This article focuses on the need to envision a more technologically enabled addiction treatment system in the year 2020 and describes how this vision of the future might work—offering ideas about how to achieve such a system.
The field of addiction treatment has struggled to respond to a combination of rapidly increasing demand and decreasing funding for services. In 2004, a group of cross-disciplinary thinkers met to design a future addiction treatment system that would reduce human care provider involvement and simultaneously increase access to treatment. This futuristic plan has several key elements:
While the system outlined in this article is set several years in the future, NIATx (formerly called the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment) is already moving toward a more technologically enabled system by using innovative solutions to move more people into treatment, using existing resources more efficiently and reducing the cost of care.