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Tag: recovery support

‘Simple but Effective’: Colombia Turns to Algorithms to Bolster Mental Health Services

Article Excerpt: At the age of 70, Carmen Suárez* is finally coming to terms with an event that happened five decades ago. It was a trauma that changed the course of her life and left her with depression. “I used to cry uncontrollably,” she says. “I was told to seek help, but I had neither the time nor the money. I realise now that I was stuck reliving the incident.” Over the course of a year, the Diada project (detection and integrated care for depression and alcohol use), an innovative project aimed at identifying people with or at risk of developing a mental health or alcohol use disorder, helped her recover.

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Article Source: The Guardian


Virtual Reality Could Completely Transform Mental Health—if We’re Ready

Article Excerpt: Virtual reality has quickly moved past its reputation as a niche video game console that nauseated its users (literally). Today’s VR is sleek, with capabilities once considered inconceivable—fully realized avatars that emote and cry; naturalistic scenery; and the ability to interact exclusively with one’s bare hands, no controllers involved. Proponents see a household use for VR, whether in the form of the so-called (and still ill-defined) “metaverse,” or simply as a way to connect with family and work on yourself. Some researchers have found the technology to be especially potent at solving mental health issues like anxiety, addiction, and social isolation. Today’s virtual reality startups are in the game of creating and perfecting illusions to help users cope with reality, not disconnect from it.

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Article Source: The Daily Best


Telehealth by Phone, Video Proves Lifeline for Veterans with Opioid Addiction

Article Excerpt: For people with opioid addiction, many hurdles stand in the way of getting effective treatment – and COVID-19 could have made it harder. But with widespread implementation of telehealth, a new study shows, more people are receiving treatment, even amid the pandemic. The national study looked at the care received by veterans who received buprenorphine to treat their opioid use disorder both before and after the pandemic shifted care to telehealth visits in early 2020. It shows that virtual visits with addiction care providers allowed many patients to stay on their medication to support their recovery throughout the first year of the pandemic.

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Article Source: Michigan Medicine


Groups Doubles Down on Telehealth with A Mobile App to Treat Opioid Addiction

Article Excerpt: Like many healthcare provider organizations, Groups, a value-based care provider of opioid-addiction treatment, had to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic overnight. To keep members safe, the organization made the decision to close all 120 of its clinics across the country and transition to 100% virtual opioid-use-disorder treatment services. To accomplish this, Groups provided its members with a number of different digital health technologies that enabled them to continue their treatment virtually and do all of the form submissions, drug screens and insurance processes that are part of the Groups recovery program.

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Article Source: Healthcare IT News


Digital Therapeutic for Substance Use Disorder Drives Down Care Utilization, Cost

Article Excerpt: Digital therapeutics firm Pear Therapeutics has released new data showing its prescription substance use disorder (SUD) therapy reduces hospitalizations and lowers healthcare costs for patients. The data will be published in the journal Advances in Therapy, but the findings are currently available online as a pre-print. The treatment is called reSET. The app is built around cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) utilizing the community reinforcement approach (CRA), the company said. It includes a 12-week course of therapy, in which patients are incentivized for completing lessons and abstaining from drug use. The app also includes fluency training designed to reinforce the lesson content. Previous studies have shown the therapy can be effective at improving rates of abstinence and treatment retention when coupled with usual treatments. In the new report, investigators wanted to know how such improvements might translate into changes in healthcare resource utilization and costs.

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Article Source: Managed Healthcare Executive


Using Technology to Help Reduce Substance Addiction

Article Excerpt: UCF clinical psychologist and Professor Lidia Meshesha works tirelessly to help improve the lives of people afflicted by addiction. She knows from previous studies, that many people relapse after treatment. “I have seen too many patients who struggle with addiction, and despite going to treatment and reporting that they don’t want to use alcohol or drugs anymore, they find themselves back in the same situation year after year,” Meshesha says. “I want to find ways that can help them escape this unwanted vicious cycle.” That’s why Meshesha’s research focus is on utilizing brief and easily accessible interventions to help patients achieve better outcomes through technology. Currently, her primary interest lies in developing interventions that patients can access on their digital devices, such as smartphone apps.

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Article Source: UCF News


Therapeutic Digital Gaming and VR to Level-Up Treatment for Addiction

Article Excerpt: In a lab in Berlin, Germany, healthy older adults are immersed in a cruise trip simulation called Schiff Ahoi! (Ship Ahoy!). Armed with a tablet device, they must quickly move food items from the ship’s buffet onto a plate before they disappear, while avoiding items they have been instructed not to take. Performance-related points help sail the ship to Mediterranean destinations, where players can collect virtual postcards. Such games may hold the key to finding innovative ways of training inhibition in people with addictions or impulsive behaviours. From alcohol and drug use to smoking, gambling and food-related disorders, these can be notoriously hard to break, and there is a significant chance of relapse even when evidence-based treatments are applied.

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Article Source: Horizon Magazine


What Euphoria Gets Right—and Wrong—About Teen Drug Use and Addiction

Article Excerpt: The show (Euphoria) has sparked controversy over how it portrays teen drug use. In January, D.A.R.E.—the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program—criticized the show for “glorify[ing]” high school drug use and making it seem “common and widespread in today’s world.” But drug use is not uncommon among high school students today. In the U.S., about 1.6 million kids ages 12 to 17—6.3% of the adolescent population—had substance use disorder in 2020, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). “That’s a huge problem,” says Dr. Lynn Fiellin, professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine and Child Study Center, who is trained in addiction medicine and behavioral health (and who is a fan of the show). The problem seems to be growing, too; in 2020, millions more kids tried drugs for the first time. “Euphoria depicts exactly what is going on,” she says.

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Article Source: Time


Study: Chatbots Could Help People with Substance Use Disorder Avoid Relapse

Article Excerpt: A digital chatbot could be one way to help individuals with substance abuse disorder, according to a new study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The study, which was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, found that individuals with SUD using the chatbot Woebot significantly reduced their substance use occasions more than individuals on the waitlist, who did not receive the intervention. The bulk of participants in the test group also said that they would recommend the intervention.

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Article Source: MobiHealthNews