increased access to resources for women in rural areas.
“The opportunity there is that people can get the treatment they need without being physically located in a large city,” Kan said. “I think technology is going to have an important role as a complement and a substitute to traditional treatment.”
Square2, another app, not only focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy but on depression and other pain that contributes to the disease as well.
There are applications dedicated to quitting smoking, but according to studies done by Dr. Lorien Abroms, very few of the 47 apps “adhere to established guidelines for smoking cessation” and should be revised to meet the U.S. Public Health Service’s 2008 Clinical Practice Guidelines for Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence.
The applications will only work if the person is committed to their recovery from addiction, and according to Kan, use of applications should be in addition to a comprehensive aftercare treatment plan that is customized to their needs.
These technologies can help people stay sober because longer treatments are more effective. In a study from Widener University in Pennsylvania, patients that participated in some form of treatment for 90 days post-rehab saw a 13 percent relapse rate, compared to the 40 to 60 percent relapse rate published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
“Accountability is very important,” Kan said. “They have to work on being rigorously honest. The reality is that addiction is a chronic disease and requires treatment over time.”