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How Does Breathalyzer Monitoring Work

29 November 2016 Written by 

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.


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Leslie Glass

Leslie Glass is the winner of the American Society of Addiction Medicine 2016 Media Award for her groundbreaking documentary "The Secret World Of Recovery." She is a journalist, playwright, the author of 15 novels and the founder of Reach Out Recovery. She is the producer/director of "The Secret World Of Recovery," and the teen addiction prevention documentary "The Silent Majority" which was distributed by American Public Television to all PBS stations in 2015. Leslie is currently developing more websites and technology to further the recovery and healthy living cause.
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