Indiana University of Pennsylvania senior Ryan Brannon was concerned by the number of young people suffering from addiction but avoiding seeking treatment based on long-standing stigmas attached to chemical dependency. Several of the college students’ own close friends had experienced drug addiction and alcoholism – and despite having no personal experience with addiction himself, Brannon knew there had to be a way that he could help. Thus, he developed an addiction and addiction recovery appliction called “My New Leaf,” geared predominantly toward the tech-savvy and younger generation – specifically those who had fallen victim to chemical dependency and were not comfortable reaching out to agencies or counselors.
New App Designed for Recovering Addicts
Brannon and his team of developers are currently only several months away from releasing the addiction recovery application, which is designed to help addicts and alcoholics age 12-25 seek help confidentially and easily. The app will combine feedback with friendly motivation in a game-like atmosphere, while anonymous data is simultaneously collected to enhance the individualized experience of each user. Users will begin each visit to the app by documenting how they are feeling both physically and emotionally using sliding bars. They will then continue on with the ability to explore numerous motivational stories, videos, and several interactive elements. As a user progresses in his or her recovery, he or she will receive rewards and achievements.
There will also be a “panic button” featured on the addiction recovery application, which a user can push to receive immediate and emergency help from an addiction helpline or user-selected friends. The “panic button” will help with drug cravings and other potentially detrimental experiences and situations while providing personal assistance or instant diversions, which will sometimes be equally as effective. Most severe drug cravings only last up to 15 minutes, thus providing a simple diversion such as a game may be successful in eliminating impulsive thoughts.
App Set to Launch in Several Months
The development team will keep track of user data to improve and alter the app over time to make it as effective to its users as possible. The team has not yet settled on a way of monetizing the app, though they are considering having agencies pay a small subscription fee to include the app in their treatment plans. Of course, the team’s ultimate goal is to be able to provide a free version of the app for the general public to download cost-free. The team is fundraising and optimizing the app for launch – be sure to follow @My_NewLeaf on Twitter for updates.