Embracing Addiction as a Chronic, Manageable Disease: The Crucial Role of Monitoring

Embracing Addiction as a Chronic, Manageable Disease: The Crucial Role of Monitoring
May 10, 2023
|   Updated:
October 26, 2023

Addiction is a complex, chronic medical condition characterized by compulsive substance use or engagement in behaviors, despite the harmful consequences (ASAM, 2019). It involves intricate interactions among brain circuits, genetics, environmental factors, and an individual's life experiences. Similar to other chronic diseases such as diabetes, addiction can be managed effectively through a combination of prevention efforts, treatment approaches, and ongoing monitoring (ASAM, 2019).

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) define addiction as a tenacious pattern of substance use and related problems, distinguishing between two types of substance use disorders (SUDs): dependence and abuse (Dennis & Scott, 2007). The chronic nature of addiction is further supported by neuroimaging studies, which demonstrate the physiological basis for SUD chronicity, including cravings, cue reactivity, tolerance, and withdrawal (Fowler et al., 2007).

Traditionally, addiction treatment has been conceptualized as an acute, episodic relationship. However, researchers and clinicians have made significant progress in adapting addiction treatment to address its chronic nature more effectively (Dennis & Scott, 2007). One essential aspect of managing chronic diseases, such as addiction, is ongoing monitoring.

A man using a Soberlink device while sitting at home

Soberlink is a modern, innovative monitoring technology that plays a vital role in managing the disease of addiction. Comparable to monitoring tools for other chronic diseases, such as glucose meters for diabetes, Soberlink provides a way to track an individual's recovery journey and ensure adherence to treatment plans. This continuous monitoring allows for early reintervention and improved outcomes, similar to how diabetes management involves regular blood sugar checks and adjustments to treatment plans when needed.

In the context of addiction, Soberlink offers remote alcohol monitoring through a portable breathalyzer that sends real-time results to designated individuals, such as healthcare providers or family members. This technology not only helps maintain accountability but also empowers those in recovery to manage their disease actively.

As an addiction treatment professional, incorporating monitoring technologies such as Soberlink into your practice is essential to ensuring optimal client outcomes and setting your services apart from the competition. Soberlink offers an array of features specifically tailored to the unique challenges of addiction recovery, making it a valuable asset for your clients and your practice.

Image: Soberlink is an FDA-cleared alcohol monitoring system designed specifically for addiction treatment and recovery.

Soberlink is an FDA-cleared alcohol monitoring system designed specifically for addiction treatment and recovery. Its advanced features include facial recognition technology, tamper detection, and over a decade of experience in the field. Trusted by hundreds of treatment facilities, Soberlink's proven track record speaks to its effectiveness in supporting clients through their recovery journey.

By integrating Soberlink into your addiction treatment practice, you not only enhance the quality of care you provide to your clients but also gain a competitive edge over other providers in helping to improve lives. Offering a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to addiction management demonstrates your commitment to the best possible outcomes for your clients. Furthermore, incorporating Soberlink into your treatment plan can improve client retention by providing an added layer of support, accountability, and personalized care.

Ultimately, incorporating monitoring tools like Soberlink into your practice can make a life-saving difference for those struggling with addiction. By continuously monitoring your clients' recovery progress, you can intervene early and adjust treatment plans as needed, significantly increasing the chances of long-term recovery and improving your clients' quality of life. Embrace the power of Soberlink and elevate your addiction treatment practice to new heights, demonstrating your dedication to the highest standards of care and the well-being of your clients.

Image: Addiction treatment approaches have been found to be as effective as interventions

Addiction treatment approaches have been found to be as effective as interventions for other chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension (McLellan et al., 2000). By embracing addiction as a chronic, manageable disease and utilizing tools like Soberlink, we can help individuals achieve long-term recovery and improved quality of life. It is crucial for our society to continue adapting treatment models, funding, and organizational structures to address the chronic nature of addiction, ultimately enhancing the support and resources available to those affected by this pervasive disease (Dennis & Scott, 2007).


  • American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2019). Definition of Addiction. Retrieved from https://www.asam.org/quality-care/definition-of-addiction 
  • Dennis, M., & Scott, C. K. (2007). Managing addiction as a chronic condition. Addict Sci Clin Pract, 4(1), 45-55. doi: 10.1151/ascp074145
  • Fowler, J. S., Volkow, N. D., Kassed, C. A., & Chang, L. (2007). Imaging the addicted human brain. Sci Pract Perspect, 3(2), 4-16. doi: 10.1151/spp07324
  • McLellan, A. T., Lewis, D. C., O'Brien, C. P., & Kleber, H. D. (2000). Drug dependence, a chronic medical illness: Implications for treatment, insurance, and outcomes evaluation. JAMA, 284(13), 1689-1695. doi:10.1001/jama.284.13.1689

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