The app that could save an addict you know

CORP20160443_Addiction_blog_post_large

It’s everywhere. Perhaps it’s afflicting your friend, an extended family member, your child, your child’s friend or a co-worker. We’ve all seen the devastation of addiction, whether we’ve experienced it personally, have watched a family member or friend struggle or have seen news reports of the growing number of heroin overdoses. But Ohio State researchers have developed an app to try to help addicts’ stories turn out differently. 

“No matter what issue you are battling, a strong social support system is critical to succeeding,” says Brad Lander, an addiction specialist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “The best things about this app are not only that it’s free, but that it literally puts help at your fingertips, day or night.”

One of the greatest challenges those with addiction face is suppressing the urge to satisfy a craving – especially when the urge can strike at any moment.

The app is designed to provide the support an addict needs during their recovery, offering prompt help using technology they’re already carrying in their pockets.

Here’s how it works:

  • Set up 10 contacts – this is the support circle of people who will help the person with addiction to stay clean
  • The addict rates mood, urges and stress levels at trigger times throughout the day, to share with the support circle
  • The app tracks and rewards sobriety by giving virtual coins when milestones are reached, and provides motivational quotes for encouragement
  • A one-touch panic button contacts every member of the support circle simultaneously
While the app is designed primarily to support those with heroin addiction, it can be used to aid in the recovery from any addiction. The app is only available for download on Android devices currently, but will be available soon for Apple’s iOS system.

This support, accessible at all times, could make the difference in helping someone maintain sobriety in the difficult and lonely moments when relapse is most likely to occur.