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New addiction app teaches users to reverse overdose

King’s College London has launched a free app to support people who are in recovery or thinking about recovery.

A spokesman for King’s said SURE Recovery offers users personalised feedback based on their current progress, while also providing information on the life-saving drug naloxone, including what to do in the event of a heroin overdose.

Professor Jo Neale from the National Addiction Centre, King’s College London, led the project and has conducted numerous studies to better understand addiction, treatment, and recovery.

In recent years, she and her colleagues have developed tools to help people to monitor and reflect on their recovery, but also on their sleep, which is often an overlooked aspect of substance use. She said:

‘We were developing tools and attracting interest from across the globe, but that interest was mostly from people wanting to monitor and assess their patients. We knew that people in recovery wanted the tools in an app so that they could record and refer to their own scores in private.

‘We believe it will be a really useful tool for people, but we also want to find out how we can improve the app going forward. This is why it is so important to continue this vital joint work.’

Funded by a grant from Action on Addiction, with additional financial support from the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre, the app has been co-designed by researchers, people in recovery, and the digital health company Mindwave Ventures.

Paul Lennon, from the London-based peer mentoring service Aurora, worked on the project from the beginning. He said:

‘Being involved from the early stages means that people with direct experience of using substances can have a real sense of ownership of this app and its contents.

‘I believe that making a commitment to use this app once a day could really help people, particularly people who are in early recovery. The app is easy-to-use and modern. It’s exciting to see.’

Graham Beech, chief executive of Action on Addiction said the app had the potential to change the way those affected by addiction are treated.

‘We’re delighted to be able to work with Professor Neale and her team in developing and promoting this new app which will be instrumental in supporting people seeking recovery from addiction. Digital platforms have an important role to play in addressing the growing problems of addiction and we were very keen to be involved in this important project.

‘This is another great example of how our longstanding partnership with King’s has been able to support the development of pioneering research which has the potential to change the way we help those affected by addiction.’

SURE Recovery is available on both iOS and Android devices and is free to download and use. A spokesman for King’s said people who download the app will also be given the opportunity to participate in further research by sharing their data with the research team, and by providing feedback on the app.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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