How Remote Alcohol Monitoring Can Be Used to Treat Alcoholism, According to Clinicians

Getting and staying sober is no easy feat and as you’ve likely researched by now, there are a number of things a person can do to achieve it. We examine how remote alcohol monitoring proves to be a profoundly useful tool when it comes to maintaining long-term sobriety from alcoholism.

For someone who struggles with alcoholism, getting sober is no easy feat, and staying sober over the long-term is even more challenging. Bearing this in mind, there are a multitude of advantages to having a solid recovery program in place that can greatly improve one’s chances of maintaining their sobriety. Things like attending twelve-step meetings, staying away from triggers like bars or nightclubs, setting recovery goals, and having a good support network are all beneficial elements in a solid recovery program. Remote alcohol monitoring also proves to be a profoundly useful tool when it comes to maintaining long-term sobriety from alcoholism.

Findings from a recent expert round table discussion point to the numerous benefits of remote alcohol monitoring when treating alcoholism during and after outpatient treatment. In fact, remote alcohol monitoring was actually discovered to be an applicable means of deterring a relapse in many patients. The panel included 9 clinicians and clinical researchers with extensive experience working in treatment––their findings come from observational evidence on relapse rates post-treatment.

Reducing the risk of relapse

Worth noting is that between 40 and 60 percent of people treated for alcoholism and addiction will relapse within their first year of recovery, according to a JAMA study. One possible reason for such high relapse rates is the fact that once patients finish treatment, there’s often nothing or no one holding them accountable for their sobriety. It’s easy for recovering alcoholics to leave treatment and resume life as usual. And “life as usual” for an alcoholic tends to be ripe with triggers that can lead right back to the bottle, particularly if there’s no one around to hold them accountable for their actions. Remote alcohol monitoring, however, is a viable accountability tool and when properly implemented in a recovery program, it can lead to promising results.

Remote alcohol monitoring over a one-year period

The overall consensus among the expert panel was that one year of monitoring was the minimum amount of time necessary to ensure stable recovery in patients. That being said, it was also determined that many patients would require less frequent monitoring for a longer period of time. Since circumstances are almost always going to vary from patient to patient, the monitoring needs to be tailored to the individual.

The study’s findings incorporate three tests per day using a (BAC) monitoring system at the start of outpatient programmatic or office-based care. Given a breathalyzer is able to detect alcohol for 2-5 hours after drinks are consumed, it was determined that three tests per day would more than adequately cover a 24-hour period. The logic was that these three tests would serve as a deterrent to drinking that could potentially occur in between testing. If, however, personal circumstances included excessive environmental triggers, then the schedule could be bumped up to four times per day for certain patients.

Benefits of using remote alcohol monitoring in a treatment program, and how it can be implemented

Benefits of remote alcohol monitoring:

  1. It helps people in recovery share their progress with treatment providers, counselors, sponsors, and family members.
  2. It serves as an accountability tool, thus helping alcoholics to stay on track.
  3. It eliminates the need for expensive lab testing by providing a convenient, reliable easy-to-use, and affordable way to measure blood-alcohol levels from the comfort of home.

While remote alcohol monitoring is not a foolproof way to ensure long-term sobriety, it can certainly be a beneficial supplement to a recovery program. Anyone who’s in recovery for alcoholism should have a long-term recovery program in place if they wish to sustain their sobriety. By doing things like identifying triggers and tracking progress, recovering alcoholics greatly increase their odds of staying sober over the long haul.

In general, there’s no quick-fix for alcoholism. If one subscribes to the disease-model, then a true-blue alcoholic is always going to be an alcoholic. While it’s entirely possible for an alcoholic to give up drinking and remain sober without a program in place, it’s highly unlikely. Connecting with others and regular accountability is one of the key cornerstones to recovery, and remote alcohol monitoring achieves this.

Learn more about BACtrack remote alcohol monitoring

If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcoholism, BACtrack View remote alcohol monitoring is a convenient and affordable way to stay on track with recovery. It’s easy to use and can be implemented in almost any treatment and post-treatment program to help you or your loved one maintain long-term sobriety.


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