Opioid Addiction: There’s an App for That (reSET-O Review)

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When I first heard that the FDA had approved a Prescription Digital Therapeutic for addiction to opioids, including Oxycontin, Vicodin, heroin, and fentanyl, I was not sure what that meant. My first thought was that it might be some sort of digital/mechanical device for addiction treatment. We have seen contraptions like that before in this industry, maybe most infamously a device called The Bridge. The Bridge device is a contraption that gained relatively widespread adoption as a treatment for addiction to heroin and opioid medications. There was not a single peer-reviewed study that showed that the device actually worked at all, and it cost a single patient 3,500 dollars, more than many proven treatments, but marketing and lobbying enabled the doctor behind the invention of The Bridge to get rich, and many patients became guinea pigs for an unproven treatment involving implanting an electrical device behind the ear to send shocks to the brain, purportedly to act on the “reward center” of the brain the way opioids do. I soon learned that Prescription Digital Therapeutic was, in fact, a fancy name for a mobile phone application, or app. That made me feel better about the entire situation, because a huge reason that The Bridge was such a gross situation was the huge cost of the device at 3,500 dollars and the invasive nature of a device sending signals into the brain from behind the ear. Both of those problems are not present with a cheap or free mobile app that people simply download to their phone and try out whenever they want. All that said, as the first mobile app to gain FDA approval for the treatment of opioid use disorder, it is important for us to take a close look at this app, known as reSET-O.

If you or a loved one is seeking the best drug and alcohol rehab in Florida or elsewhere, call us today. Florida Springs provides people around Panama City with the best available heroin addiction rehab, as well as treatment for other drugs and alcoholism.

What is reSET-O?

As we have known for many years now, longer periods of time spent in drug and alcohol rehab and treatment can result in a better chance for successful, and longer lasting, sobriety. Florida Springs in Panama City provides patients with an inpatients rehab treatment model, followed up by outpatient therapies and longer-term check-ins. This model is arguably the most widely accepted model for treating serious substance use disorder. Regardless of the specifics of any one treatment model, patient retention is considered paramount, with patients who leave treatment early being very likely to relapse back into drug and alcohol use. reset-O seems to be laser focused on this patient retention problem. The app is designed to be downloaded and used by people seeking treatment at places like Florida Springs or other facilities offering inpatient rehab or intensive outpatient drug and alcohol care. With the point of the reset-O app being well understood, let’s look at more specifics about how it goes about attacking the patient retention problem.

The reSET-O therapeutic device delivers treatment based on the community reinforcement approach (CRA), an intensive form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) indicated as part of the best and most accepted treatment regimens for OUD, along with other neurobehavioral therapies such as fluency training (to reinforce learning), and contingency management (to reward positive behaviors). reSET-O, in conjunction with treatment as usual, showed significantly increased retention in OUD treatment. That is an incredibly strong statement for the efficacy of this app, as this information came from peer-reviewed research published in a respected scientific journal. Anything showing efficacy for keeping patients in treatment will be of interest for the best drug and alcohol rehab centers, including Florida Springs in Panama City, Florida.

Specifics of reSET-O

Over 12 weeks, the addition of reSET-O to the patients’ normal treatment regimens resulted in a gain of 0.003 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and $1,014 lower costs. ReSET-O showed economic dominance vs. normal treatment without the use of the app. reSET-O + TAU’s was less costly and more effective, a powerful and promising combination of benefits for patients. Saving individual patients over 1,000 dollars each is a huge impact alone, without even getting into more difficult measures involving quality of life and health outcomes over time of different patient groups.

According to the authors,

“Variation of health utility scores for retained and non-retained patients had the biggest impact on the results of the model although reSET-O remained economically dominant given its cost-reducing effect.”

This simply means that patients who stayed in treatment had much better average health over the course of the study. This data, projected over many years, would mean that patients who stay in treatment longer will live longer and be healthier over the course of their lives. This is incredibly strong evidence for the efficacy of reSET-O. With strong evidence that reSET-O keeps patients in treatment longer and offers those patients more effective outcomes from that treatment, the best drug rehabs in Florida will need to take a serious look at incorporating these apps into their existing programmatic offerings.

by T.A. Cannon



Insider Article on “The Bridge Device.” Available at https://www.statnews.com/2017/08/23/bridge-opioid-detox-marketing/