Everything You Need in the Palm of Your Hand
The stakes for addicts’ lives have never been higher as the heroin epidemic continues to rage across our country. Overdose deaths are up in just about every state, county, and city. Most people know someone who has been affected, whether they are recovering from heroin or still trapped in addiction. During the COVID-19 pandemic, support groups can no longer meet face to face, and even addiction specialists began using Telehealth. More so than years before, desperate times call for creative solutions.
Brandy Spaulding, an intern at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, was one of the first to create an app to help support addicts in recovery. She created an app “Squirrel Smart Recovery” and spawned a whole new method of support. Since the launch of this app, countless other apps have begun to help support recovery from heroin and other addictions. Read on to find out more!
Support, Harm Reduction, and Connection
There are countless smartphone apps available that can help users recover from any number of addictions.
Some of these groundbreaking apps include:
- Sober Grid: like Facebook, this app lets you connect to others around the world. Unlike Facebook, the focus is on sobriety. App users can check in with one another and get suggestions on simple, easy things they can do to improve their mood and support recovery.
- AA Big Book: this is a free version of the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, so you can bring wisdom wherever you go!
- Zoom: an online platform that allows users to have video conferencing, online meetings, and chat.
- Second Chance: like some fitness apps, this app tracks breathing, heart rate, and other vitals- but for opiate users. If the app senses signs of overdose (like stopped breathing), it will notify emergency services.
Those are all pretty innovative. Whether you’re looking for help recovering from heroin, meeting new people, or trying to prevent an overdose, there’s probably a recovery app for you.
Can Apps Help Addicts Recovering From Heroin?
One question recovery apps bring up is whether this new, digital recovery will replace traditional channels. Although that seems unlikely, let’s examine this idea a bit closer. In today’s increasingly internet dominated world, people text more than they call. Thus, recovery apps have taken this idea to heart. These apps now offer the user the ability to notify their support system through texts.
Generally, this type of “text therapy” is attractive to many people, especially millennials. As that generation grows, matures, and some get addicted to drugs and alcohol – sobriety apps offer a way to get sober without having to make phone calls or meet face to face.
Although there’s no doubt that face-to-face, inpatient drug treatment is the gold standard of treating addiction – do digital avenues offer the same growth potential? So only time will tell how recovering addicts will take to web-based support over traditional drug rehabilitation avenues. Regardless, everyone can celebrate the fact that recovering heroin addicts now have one more tool to fight addiction. People are getting better, and lives are improving – what else matters?