Deciding to be accountable to a sobriety program is a lifelong commitment for people with Alcohol Use Disorder. While it’s easy to recognize the importance of accountability, maintaining it as a life-decision over time is much more difficult.
Key findings from the 2017 “Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health” note that people experience different risks depending on age, socioeconomic resources and access to support. While recognizing that there are many paths to wellness, new technology tools have shown “promising scientific evidence” to help people maintain sobriety, including the use of telehealth, digital monitoring and electronic support communities, the report adds.
Being able to detect signs of declining sobriety in real time can help those in recovery and their supporters take action before the situation escalates, and many treatment programs have turned to mobile technology to serve as a constant companion for those in recovery. Hazelden Betty Ford and Caron are just two of many facilities who use Soberlink’s hand-held breathalyzer technology and cloud-based management software as accountability tools for its clients. The automated monitoring helps clients track their own triggers and encourages them to develop new coping skills. Counselors and coaches also can harness up-to-the-minute data to build client-specific recovery protocols and verify sobriety compliance. Evidence based tools are becoming more necessary as the first year of continued care becomes more integral in addiction treatment.
“At the end of the day we are accountable to ourselves—our success is a result of what we do.” –Catherine Pulsifer, motivational author
For those who take part in residence programs or inpatient rehabilitation, one of the biggest risk points to sobriety is when the client leaves the supportive, structured rehab environment and must assume responsibility for maintaining sobriety and attending meetings elsewhere. Having a hand-held companion tool available any time, anywhere gives people the confidence they need to track their own actions and make healthy choices. The ability to check your sobriety levels, review your progress and document your successes gives people in recovery confidence, peace of mind and the data to show they’re staying on track. Need to show a report of sobriety? Technology can provide that, too—automated reports make it easy to show proof of sobriety to program counselors, family law counselors, families and your support circle.
“My wife, my dad, and my best friend get my BAC updates twice a day,” says one Soberlink user in a voluntary online review. “Knowing they are expecting those results every day keeps me straight. I don’t want to let them down.”
For many, re-establishing trust with family members is a major goal. And, it’s no secret that many struggle with sobriety during or after stressful situations. “I was hesitant to submit to an external device to prove to others that I was sober,” writes another user in a review. “Why couldn’t they trust me? Why did I need to be connected to this Soberlink? I have benefited from Soberlink tremendously, and today I am grateful for the gap that Soberlink continues to bridge with my loved ones to document my continued sobriety.”
“Soberlink is brilliant in its simplicity and comprehensive in its results. It is a tool that will soon replace all other forms of alcohol monitoring.”— Dr. Greg Skipper, Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and Director of Professional Health at the Center for Professional Health.
Having constant access to your own data establishes truth and honesty—no more excuses or twisting of situations. Innovative alcohol recovery programs like The Recovery Concierge are using mobile alcohol monitoring as part of their treatment plans from first response to ongoing coaching. The technology allows counselors to create customized plans and gather the data needed to coach each person’s journey as an individual. Access to real-time test results allow doctors and case managers to review BAC levels, assess situations, and quickly make decisions to best support the recovering person. Unlike other tests and protocols, using hand-held technology removes barriers to and gaps in documentation—the help is always in the palm of your hand, ready to document your sobriety journey and serve as a self check-in on progress.
Accountability has always been a deeply personal decision. But today’s technology can support everyone involved in sticking to that decision. Having a way to see and track your own trigger points, your own responses and your own progress can lead to greater strength, self-confidence and success in sobriety.
4 Touchpoints to Accountability Success
Having an accountability structure in place and technology tools to assist you can build confidence in your own strength and your own convictions to stay sober. Knowing you can track your data, check in with yourself any time, and beat the triggers means you can maintain your sobriety program, feel good about yourself and be ready to face the next day.
Data that matters
When maintaining sobriety, the thing that matters most is your own facts. Access to your own data in real time, whenever you need it, no matter where you are, can help you stick to your accountability goals. Today’s technology provides tamper-resistant features such as facial recognition, automated schedules and text reminders built into an FDA cleared remote alcohol monitoring system.
Connection to others
It’s a well-documented fact that succeeding at accountability is easier when you stay connected to your own support circle and to others in recovery. Real-time messages and alerts can help you stay focused on sobriety goals and serve as a chance to share success with others. But it’s a way to stay in touch with yourself, too—the anytime access to your own data can serve as a feedback mechanism that provides both encouragement and a reality check.
It’s about re-establishing the trust factor with your loved ones, but it’s also about learning how to trust yourself to keep the accountability promises you’ve made. Technology can help you track any lapses in judgement, so you can correct your own course—and show your support circle that they can trust you to make healthy choices, even when triggers appear.
Soberlink’s FDA-approved technology combines a portable breathalyzer and sophisticated cloud-based recovery management software to track sobriety data from anywhere. Trusted by addiction treatment centers, employers and law enforcers since 2011, Soberlink is a robust accountability partner for clinical programs across the country. For more information, visit soberlink.com
About the Author
Pamela Tabar is a healthcare writer in Cleveland, Ohio.