Opiate addiction in America has reached truly epidemic proportions— but we’re not going to take it lying down. The war against opiate addiction is now being fought on multiple fronts. One of them is the governmental level. Recently, the Senate passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act—more commonly abbreviated as CARA—with near-unanimous support. This significant piece of legislation provides government agencies more money to spend than ever supporting addiction prevention and recovery programs to fight the drug epidemic in America.
It’s a big step forward—but not necessarily enough. That’s why techies have joined in the fight, working alongside the Senate to develop new tools for addressing the opiate crisis. And if you happen to be a technology developer, you could play a big role in this important quest.
An App That Aids in Drug Addiction Recovery?
What we’re talking about here is a new initiative from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The SAMHSA has announced a contest for app developers; if you design an app that proves effective in facilitating opiate addiction recovery, you could even win a fairly hefty cash prize; $30,000 has been earmarked for the cause.
“The app may be used as part of a patient’s comprehensive treatment plan, which includes counseling and participation in social support programs,” SAMHSA has stated. “The goal of this challenge is to assist people in recovery in accessing resources, educational materials, information, and social supports through technology.”
Supporting Recovery from Opiate Addiction
The SAMHSA initiative explicitly takes its cues from other health-related apps; the website for this contest notes that there are plenty of apps out there right now to help those with diabetes monitor and manage their symptoms. What’s needed for opiate addiction recovery, the site says, is for a similar app to support those seeking treatment for the disease of addiction.
This underscores an important point about opiate addiction recovery—namely, that it’s a process, one that lasts a lifetime. Each new day brings fresh challenges, and when an individual leaves an addiction rehab or recovery center, returning to the stresses of regular life, that’s often when maintaining recovery becomes most challenging. But an app that can provide daily monitoring and support may make the process just a bit more manageable, increasing the odds of successful recovery.
Why Apps Alone are Not Enough To Fight The Drug Epidemic In America
Of course it’s important to note that an app alone won’t “cure” anyone of opiate addiction, nor could it ever be a sufficient catalyst for recovery. Recovering from opiate addiction requires first a clinical detox and then a committed, intentional treatment regimen, ideally at an inpatient rehab center. That’s where the skills for dealing with daily stresses and temptations are developed, and a foundation for lasting recovery laid down.
Both this new legislation and the app initiative are steps in the right direction to fight the drug epidemic in America— but there ultimately won’t ever be a full substitute for addiction recovery centers. If you have a friend or loved one struggling with opiate addiction, encourage them to enter inpatient treatment today. Nothing can crush a family like drug addiction so get help for your loved one (or yourself) as soon as possible!