Not your Mamma’s Bracelet

alcohol monitoring ankle braceletAnkle bracelets are worn by women of all ages as a summertime fashion accessory, but there is one type of ankle bracelet that men wear as well, though most are not exactly happy about it. Called a SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor ), this device is yet another tool in the battle to keep drinking offenders from getting into more trouble. Lindsey Lohan and a few other celebs have sported SCRAMs in the past, albeit not by choice. That could change in the near future.Now, according to a study conducted by Fergus G. Neville, St. Andrews School of Medicine in the United Kingdom, the device that monitors alcohol consumption 24/7 may be a new tool to help deter binge drinking in college students and others.

The study of 60 male college students discovered that those who wore the bracelets and were instructed not to drink were in fact deterred from drinking compared to controls that didn’t wear the bracelet and those who wore the bracelet but were instructed to drink as usual.The device was introduced as an aid in monitoring offenders who are not to drink or use drugs as a condition of their sentence or parole. It measures alcohol consumption by continuously monitoring the ethanol content in the wearer’s sweat coming off the ankle. Data results are reported continuously to law enforcement agencies.

Originally developed by Alcohol Monitoring Systems in 2003, the SCRAM anklets have matured to include GPS tracking and other features. Just this year, devices are being produced that also include Remote Breath™ integrated with SCRAMnet technology, designed for lower-risk alcohol offenders. The newer technology provides courts with reliable information about an offender’s consumption levels, giving courts more sentencing options. This may also open doors to use the device as a tool to help those struggling with their own alcohol consumption, perhaps as a less primitive deterrent than antabuse. Costs include a one-time installation fee plus a daily monitoring fee.

Another company, CB Home Detention Equipment and Services, Inc., has developed a similar device, only instead of just ethanol, these anklets are capable of monitoring marijuana and, new this year, methamphetamine use. Dubbed the “Tattle Tale,” these anklets are the first capable of sensing the drug use of it’s wearer. According to media contact Bud Frederick on the manufacturer’s website, “…we are the only company in the world that has this type of monitoring equipment.”

Whether these devices will create new strategies in waging the war against substance abuse remains to be seen.If you think you have a problem, but aren’t sure, talk to someone. Trained professionals can answer any questions you may have regarding substance abuse.

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