Skipper has had positive experiences with the technology developed by Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Soberlink, which this month received federal premarket clearance for its Breathalyzer technology for medical use by healthcare providers. He says that patients in his day treatment program are monitored remotely from day one (they are asked to self-administer the breath tests once in the morning and once at night). Some patients end up purchasing the devices, he says.
“They never complain,” Skipper says of patients asked to use the technology off-site in the program. “They think it's cool.”
This monitoring does not end the need for urine testing for drug use, of course, since it tests only for alcohol, says Skipper.
The Soberlink system includes a web-based feature that allows for the setting of alerts that can help put case managers in rapid contact with patients if a positive reading occurs. Skipper says positives are addressed on an individual basis in his program, with retesting often encouraged (especially if the patient denies having used alcohol). He adds that it is helpful to give patients specific time windows within which they should conduct the tests.
In all cases, a positive is confronted directly in the program, Skipper says. “The outcome could be a transfer to a higher level of care,” he says.
Content Originally Published By: Gary Enos @ Addiction Professional