West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Tuesday that the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources would partner with CHESS Healthcare to provide those recovering from substance use disorder with a recovery-supportive smartphone app.
The app, called Connections, will allow treatment providers to keep in touch with their patients while providing patients with a way out of isolation. CHESS Healthcare, developer of evidence-based addiction telehealth platform, said the app will help patients stay on track while under stay-at-home orders to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Justice said the app was a necessary move in the fight against substance abuse in that state.
“We need to do everything in our power to keep helping these people move forward in their lives, not backward. That’s exactly what this app is going to allow us to do,” Justice said. “Over the past few years, we’ve made tremendous progress in our fight against the opioid epidemic in West Virginia. We’ve given people struggling with addiction real hope and access to opportunities like never before. But, as we’ve had to separate from each other to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus, it’s been really tough on those who may truly need the support of others to stay on a path toward recovery.”
The app features aspects like group discussions, peer support and socialization, one-on-one messaging with care providers, recovery progress tracking, and eTherapy programs for patients. Individuals using the app do so under aliases to maintain their anonymity.
“This innovative tool is important in helping West Virginians reach their recovery goals,” said Bob Hansen, Executive Director of the DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy. “The Connections app will allow residents in recovery to stay connected with supportive peers and their care team when they can’t attend in-person treatment and AA meetings.”
The app is free to individuals through their provider, as well as those who are in recovery but no longer have a provider.
The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services plans to offer a training program on…