The Surgeon General’s Report on Addiction (now called Substance Use Disorder SUD). just came out. Written by nine experts in the field, led by Dr. Tom Mclellan, Founder of The Treatment Research Institute, the report changes the model both for understanding and for treating SUD. What makes the difference? One big factor is that monitoring has been proven effective in preventing relpase.
The Surgeon General’s Report is so groundbreaking because no longer can people say an alcohol disorder is a weakness. No longer do people have to feel shame when they can’t control their drinking. The basic premise that alcohol abuse is a chronic illness opens the door for solution. And the solution is a lifetime of awareness and care in the same way as we monitor and test for diabetes and other chronic diseases. The section on recovery in the report says, in a nutshell, is that there are many paths to wellness, but monitoring can raise the effectiveness rate of alcohol treatment to over 90%. That is more than a step forward. It can be salvation to thousands who haven’t yet tried it as part of their treatment. But how does it work?
Monitoring has been around for a long time. Pilots and other professionals used to run to a lab (often in some inconvenient places far from home) while they were on the road and had to get certified to fly or work. For those in aftercare at home, running to a lab meant their doctor might not get the results for several days; and if a relapse was happening, there was a risk of someone getting hurt before a better treatment plan was in place for him or her.
But the digital, cloud-based, breathalyzer has made monitoring an easy, accurate, and instant empowerment for those in recovery. Here’s how it works.
Leslie Glass is the founder of Reach Out Recovery and the winner of the 2016 ASAM Media Award. Leslie is also the creator of Recovery Guidance, the information website for those seeking addiction and mental healthcare for professionals nationwide. Leslie is a journalist, director/producer of award-winning documentaries, and the author of 15 bestselling novels. Leslie has served as Chairman of the Board of Plays For Living, was a member of the Board of Directors of Mystery Writers of America. She has served as a Public Member of the Middle States Commission of Higher Education, as a VP of The Asolo Theatre, and was a Trustee of the New York City Police Foundation.