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.