Archive for Monday, August 25, 2014

New app helps addicts stay on path to recovery

August 25, 2014


Salina — Temptation is always lurking, Jerry Hassler said, poised to nudge you back into drug and alcohol abuse.

He’s been sober for five months, but a return to destructive behavior is always one bad decision away. Hassler, 28, has fallen from his recovery before.

“It’s every minute of every day,” he said. “For me, the hardest part is when I’m down and out or depressed and there is nobody to talk to. That’s basically when a relapse happens.”

But technology from the Addiction Center for Health Enhancement System Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison offers a useful tool.

With the simple click of a smartphone app, assistance zooms in from cyberspace, and more often than before, helps to bring calm at critical moments and keeps addicts on the recovery path, The Salina Journal reports.

“(ACHESS) is aimed at extending the use of the Internet and cellphones for options, for recovery tools, to help you stay clean and sober,” said Les Sperling, CEO of Central Kansas Foundation, a Salina-based nonprofit organization that helps people suffering from substance abuse.

A member of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, Hassler has been given a way to stay more closely attached to people trying to help him.

“This makes it easier to get past a crisis period. You’ve got your support right there,” Hassler said. “It’s like an AA meeting on your phone.”

In the process, he can offer help to someone else who is in a bad way.

Central Kansas Foundation used a $23,800 grant from the Kansas Health Foundation for its KanRecover project and subscribed to the app program.

Currently, 54 of CKF’s 197 clients from Salina, McPherson, Abilene and Junction City are using the app, and another dozen are about to join in, said Shane Hudson, vice president of clinical operations at CKF. The nonprofit agency is licensed to sign up 100 clients.

“We hope to expand ACHESS and get it out to even more people,” Hudson said. “Anyone struggling with addiction and has a smartphone can get signed up for the app.”

For information, call 825-6224, and ask for the Pathfinder Recovery Center.


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