RESET – THE APP FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT
- August 25, 2018
Although the majority of the population of the United States lives in urban areas, rural Americans are more vulnerable to prescription painkiller abuse and overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in rural counties is 45 percent higher than in urban counties. There are several explanations for this, including high unemployment, lack of opportunity, and the prevalence of jobs requiring manual labor, but one major problem is the lack of doctors, psychiatrists, hospital, and substance abuse treatment facilities. In response, Pear Therapeutics, a tech company that specializes in digital therapeutics, developed reSET, a mobile app that can be used as a treatment tool.
In September 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permitted marketing of reSET as a substance abuse treatment tool. It is intended to be used along with outpatient therapy to treat alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and stimulants. It is not approved to treat opioid dependence, but Pear is also developing ReSET-0, an app specifically designed for opioid abuse treatment. The 12-week program is available by prescription and only available to people ages 18 and older. The app is downloaded on a mobile device, and patients sign in with an access code provided by their doctor.
The app contains a dashboard whereby patients can report substance abuse, cravings, and triggers, which is immediately accessible by physicians. It delivers therapy based on the Community Reinforcement Approach, which is an alcoholism treatment approach that aims to achieve abstinence by eliminating positive reinforcement for drinking and enhancing positive reinforcement for sobriety. The Community Reinforcement Approach builds the client’s motivation to quit drinking, helps them initiate sobriety, analyzes the client’s drinking pattern, increases positive reinforcement, helps them learn new coping behaviors, and involves significant others in the recovery process. Because doctors receive frequent updates on the patients’ progress, they are able to fine-tune or rethink treatment much more effectively than if they only saw the patient at a monthly visit. This method is also more cost effective both for the patient and insurance companies.
Patients will be asked questions by the app, including whether they are using and how they would rate the strength of their cravings, pain, hunger, and loneliness. There are sixty-seven learning modules available, incorporating text, sound, and video to provide information about navigating mood changes, personal relationships, time management, and communication. In the clinical trial the FDA used to determine approval, 399 patients used the app, and 40.3 percent of them were abstinent by the end of the study.
This app is important for rural patients, as well as people with financial, mobility, or other issues that might prevent them from attending a more traditional treatment program, because it can easily be done from home.
If you or a loved one need help with quitting drugs or alcohol, consider Asana Recovery. We offer medical detox, along with both residential and outpatient programs, and you’ll be supervised by a highly trained staff of medical professionals, counselors, and therapists. Call us any time at (949) 438-4504 to get started.