Apps for those seeking help with addiction

The challenge called on companies, scientists, health care institutions and citizens to come up with unique ways to address the modern opioid epidemic. One idea selected was for an app developed by DynamiCare Health in Boston.

On average, more than 130 people in the United States are dying daily due to opioids, according to the CDC and the state of Ohio, which embarked on the Opioid Technology Challenge two years ago. The challenge called on companies, scientists, health care institutions and citizens to come up with unique ways to address the modern opioid epidemic. One idea selected was for an app developed by DynamiCare Health in Boston.

Eric Gastfriend, DynamiCare Health’s co-founder and CEO, said the app ”… includes a personal recovery coach, substance testing and incentive funds.” Already, at least seven treatment facilities in the U.S. are using the app, Gastfriend said.

Through the mobile app, DynamiCare facilitates testing, medical support, scheduling and more. Patients using the app have the opportunity to schedule their breath or saliva tests and then self-administer and submit through the app via a video chat feature. The app also keeps track of appointments and records. Users are “rewarded” on a smart debit card for keeping their medical or mental-health appointments and for achieving set milestones.

“So often, we punish people with substance use disorders for doing the wrong thing,” explained Gastfriend. “DynamiCare [app] rewards them for doing the right thing. That positive reinforcement and encouragement can really make a huge difference.“
A 2014 on substance-abuse treatment published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that “Internet-delivered interventions … have the potential to expand access and improve addiction treatment outcomes …”

Other addiction recovery apps available include these suggested by rehabs.com:
1. Pear reSET
2. Sober Grid
3. Nomo – Sobriety Clocks
4. SoberTool
5. WEconnect
6. rTribe

Recovery apps currently available offer various help aids and formats for all types of addictions. Evaluating each one’s idiosyncrasies, accountability level and financial responsibility (if not free) enables potential users to determine the right app for their circumstances.

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