Utilizing Technology in Addiction Recovery

Utilizing Technology in Addiction Recovery

Published on January 23, 2020 by First Responder Wellness

It seems that technology is providing an answer to just about everything these days. Still, you may find yourself wondering if technology sometimes complicates the situation rather than simplifying it. Many people use apps and online resources to manage their recovery from addiction and improve their mental health, while others prefer the old-fashioned approach.

Even if you don’t subscribe to the idea that we should have an app for everything, it’s worth considering the benefits recovery technology has to offer.

Sobriety Trackers

One of the most popular apps for addiction recovery is a sobriety tracker. There are several of these currently available on smartphone app stores. Each app features different capabilities and caters to different types of individuals.

At their core, these apps exist as a kind of clock. They keep track of the length of your sobriety down to the minute. Some may allow you to set goals or congratulate you when you hit certain milestones, such as one week or one year.

Additionally, some of these apps provide extra features that track other benefits of sobriety. They can help you track financial savings or how many calories you are avoiding by abstaining from alcohol.

Whether a sobriety tracker is useful depends entirely on personal preference. For some people, having a reliable way to measure their progress can be incredibly motivating.

Others may prefer to avoid making the length of their sobriety take center stage in their recovery journey.  

Sober Networking

Many sobriety trackers also provide access to an online network of other people in recovery. Connecting with other individuals who are going through similar challenges and circumstances can help you to feel supported.

This support can prevent the sense of isolation that often comes with early sobriety. While it is great to get involved in your local recovery community by attending meetings or sober events, these in-person situations can be intimidating.

The internet and sobriety apps can connect you with many different kinds of people all over the world who know exactly what you are going through. For example, if you are a first responder struggling with addiction, these apps can provide you with a way to meet others in your unique position.

The same is true for college students or single mothers. For those using a social network app, you will be able to share your progress and celebrate your milestones with others.

This is especially helpful for those who wish to stay private about their recovery in their personal lives, but would still like to feel supported and validated in their achievements.  

Mindfulness Apps

In addition to recovery apps, there are also many apps available that support mental wellbeing. Many of these apps focus on mindfulness and meditation practices. Mindfulness is a way to anchor yourself to the present moment and slow down intrusive or negative thoughts.

Practicing mindfulness has been proven to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve focus and concentration, and promote overall wellbeing. Apps are great for those who have never before attempted to meditate.

Meditation apps provide easy-to-follow exercises that vary in duration to make meditation simple and effective. Mindfulness is encouraged in almost every approach to addiction recovery these days.

While meditation can be learned from a book or a teacher, apps provide an easily accessible alternative. You can squeeze five minutes or more of mindfulness into a busy day whenever you feel like it could benefit your mental wellbeing.  

Online Counseling

While it may be argued that nothing can take the place of in-person therapy, online counseling is a relatively new option. This option is great for those who are unable to access a therapist or feel uncomfortable meeting face-to-face.

It can also be useful for those who need additional sessions. There are apps that can connect you with a therapist based on your individual needs, as well as independent therapists that are willing to meet with you via video call.

This is especially useful for those who would like to reach out to their therapist when they are traveling. Therapy apps often provide you with service on demand. You can message a counselor or arrange a call at a convenient time, rather than having to wait until the next available appointment.

While these apps a great resource, they aren’t a replacement for face-to-face sessions. Those who are struggling with their mental health and substance use disorders should strongly consider seeking in-person treatment to begin their recovery journey.

The First Responders Treatment Program at Simple Recovery uses trauma-informed strategies to cater to the unique needs of law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and other first responders with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental illnesses. We recognize that first responders encounter job-specific barriers and obstacles that come with the culture of their careers. Existing stigmas may make seeking help for addiction and mental health issues especially tricky.

Addiction does not have to mean the end of your career. Nor do you have to resign yourself to a lifetime of struggling with your health and relationships. At Simple Recovery, we take a holistic approach to treatment and addressing the underlying causes of addiction. This approach makes it possible for first responders to regain control of every aspect of their wellbeing.

First responders dedicate their lives to protecting their community. At Simple Recovery’s First Responder Treatment Program, we dedicate our time to helping these compassionate individuals find a path to lasting sobriety and mental wellness.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, call us now at 888-743-0490