Monday, April 22, 2024

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Combatting Alcoholism – There’s An App For That

Steve ObermanSmartphone applications (apps) seem to have permeated every facet of our lives. For people fighting alcohol addiction, there are a host of apps available to help. In a recent interview, Dr. David Gustafson, director of the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies at the University of Wisconsin, discussed the benefits of a recently released app, A-CHESS.

The application provides a number of services to those seeking assistance. One service involves a GPS monitoring system which triggers an alarm when the user is approaching a bar or tavern listed as a place where he or she previously frequented.

The application also periodically asks the user questions. If the responses raise “red flags,” a counselor is notified who will then call the individual. Another service is an electronic equivalent of a social gathering place where those recovering can share their experiences. There is also a “panic button” for users to press when they need immediate help. This can prompt encouraging reminders recorded by the user or can even alert a nearby friend for help. A clinical trial indicates that A-CHESS users were 65% less likely to drink during the year following their release from a treatment program.

Dr. Gustafson pointed out that a great deal of information is stored about each user. This is a result of each person’s treatment being individualized. For those concerned with privacy implications, users can turn off certain aspects of the program; such as the GPS monitoring system. Dr. Gustafson stressed the importance of being forthright with users so they know their options.

There are, of course, no “quick-fixes” to alcoholism. Services like this are designed to add one more tool to those who are overcoming their addiction.

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Steve Oberman

Steve Oberman

Since graduating from the University of Tennessee Law School in 1980, Mr. Oberman has become established as a national authority on the intricacies of DUI defense law. Steve is a former Dean of the National College for DUI Defense, co-author of a national treatise ("Drunk Driving Defense" published by Aspen/Wolters-Kluwer), and author of "DUI: The Crime and Consequences in Tennessee" (published by Thomson-Reuters/West). He has taught thousands of lawyers, judges, and members of the general public about the intricacies of this crime. Steve was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to teach American Criminal Law and American Trial Advocacy at the University of Latvia School of Law in 2019; in 2023 taught for a semester as a visiting professor at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) Faculty of Law in Budapest, Hungary; and as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Ljubljana Faculty of Law in 2024. Steve has also presented at a number of judicial conferences in the United States and Canada as well as for law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Czech Republic Police Academy. As a Tennessee DUI attorney, Mr. Oberman has successfully defended over two thousand clients charged with Driving Under the Influence of alcohol and/or drugs. In 2006, Mr. Oberman became the first DUI lawyer in Tennessee to be recognized by the National College for DUI Defense as a Board Certified Specialist in the area of DUI Defense law.

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