There is a very real cultural propensity today to accept that throwing tech at problems will fix or solve them. Got a problem with balancing your bank account? Throw a computer and internet connection at it. Got a problem finding that sweet red cardigan you used to have in high school and you want a new one? Throw an app at it. Experiencing the tiresome process of buying tickets to a movie? Throw a phone at it.

Like with most consumer-based products, many solutions are for problems that weren’t a problem and simply provide an excuse to increase personal convenience, albeit for a price. The obsession with communication and computer technology as we continue into the 21st century itself could be considered an addiction in some respects, although it would be classified as a cultural one. When that kind of attitude enters non-consumer fields such as health care and mental health, all of the best intentions don’t mean a thing if the only goal is to figure out a way to shoehorn technology into a solution to a real problem whether doing so helps or not.

That may be the case for a new app intended to help mothers who are recovering addicts keep a handle on their illness. Designed by Asbury Park-based GoMo Health funded partially from a New Jersey Department of Health grant is currently under testing. The app connects mothers in recovery for addiction to a network of moral and emotional support. The idea is that when someone with the app is experiencing especially tough days, situations or exceptionally triggering events, they can get an encouraging message, advice or understanding from both their peers in recovery or counselors participating in the network, or even a…song.

According to Bob Gold, CEO of non-profit GoMo health, “Patients need to be motivated, but that can only be accomplished if that person alters their outlook and belief system in their ability and capacity to be addiction free every single day of their life.”

The intentions are there, but the solution isn’t exactly requiring of smartphone usage. Relapse prevention parts of the recovery process, which is the majority of most addiction treatments for more severe cases such as opioid addiction, typically will require support groups which make themselves available for this exact situation. Treatment programs often have check-in and emergency contacts both on tap for those who are making the transition back into their normal self. One could say there already is an app for that; the phone. Sponsors and sponsor contact and support round out many of the already available support network available to people post-treatment.

As the tech industry continues to insist that they have all of the solutions to all of the problems and let their few triumphs overshadow the massive amounts of nonsense and misplaced good intentions, the attention addiction has drawn from headlines surrounding the opioid epidemic may attract more tech-noise to the already noisy discussion that surrounds the nature and treatment of substance use disorder. There is no button to push that simply fixes everything, yet, but throwing apps and cellphones at a problem likely would have solved the problem by now if it was ever plausibly a solution.

Discovery InstituteFor people suffering from addiction looking for sober living in New Jersey, a call to the Discovery Institute, a top rated drug rehab center,  at 844-478-6563 can help. Our NJ detox center is staffed with professional counselors and medical experts to ensure addicts get the treatment they need to remain drug free.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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