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State behind new app to help with drug addiction during pandemic

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In this different time of social distancing, an app has been launched for West Virginians in recovery from substance use disorder to make sure they are connected with treatment.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ (DHHR) Office of Drug Control Policy joined the Connections app this week in an effort to allow treatment providers across the state to stay connected and engaged with their patients.

Bob Hansen

“Given the present dynamics that we are all in with the pandemic, we thought it was a great step since we are all social isolating to provide this app. It’s one way to keep people in recovery connected and supported,” Bob Hansen, the Executive Director of the DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy told MetroNews.

Features of the Connections app include group discussions, peer support and socialization, one on one messaging with a care team, recovery progress tracking, and eTherapy programs for learning and practicing key recovery skills. Individuals use an alias name to maintain their anonymity within the online communities, which will only include other West Virginians.

According to Hansen, people who have used this app across the country have been able to stay in treatment longer.

Connections app

Continuing into this week are webinars with providers all over the state on app info and how to make it available to patients in recovery. Hansen said regardless of the COVID-19 outbreak, the app is a great tool to always be connected.

“We want to make it available to providers first and then to individuals in recovery second if they are not tied to a particular provider. We want this app to be used as much as possible by as many people as possible,” Hansen said.

The Connections app will be available, at no cost, to individuals through their treatment provider and to those in recovery who are no longer affiliated with a provider. The app is a component of the eRecovery solution from CHESS Health.

Providers and individuals in recovery wanting information about access to the Connections app or CHESS Health Platform can click HERE.

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