Dr. Iltifat Husain’s physician take is at the end of this article
Edinburgh, Scotland, has decided to help residents who are battling addiction by developing Addiction Recovery Companion (ARC), an addiction recovery medical app that might serve as a prototype for other localities who have a similar need. Per the The City of Edinburgh Council — the addiction recovery medical app “helps you to focus on your recovery by helping to organise your time and find local services, facilities and groups to support you. All of the features of ARC have been designed in conjunction with recovery services and the recovery community in Edinburgh”.
The ARC front page consists of 6 icons that provide access to services, emergency resources, a diary, a calendar, meetings, settings, and a section it calls reflections.
The services map pinpoints locations where users can get help, including the Woodland House, Edinburgh Young Carers, and several others, each with addresses and directions to reach the facility. The reflections section is divided into 4 areas: Feeling good? Want Inspiration? Need motivation? and Need Help. Clicking on Inspirations will take those in need to what one hopes will be an inspirational quotation to help them stay the course. Motivations gives users access to a one minute breathing exercise, a “building self-confidence” exercise, and a rapid relax exercise.
The meetings section offers a map with pins that indicate the location of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and other support groups. The settings page of the addiction recovery app gives recovering addicts a place to insert the date their recovery started, a place to add emergency contacts, and a photo of oneself.
While local approaches to addiction recovery may have an impact, other medical app developers have chosen to take a more global approach. The goal of Step Away, for instance, is to help anyone with a drinking problem to “become more aware of your drinking patterns and triggers… and [to] set an overall drinking objective (to either stop drinking OR moderate your drinking) as well as smaller intermediate goals to help you succeed in stages.”
Addiction Recovery Companion
By The City of Edinburgh Council
iPhone, iPad: iTunes
Dr. Iltifat Husain’s take:
This is the first time I’ve heard of a local government creating a customized addiction recovery app for their citizens. I’m impressed by the overall effort in tackling such a huge public health problem in a local manner. If you haven’t already — the CDC has some great public health medical apps for physicians. This medical app would make for a great study to track how many locals actually utilized the addiction recovery app for helping to manage their substance abuse issues.