If you’re using, or plan to use, Soberlink as part of your clinical practice, it may relieve you to know that you won’t have to do a lot of guess work to get started. A group of doctors and treatment industry experts were brought together to determine the most effective way to use Soberlink in a clinical setting.
In this series, we’ll look into the key decisions made by that expert panel and how those decisions could affect the way you implement Soberlink with your patients. One element of the panel’s best-use recommendations is whether random or scheduled testing is most effective.
“It is better to require random tests and surprise the client instead of setting up a test schedule.”
It is generally accepted that urine drug screens should be administered randomly and periodically, but Soberlink’s daily testing should be viewed from a different perspective.
While it might seem like a good strategy to try and catch the recovering patient “off guard” with random tests, this will quickly create a toxic and stressful environment around testing. It may further place a strain on the relationship between the patient and clinician.
Those in recovery are using Soberlink as a tool to rebuild trust and establish healthy routine in their lives, and using that tool to create a sense of unease can be threatening to recovery. Random testing can create unnecessary anxiety; and the last thing people in recovery need is more anxiety.
Think of it this way: a schedule of Soberlink tests creates a reliable safety net for the client as well as acting as a non-invasive mental deterrent to a slip and/or relapse.
As part of a recovering person’s arsenal of tools, a consistent Soberlink test schedule will help form healthy habits and reestablish trust.
Because alcohol use disorders are most effectively treated with a chronic illness approach, the testing schedule needs to be sustainable for a long period. And over time, structure and accountability will hopefully work in tandem to form a new routine and outlook.
The Expert Panel’s Recommendation
The panel came to unanimous consensus that scheduled testing at agreed upon times is the best method for patients in early recovery.
The panel also agreed that in special circumstances, unscheduled tests could be requested in addition to the existing test schedule, during specific times of the day when necessary. For example, these tests could be requested if there is a suspicion that a person has consumed alcohol.
The sensitivity of Soberlink ensures that if test times are spread out throughout the day, a patient cannot consistently drink in between tests for consecutive days without detection. The panel agreed that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for someone with an alcohol use disorder to control their drinking in a way that would undermine scheduled testing for any length of time.
Highly sensitive Soberlink technology combined with the reliability of scheduled tests will set recovering clients up for success, and act as a mental deterrent to a slip and/or relapse.
The Bottom Line
The experts are unanimous that scheduled testing with Soberlink proves most effective for clients in recovery.
Eliminate needless anxiety by discussing and setting up a testing schedule to help the client have the best chance at success. Soberlink believes that, given the appropriate tools, clients can be set on a healthy path to maintain recovery.
How to Use Soberlink Four-Part Series
- Part 1: Test Frequency and Program Duration
- Part 2: Random vs. Scheduled Testing
- Part 3: Responding to a Missed Test
- Part 4: The Appropriate Clinical Response to Positive Tests
About The Expert Panel & Consensus Paper
The expert panel was comprised of physicians and experts with extensive experience and current knowledge of alcohol use disorders and the addiction treatment industry. The expert panel was assembled to discuss and reach consensus on the best use of remote monitoring in a recovery setting. A paper of their findings was written and published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine. All decisions made by the expert panel were reached by organic consensus and have been determined to be the absolute best practices when using the Soberlink alcohol monitoring.
About the Author
Soberlink supports accountability for sobriety through a comprehensive alcohol monitoring system. Combining a breathalyzer with wireless connectivity, the portable design and technology includes facial recognition, tamper detection and real-time reporting. Soberlink proves sobriety with reliability to foster trust and peace of mind.