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Last June, I had the opportunity to present to a group of researchers with the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. As CEO of an alcohol monitoring technology company, our focus was sharing data from 1,000 individuals that we had monitored for a year or more. Our technology provides 24/7 testing, every 30 minutes, to measure for compliance with required sobriety. The data is extensive and comprehensive, and after 9 years and 255,000 monitored clients, there are a number of behavioral trends we’re able to cull from that data.

We thought we understood what was important to this group—and to our customers. What we learned is that we were completely wrong.

Our presentation focused on the fact that 50% of that group of 1,000 had no violations of any kind during the time they were monitored. The other 50% did, and on average, that group had 3.5 events or “violations,” which can include drinking, a tamper, or both. Our focus was Compliance Rate, and we based it on violations.

But one researcher in the room began doing some calculations, and what he told us changed the way we look at our billions of pieces of data. While we were focused on “events,” the researcher began to look at the data from the perspective of the people—the individual clients monitored.

This population of 1,000 represented the highest level of alcohol dependence and addiction you can find. Individuals who are required to wear our product for a year or more are hardcore, repeat, alcohol-addicted individuals. If they didn’t drink every single day prior to their time with us, they drank excessively, 5 to 7 days a week, for years and even decades.

This researcher turned the tables, and suddenly, we had an entirely different view of our own world. He quickly calculated that 500 people with an average of 3.5 violations—1,750 “events”—was out of a total of 375,000 monitored days. In reality, when you looked at the data from the eyes of a single person on a single day, the compliance rate for this group was 99.5%, and the view, in their words, was “unprecedented.”

On any given day, of all the individuals we monitor, on average 99.3% of them are completely compliant—a Sober Day. In our group of 1,000 “worst of the worst,” the Sober Day rate was 99.5%—even higher.

Even treatment doesn’t achieve this level of sobriety, and that accounts for the fact that many drink during treatment and don’t get caught. The question for groups like the NIAAA becomes how to get Sober Days to last beyond the period of monitoring. Early studies show that the longer they’re monitored for sobriety (enforced sobriety), the better their chances of long-term success. Combining enforced sobriety with treatment: the possibilities are promising.

Today, 99.3% of SCRAM clients were sober clients. Welcome to a Sober Day.

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up: A blog about drunk driving, alcohol addiction, and criminal justice, is anything but a corporate blog. Sobering Up is an opportunity for anyone interested or involved in the issues of drunk driving, alcohol-fueled crime, alcohol dependence and addiction, and the justice system to participate in the conversation.

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