Written By:Amber Hollingsworth,LPC
Soberlink is one of the coolest new technologies impacting recovery today. I gotta be honest and tell you that I am so JEALOUS that I did not invent this device! I ran across the Soberlink monitoring system when I was looking for a recovery monitoring system for a college age client of mine. I was really looking for one of those systems that require you to log in each day and see if you have to go to the lab to submit a urine sample, but instead I found Soberlink. I got one to use with that client and have been using them ever since.
The Soberlink itself is actually a pretty sophisticated piece of equipment. The device funcitions basically like a normal breathalizer but it is only a little thicker than a smartphone. The Soberlink system uses a cloud system (sort of like your iPhone). I go into the cloud and tell it when to test the individual. Most of my clients get tested 3 times a day or more depending on their situation. Clients are then sent a text message that alerts them when they are scheduled to test. Then, they simply blow into the devise and submit a sample.
But wait… you haven’t heard the exciting part yet! If the person misses a test, is late, or submits a positive sample, I get a text message to my phone immediately alerting me. I can then reach out to check on them.
Are you ready for the coolest part?
When they submit the sample, the device takes a picture of them and uses facial recognition to verify the tester. This makes sure that the person isn’t getting someone else to take the test for them. The device also shows where the user was when they took the test via GPS.
I realize I sound pretty geeky because I am so excited about a breathalyzer, but this service has had a huge positive impact for the families that I treat.
There are 4 main benefits to using Soberlink’s in addiction treatment:
Soberlinks can be a solid ally in restoring trust with family and loved ones. Because the family knows that I am monitoring it, they can relax and start to build trust again.
It has been especially useful in cases that would typically require inpatient treatment. Soberlinks can make it possible for people to get sober while in outpatient treatment. It is also great for transitioning back home from inpatient facilities.
3. For those also dealing with legal issues (ie DUI or custody battles), the Soberlink has been a huge asset. When the individual goes to court, they can take their detailed report to verify that they have been sober. It provides fantastic objective evidence. Most of my clients are so used to “being in trouble” that it feels nice to be able to prove themselves
4. I’ve also found that when clients know they are going to be routinely tested but don’t know when, drinking becomes less of a viable option. This actually makes sobriety easier because it cuts down on the obsession about drinking and trying to sneak, etc..
We also offer a variety of online addiction and recovery courses online at recoverynerd.com