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Addiction Recovery App Developed in Washington, DC Boosts Anonymous Peer Support
A brand new mobile app that offers real time and stigma free support for sobriety in a fun and engaging environment has been launched in Washington DC and shows promise.
By: Addiction Now
Sober.ly gives iOS and Android users the chance to connect with others in recovery to experience an enhanced approach to most traditional addiction treatment programs.
"We are not looking to replace traditional recovery programs by any means. I think there's a tremendous amount of good that comes from traditional treatment plans, 12-step meetings and things of that nature," explained Nathan Perkins, the founder, and CEO of Sober.ly.
He added: "We're trying to enhance recovery programs with a platform that people can use from the comfort of their own homes, whenever they need support. And I think that appeals to a lot of people, especially younger generations."
He also mentioned that he utilized his own experiences going through recovery for the past nine years to create the mobile app.
"I figured that there were a lot of people out there like me," he said. "I have always struggled to go to 12-step meetings. I don't really like to speak in public settings and I am very busy. At one point, I hit a wall in my recovery and I thought I could create something because I couldn't really find anything great out there — that I thought it was impactful, stimulating and engaging but also convenient and with a real-time format. So, that's how the concept was born."
Sober.ly encourages users to create an avatar rather than use their personal information to represent them within the community when they first sign into the app.
With the avatars, the app touches a segment of the addiction recovery population that would likely not be comfortable seeking assistance or engaging in peer support.
"The idea is to get people talking," Perkins said. "After people create the avatar, they are placed into a scene. There are a variety of virtual environments that we've created for people to participate in conversations with others. They can be as anonymous as they want but they are free to use their real names."
One of the goals of the developers of the app was to give users the chance to experience stigma-free peer support in an engaging and encouraging but also fun environment.
"Stigma is a huge problem," Perkins said. "I deal with it myself and I think everyone in recovery deals with issues related to stigma. I benefited tremendously from going into a treatment program and having that experience but it is really hard for people to reach out for help because they are afraid of whatever consequences they perceive there may be."
Updates and new features are going to be added to the app sporadically to help users stay sober. Sober.ly is free to download and use.