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. It seems like everyone knows someone who’s been affected by heroin or painkillers.
Desperate times call for creative solutions – and that’s just what an Ohio woman came up with.
Brandy Spaulding, an intern at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, was convinced there had to be some way to harness recovery into our phones. Everyone’s on their phone 24/7 anyway, she figured, so how can addicts use this to help their sobriety?
With this idea in mind, she created something called Squirrel Smart Recovery. The app, explained in detail below, allows recovering heroin addicts to get the support and strength they need.
Read on to learn just how Spaulding and her app are trying to revolutionize recovery for heroin addicts!
Squirrel Smart Recovery
We’ve reported on sobriety apps before, and probably will again, but what makes Squirrel Smart so innovative is that it focuses only on heroin. This pinpoint focus allows it to do things that other, more general, recovery apps can’t.
What exactly does this app allow users to do? Well, it’s most groundbreaking features are:
- Squirrel Smart allows you to rate your mood, cravings & stress throughout each day. This info is saved & allows you to get a holistic, bird’s-eye view of your recovery.
- It allows you to create a ten person “support team.” You can text your supporters throughout the day from the app. The support team can also view all the info mentioned above (mood, cravings & stress).
- Squirrel Smart tracks the amount of time you’ve been sober & offers rewards & incentives to continue.
- It has an emergency button. If pressed, all ten of your supports are immediately notified.
- It also features testimonials & encouragement from others in recovery.
Those are all pretty cool, right? Since Squirrel Smart Recovery is so new, it remains to be seen how effective this digital approach will be. Still, Spaulding and the rest of the Wexner Medical Center remain hopefully about the positive impact their app can have on the recovery community.
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Will Apps Replace Traditional Treatment?
One question Squirrel Smart and other 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. Squirrel Smart has taken this idea to heart and offers users the ability to notify their support system though texts.
This type of “text therapy” is attractive to a lot of people, especially millennials. As that generation grows, matures, and some get sidelined by drugs and alcohol – sobriety apps offer an attractive way to get better without having to make phone calls or meet face to face.
It’s a far cry from using apps, text, and the internet to help with recovery, to making them the center of someone’s recovery. Still, the potential does exist.
I’m left wondering whether this is even a bad thing. Although there’s no doubt that face-to-face, inpatient treatment is the gold standard of treating addiction – do digital avenues offer the same growth potential?
That remains to be seen.
Regardless, I think everyone can celebrate the fact that recovering heroin addicts now have one more tool to help fight addiction. People are getting better and lives are being saved – what else really matters?