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Current trends in using Internet and mobile technology to support the treatment of substance use disorders.

Cucciare MA, Weingardt KR, Greene CJ, Hoffman J. Current trends in using Internet and mobile technology to support the treatment of substance use disorders. Current drug abuse reviews. 2012 Sep 1; 5(3):172-7.

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Abstract:

ISSUES: By allowing for the efficient delivery of instructional content and the secure collection of self-report data regarding substance use and related problems, the Internet has tremendous potential to improve the effectiveness and accessibility of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment and recovery-oriented services. APPROACH: This article discusses some of the ways in which Internet and mobile technology can facilitate, complement and support the process of traditional clinician-delivered treatment for individuals with SUDs. KEY FINDINGS: Internet applications are being used to support a range of activities including (a) the assessment and feedback process that constitutes a key feature of brief motivational interventions; and (b) the concurrent monitoring of patients who are receiving treatment for SUDs, to support continuing care, and the ongoing recovery of SUD patients who have completed face-to-face treatment. Internet technology is also being used to (c) support efficient delivery of clinical training in evidence-based practices for treating individuals who may have SUDs. IMPLICATIONS: This emerging body of literature suggests that SUD treatment providers and program administrators can enhance the quality of clinician-delivered treatment by incorporating internet applications into existing processes of care and recovery oriented services. CONCLUSION: Internet applications provide an unparalleled opportunity to engage patients in the treatment process, incorporate real-time data into treatment planning, prevent relapse, and promote evidence-based treatment approaches.





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