Explore new methods to improve drug addiction recovery

KUALA LUMPUR: Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifudin Nasution Ismail (pix) urged all drug treatment and rehabilitation service providers to explore new methods that can improve the effectiveness of recovery, including the use of smartphone applications.

He said these methods can provide support in recovery by providing information on tracking sobriety and managing relapse, and connecting users with support groups.

“We should not overlook that our clients have the right to recovery and receive treatment anytime, anywhere. In addition, the use of applications such as tele-counselling, virtual support groups and online forums can be explored,“ he said at the 2023 National Drug Addiction Science Symposium Programme today.

His speech text was read by Home Ministry deputy secretary-general (Security) Datuk Abdul Halim Abd Rahman.

He said the use of wearable devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers can also be used to monitor a person’s vital signs and physical activity, in addition to the data used to assess and monitor the health status and risk of relapse for drug addicts.

Saifuddin also pointed out that the use of biofeedback devices and Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can provide an objective picture of the impact of interventions on clients in terms of their physiological responses and changes.

He also encouraged future research in the field of pharmacogenomics to obtain genetic information and the potential risk of individual involvement in drug use, which would facilitate the creation of appropriate and effective recovery plans.

He added that virtual reality (VR) is also being used as one of the latest technologies that can provide insights into new mechanisms for drug addiction treatment and recovery.

“Findings from previous research claim that repeated VR simulations can reduce psychophysiological responses to drug craving among respondents,“ he added. –Bernama