ability to understand issues, comprehend, remember and apply them in his journey of recovery. The counselor should be extremely patient in dealing such cases. The messages should be given in clear and simple language using concrete examples.

Traumatic past experiences of the recovering addict also complicate his recovery. Specialized help may be sought to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders.

Lack of family support also cause complications and delay the recovery process.

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Why People are Unwilling to Undergo Drug Addiction Treatment

While treatment for drug addiction is readily available in most areas today, there are still those who refuse to undergo treatment. It then becomes critical to understand the reasons why they refuse to be treated, since as of 2007, only 16.8 percent of those needing treatment actually went through with it. So once again a question comes to mind — why are they unwilling to do it?

drug addictionOne of the greatest reasons of refusal is the perceived stigma that would-be patients receive, especially if the drug use was done secretly. In this case, admitting the problem and agreeing to being treated can potentially further damage the individual’s personal relationships, and alienation and isolation can happen. In lieu of being treated by professionals, some try to kick the habit on their own, with minimal chances of success, while some give up and resign themselves to their fate thinking that they can’t beat it anyway.

The second reason is perhaps a more surprising one — some of them don’t know that treatment of this kind is available. Individual awareness is an important thing to also consider in this case. The best time to recommend treatment is before the patient develops serious drug problems, and appropriate referrals must be made in order to curb it. More often than not, however, these potential patients are left uninformed and go on with their addiction.

These two reasons are quite common when you think about it, which makes it all the more important to reduce the stigma associated with drug addiction treatment, and inform patients about the existence of rehabilitation sessions and treatments. While drug addiction is hard to beat, it’s best to consider every possible option. The understanding of their refusal to undergo treatment is a huge step, and hopefully this can be the beginning of successful and fruitful recoveries.

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