Opioid BLOG

The world is now on the offensive when it comes to drug addiction prevention, treatment and recovery. In the U.S., the federal government continues to fund programs and create initiatives towards this goal.

One exciting and recent initiative involves the use of technology to help in opioid addiction recovery. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) plans to develop a mobile application that aims to "provide opioid recovery support for patients receiving medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders." While the Opioid Recovery Support app is still not available, the organization is tapping onto the skills of mobile app developers by launching an app-making contest.

SAMHSA believes that mobile technology can have a significant impact on the lives of opioid addicts who are currently in recovery. The benefits of mobile apps on other diseases may also be translated to aid in addiction recovery measures. "Just as there are apps to help people with diabetes manage their disease, people in recovery from opioid use disorder could benefit from an app that provides features and information that support their recovery," said SAMHSA in a statement.

The project is looking into five areas where a mobile app could be of effective use:

    1. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), specifically on checking for dosages and side effects of recovery drugs such as methadone and naltrexone.
    2. How to live through MAT, such as parenting and family involvement
    3. Prevention of relapse through habit formation, engagement in healthy activities, or involvement in recovery support meetings.
    4. Motivational tools to support relapse prevention, such as calendar alerts, access to family and hobby photos, and link to motivational videos and online resources
    5. Management tools to help manage doctor's appointments, treatment times, and work-life schedules

Legal residents in the U.S. 18 years old and above may take part in the competition. Entries may be developed by individuals, teams, or organizations of up to 100 employees.

The contest will run until May 28, 2016. Prizes available are as follows:
    • First prize: $15,000, and a complimentary entry to the 2016 AATOD conference in October to present the app
    • Second prize: $7,500
    • Third prize: $5,000
    • Honorable mention: $1,000 for each of the five areas / insights

For more information, visit the Hackathon page and read the contest rules.