Does Tech Hurt, Hinder, or Help Those Suffering from Mental Health and Substance Abuse
In this day in age, we live on technology. Navigation, Bluetooth music, dating apps, social media, and working remotely are some of the daily perks of modern-day technology. The addiction recovery world is no different. Online community support groups, online therapy sessions, TikTok, Reddit, and now Google Maps play a large part in helping individuals in recovery connect. Google Maps just announced that they would show more than 83,000 alcohol and substance abuse recovery meeting locations to help connect individuals with the resources they need. These meetings include Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, AI-Anon, and Smart Recovery.
Additionally, Google Maps will list the locations of more than 20,000 pharmacies that dispense Narcan, the lifesaving medication for opioid overdose. For many who are struggling with an addiction, finding help can be the most challenging obstacle. Where do you begin? What if you do not have insurance? What if you want to keep this a private matter? Technology reduces a lot of the barriers and red tape to seeking treatment.
Five Ways Technology Has Improved Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment
- Human connections: The online community is a great way to bring people together. Whether online forums to discuss what you are going through, online community support groups share stories, or connect through social media. Sometimes individuals may feel ashamed to walk into their first meeting alone. They may not attend meetings due to scheduling conflicts or lack of transportation. However, plugging into an online community can help one gain a sense of purpose and healing just by being in others’ virtual presence.
- Individual therapy through video and text: Online therapy is rapidly gaining popularity. With a shortage of mental health and addiction professionals, online therapy is filling this gap. Individuals can now set up individual therapy sessions from the comfort of their homes or at work.
- A vast sea of information: From apps and blogs to websites and e-books, there is a plethora of information online about mental health and substance abuse. Some apps can track your warning signs and alert you when you should seek help. Some apps direct you to emergency mental health hotlines. There are websites and blogs where others tell their personal recovery stories. With all this information, clients have a surplus of information about mental health and substance abuse. However, a diagnosis and treatment plan must always come from a licensed professional, not an online source.
- Technology saves time: Individuals spend time driving to appointments, sitting in waiting rooms, and filling out insurance forms. For many, time is money. These appointments often require taking time off work or finding childcare. Online mental health tools can save a lot of time for individuals who are juggling a busy life.
- Aftercare: Many mental health and substance abuse professionals argue that acute treatment must be done in-house at a residential or intensive outpatient facility. Although this is most likely true, what happens when acute therapy ends? These treatment programs last 30-90 days, but recovery can take years. Aftercare is a critical part of the recovery process, and many ways to engage in aftercare online.
AKUA Mind and Body Treatment
AKUA Mind and Body is a full-service treatment program that offers a wide range of “east meets west” treatment modalities for many different populations struggling with mental health and substance use disorders. AKUA makes your recovery a priority. AKUA Mind and Body treats co-occurring disorders and works diligently with each client and their family to ensure that treatment is specifically tailored to their needs and not just their disorder.
AKUA Mind and Body offers detoxification, intensive treatment, and outpatient treatment programs. AKUA Mind and Body uses a blend of holistic approaches combined with evidence-based treatment to help individuals affected by substance use and mental health disorders recognize their underlying triggers and develop healthy coping skills. Regardless of where you are in your recovery process, AKUA Mind and Body can help.