RON AND DON

Can you game addiction? A Seattle-based app for addicts

Oct 23, 2018, 7:27 AM | Updated: 11:06 am

Can you game addiction? The new Seattle-based WeConnect app aims to help people in drug and alcohol addiction recovery treatment programs, and just raised $6 million.

“At the crux of what keeps people in recovery is accountability and connection to your support network. We created a mobile app that uses positive reinforcement, loving messaging, and rewards that improve quality of life,” co-founder Daniela Tudor told the Ron and Don Show.

WeConnect works by facilitating a supportive community in which numerous incentives help prevent people from relapsing. Along the way, the app tracks the recovery process, alerts friends and family if the person needs help, and allows users to accrue rewards for completing positive activities like attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

The app is sold to recovery facilities, who then offer it as aspect of the treatment process.

WeConnect app verifies that recovery activities are completed

“They choose who they connect with on the application, and then they add their own personal care plan activities, like meditation, support group meetings, and their therapy sessions. You get friendly, loving reminders to do those activities, and app also verifies that you arrived at that location and completed that activity.”

WeConnect has since raised $6.05 million to expand its team and create the next version of its app, The Seattle Times reports. The second version is expected to be released soon.

RELATED: Washington to get $30M for opioid battle

“We take a treatment center from a 28-day program and extend it to 365 days, and we have evidence that relapse is reduced 60 percent for someone that gets to day 365,” said co-founder Murphy Jenson. “We have people with over three years of recovery that have completed over 98 percent of their recovery activities … Whether it’s hospital systems, insurance providers, treatment centers and rehabs, or patients — they’re hungry for a solution that’s going to support their recovery from day one.”

While it functions in a similar way to a Fitbit, the app is not intended to have users strictly rely on it for help, and simply meant as a helping hand.

“This is not a platform to switch addictions to a technology addiction, but rather keep this being a motivating factor,” Tudor added. “I believe that technology can never replace human connection; it can only enhance it if it’s built the right way.”

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Can you game addiction? A Seattle-based app for addicts