Mobile App Developed to Overcome Substance Abuse

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A mobile application to help treat substance abuse has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on September 2017.

Pear Therapeutics, a Boston-based company, developed an application that can help people overcome substance abuse. This app is the first of its kind to have ever been developed and approved. The application is named Reset, and is designed to assist in the treatment of abuse of alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and stimulant medications. However, the FDA stated that the app is not intended for opioid dependence.

FDA made mention of the criteria for Substance Use Disorders (SUD), as chronic use of substances causing significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school or home.

The Reset app thus, helps deliver behavioral therapy designed to increase abstinence from substance abuse and make it convenient for more people to participate in outpatient therapy programs.

“This is an example of how innovative digital technologies can help provide patients access to additional tools during their treatment,” said Carlos Pena, scientist at the FDA.

A clinical study was conducted for approval of the app, which included around 400 people. The study was carried out for over a period of 12 weeks. By the end of this period, researchers found that those who used the app, showed 40.3 percent abstinence rate from alcohol, cocaine, marijuana or stimulant use, as compared to 17.6 percent rate for those who did not use the app.

This showed that increasing adoption of this app could help larger number of people overcome their substance addiction, in turn, helping save lives of many.


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