THE BLOG
04/29/2016 03:04 pm ET Updated Apr 30, 2017

Addiction Aftercare Treatment Needs A Makeover

As a grateful recovery addict and alcoholic, having spent time at a residential treatment facility and also, as the founder of a company that is revolutionizing the way aftercare support at treatment facilities is done, I've learned a thing or two.

The bridge back from residential treatment to "reality," let's call it, is one of fear, vulnerability, and where the most support is needed. Unfortunately, the extent of this is minimal.

A look at the statistics is staggering. Fifty to ninety percent of people who go for addiction treatment will relapse within the first year. This is due to a number of factors, some out of our control, and at the same time, some in our control.

I often ask myself, what more needs to be done? How can facilities help to facilitate better aftercare support and save the lives of those who desperately need help?

There is no clear-cut answer or solution. Yes, it ultimately comes down to the individual, but as an innovative society, more needs to be done.

Sparkite aims to be that bridge back to "reality," and provide "support in the pocket." Addiction thrives off the isolation, the feelings of not good enough, and the compare and despair. This comes up in more frequently after discharge from treatment.

We all know that addiction is about so much more than the alcohol, the food, the drugs, or whatever other destructive coping mechanism is being used. But are we doing a good enough job exploring what lies beneath?

It certainly is beyond what a 28-day residential treatment stay can address, but it is in those 28-days that an individual struggling with addiction begins to wake up. It is there that the light within that has been shut off for so long begins to shine.

We need to do a better job of keeping that light shining after discharge. Sparkite's mobile application for the client takes a holistic approach to recovery. Clients create goals for themselves in the mind, body, soul, and community categories. We believe nurturing what lies within the physical body is where growth and strength comes from.

As a community we need to tackle the problem of addiction. The fact that 125 Americans die each day from a drug overdose is unacceptable . Far too many families are losing loved ones too soon.

At Sparkite, we are innovating to make aftercare treatment a reality and relevant. But, more is needed. We need to start planting the seeds of recovery, strength, and hope in children and young adults.

Sometimes it takes hearing the story of an individual and connecting to one sentence or one word that will forever change the life of that person. Let's make this happen together.