Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Problem Drinking? Seeking Help through Technology

Three women with alcohol addiction committed suicide from a treatment center where I worked. Although taking their lives years apart, each suffered from isolation and depression. The addiction rode them hard and they are not with us today. I have to wonder if they were around today, would technology have made a difference? Addictions are long rooted in their behavior, what if an intervention occurred earlier?

General population screeners, college student screeners and support groups are gaining popularity as Internet-based interventions. The use of computer programs, cell phone, e-mail and texting are experiencing interest towards development of evidence based research. Do they work? Research will provide the data. While I would not call these programs prevention, they are meant to address the issues of alcohol in the beginning stages. This approach will be useful to people who gain support from the Internet. Not all students learn from online courses and not all problem drinkers gain the education needed to stop, but it may work for some isolated souls seeking a connection.

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