A COVID-19 Level Overreaction Is Needed for Substance Use Disorder Treatment The Future Is Mobile

Faculty; Public Health; Research

“Most of the 1.6 million frontline substance use disorder (SUD) therapists in this country do not provide clinical services guided by data gathered from technology tools. Instead, they rely on the same 1930’s skills—personal judgment and intuition,” said David Patterson Silver Wolf, director of the Community Academic Partnership on Addiction (CAPA) and chief research officer at the CAPA Clinic.

“Rather than incorporating tools that assist treatment decisions based on essential real-time quantitative data, patients must hope that their treatment team possess supernatural instincts or extraordinary practice wisdom tools. Unfortunately, most clinicians are just well-intentioned regular people who, without access to real-time data, make a lot of wrong guesses, bark up a lot of wrong trees, and obtain a too-large number of bad case outcomes.

“The scientific community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic provides a powerful example of the importance of robust, real-time data.

“I’m hopeful the SUD field will rouse from its 90-year slumber and begin to appreciate the many benefits of having such data available when treating the cunning disease that is still currently claiming far more victims than the novel COVID-19 coronavirus.”

Read the full piece in Research on Social Work Practice.