The U.S. criminal justice system refers more people to substance abuse treatment than any other system. Low treatment completion rates and high relapse rates among addicted offenders highlight the need for better substance use disorder treatment and recovery tools.
Mobile health applications (apps) may fill that need by providing continuous support. In this pilot test, 30 participants in a Massachusetts drug court program used A-CHESS, a mobile app for recovery support and relapse prevention, over a four-month period. Over the course of the study period, participants opened A-CHESS on average of 62% of the days that they had the app. Social networking tools were the most utilized services.
The study results suggest that drug court participants will make regular use of a recovery support app. This pilot study sought to find out if addicted offenders in a drug court program would use a mobile application to support and manage their recovery.
Below: A-CHESS mobile app user interface
Below: Percentage of days in which participants used A-CHESS
Below: Average number of times participants who used each service used it over the total study period
Below: Social network map of all participants including staff
Below: Social network map of drug court participants
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- 1Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
- 2Communications Coordinator, Population Health Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
- 3Research Assistant, Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.; Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.
- 4Honorary Fellow, Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
- 5Advocates, Inc., Ayer Concord Drug Court, Ayer, MA, USA.
- Subst Abuse. 2016 Feb 14;10:1-7. doi: 10.4137/SART.S33390. eCollection 2016.
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