Wearable tech devices to help predict and prevent relapse during recovery from alcohol addiction

Wearable tech devices to help predict and prevent relapse during recovery from alcohol addiction

Relapse is a significant event in the life of someone in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. It is a series of events and activities that can lead one back to the path of substance abuse, and worsen the condition. Dealing with drug withdrawal is a big challenge and an everyday struggle for someone trying to give up substances.

In order to predict and prevent relapse in recovering drug/alcohol user, Behaivior, a Pittsburgh-based startup wants to use features embedded in wearable devices to detect and track craving states and risk patterns. As the craving state of those in recovery is not just at the mental level, but physical as well, this can be a useful approach in predicting the signs of relapse.

Recovery is not just saying no. It requires immense courage and discipline to stick to the treatment protocols. In order to be successful, drug abuse recovery programs need to take into consideration a host of factors like coping mechanisms, emotional triggers and social interactions of recovering people. One of the best ways to prevent relapse is to understand the warning signs and take timely action.

According to Ellie Gordon, co-founder of Behaivior, physical signals like respiration, heart-rate and body temperature along with proximity to one’s trigger location are important factors to predict and prevent relapse. In collaboration with AlphaLab, a nationally ranked software in Pittsburgh, Behaivior is developing an AI software designed for these wearable devices that can read the factors among users. The software would take real-time data, such as heart rate, skin temperature and motion and combine it with digital information such as GPS location to determine if the wearer is in a pre-relapse craving state or near his/her trigger location/s and take appropriate (pre-determined) interventions.

As per Gordon, on detecting a risky pattern, the device can then take appropriate action like calling someone within support network or sending personalized messages. In fact, the interventions can be customized in advance to help the wearer in the best possible way. The software would also help detect overdoses and give quick access to life-saving medications, and save lives. Though the company is currently testing with people in opioid addiction recovery, it is not the only area that they plan to venture into. According to Gordon, the company plans to extend the use of the software to help those struggling with addiction to other substances, PTSD, eating disorders or any other problematic behavior that a user might want to change.

Treatment that’s more than just therapy

A teen may use drugs or alcohol for a variety of reasons but when left unchecked, addiction can soon set in and lead to disastrous consequences on his/her physical and mental health. He/she may experience drop in academic performance, changes in behavior and strained relationships with friends and family. In addition to providing clinical treatment for an illness, the recovery programs should also focus on effective teen chronic relapse treatment strategies. Some of the teen chronic relapse prevention tools include providing them with a positive and trigger-free environment and teaching them effective coping skills.

A licensed and accredited residential treatment center for adolescent males, the White River Academy focuses on positive peer culture by combining experiential and therapeutic activities along with a customized academic curriculum to foster personal growth in adolescent boys (aged 12-17 years). Various programs offered at the White River Academy help the youth acquire the knowledge and life skills required to replace bad behavior, and gain a sense of personal and social responsibility.

If you know any teen boy suffering from addiction to any substance, our representatives can help. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our experts to know more about the best therapeutic boarding school for boys in the U.S.

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