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Substance abuse patients can seek therapy by using new app

Opioid Prescribing Guidelines
Posted at 4:00 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 16:00:25-04

BALTIMORE — The University of Maryland Medical Center's Midtown Campus are now helping to treat patients with opioid abuse using a new app accessible through a person's smartphone.

Patients will receive cognitive behavioral therapy from the app and it gives them access to evidence-based therapy when and where they need it. It also allows medical providers to track their progress.

More than 2,500 Marylanders died of opioid overdoses and 2020 and the pandemic has only exacerbated drug and alcohol abuse. The Maryland Department of Health officials reported that the majority of the deaths were related to the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

This app has been even more important during the pandemic because people have found it difficult to attend-in person sessions.

Once on the app, patients will complete four lessons a week, answer questions to quizzes and report substance use, cravings and triggers. It allows users to win rewards like coupons for Starbucks or Amazon to promote engagement.

The app is also very user friendly. One user said the app "absolutely helps" and is easy to use.

"It's not just the rewards that are good, which would make people want to do it. The information is great," said Keisha, who became addicted to Percocets when she was undergoing treatment for cancer.

Part of the check-in process includes asking the user "Have you used today?" and then is prompted to rank their craving on a scale of 1-10. They're then ask to identify the possible triggers.