Our patients—and we—are spending more time in front of screens, using apps, and reading content in the lay press about treatment options. “Should I use an app to help reduce substance use?” or “I read somewhere that this herb can help; what are your thoughts?” or “Have you read your own reviews online?” may be questions you’ve fielded from patients.
In this issue we fortify your responses to these questions with some data about the utility of apps and so-called complementary and alternative treatments for unhealthy substance use. We also look at patients’ online reviews of substance use treatment sites, which reveal some interesting themes as to what they really care about when choosing a treatment setting.
As always, we owe it to our patients to have the latest information on treatment effectiveness and safety, so that our guidance can help them make informed choices that properly weigh risks and benefits. Yet the amount of content out there is bewildering. I hope this issue helps winnow the wheat from the chaff—and there’s a lot of chaff out there—to help you better connect with patients who are trying to navigate the many treatment options the media, advertisers, and other outlets promote.