Arapahoe House is the largest provider of D/deaf and hard of hearing substance use disorder treatment services in Colorado. Most D/deaf and hard of hearing clients qualify to receive smartphones and monthly data plans at no cost for linguistically appropriate treatment.
My name is Paul and I have been with Arapahoe House for approximately 14 months. Part of my treatment with Arapahoe House is a smartphone with an application on it called ACHESS (Addiction Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System). This app allows me to e-mail and text my counselor, alerts me when I’m near a location that might increase my risk for relapse, provides appointment reminders, and connections to other deaf and hard of hearing clients in the program.
Alcoholism is a 24/7 disease, so 24/7 is what I have to prepare for. The phone is always in my pocket or sitting on the coffee table; it’s a remarkable tool in the fight against addiction. When I’m in a high risk area, a reminder to stay sober with my son’s picture appears. He is my heart and soul and I’ll lose him if I drink again. The resources that ACHESS provides are better than a lot of the ones I’ve found online.
The phone allows me to communicate with others in my situation and I see that I’m not alone. I learn from what other people have gone through and how they get through their addiction on a daily basis. I like to think that I help others by sharing what keeps me strong. With the group chat feature on the phone, sharing our experiences helps all the people in the group because everyone sees it on their phones.
My thoughts throughout the day are filled with getting a job and when I can, helping others. This phone has helped me immensely with my job hunt. It is one of my only resources to the Internet and I can upload my resume to an application.
I think my biggest and best virtues in sobriety have been my determination and focus. I have never taken my eyes off of what sobriety can give me. It can give me everything I want out of life as long as I work for it. Although I’m constantly working on those things, I know in my heart that all things are possible with sobriety.
Thank you for this program and the phone. I hope it helps others like it’s helped me.