Something to remember about drugs and alcohol is it provides instant gratification and no long-term reward. For example, when people are anxious, they’ll have alcohol to lower inhibition and reduce anxiety. Chronic relapse is such a huge problem because people want to wash away their negative feelings with immediate gratification. Just one glass of wine, that’s where it starts. Alcohol and drugs take away bad feelings and turn them into good ones or it makes you feel numb. They think it’s going to make them feel better.
• It starts with recognizing their feelings and providing coping skills to deal with those feeing’s such as, stress, and depression.
His story: His struggle began in elementary school. Raised in a competitive family atmosphere where there’s no room for failure, he was often under stress and had low self-esteem. In middle school, he started hanging out with kids of bad influence associated with gangs and graffiti. He would smoke marijuana, and one day at a party got introduced to cocaine. After high school, his pregnant fiancé was a motivating factor to stop using alcohol and cocaine. Although once his child was born, it was still very difficult to actually get clean. He would disappear in the middle of the night to use because he couldn’t do without it, before it was more of a social drug. Then one day he overdosed on cocaine; the secret was out.
He didn’t take the typical route of going to rehab and treatment, he didn’t even though about it at the time. He reached out to a straightedge, religious friend to help get sober and did his own research on a sober lifestyle. He’s a counselor helping others now.
IDEAS FOR THE CHALLENGE:
He likes the idea of preventing relapse through a fitbit device to help recognize vital signs linked with signs of stress. The device would communicate with you to help you feel better or linked with your phone.
• It would be useful tool straight out of treatment. The technology could serve as a case manager to hold you accountable. They would also see data.
• This technology would change the aftercare of the rehab landscape. It would help people maintain their recovery.
• There’s a huge gap right now - recovery doesn’t start until you leave rehab/treatment, that safe bubble. People then go back to their old life seeing the same people. This technology could help them implement strategies.