Recovering from addiction requires the help of an active support community, family and friends. But not everyone who needs this kind of assistance has the support systems in place. This is why Lucien Izraylov, an addiction counselor who is also a recovering addict has created an app that can help those without support structures to get a little extra help when they need it.
The app, called Harmredux, is meant to bridge the gap for people who suffer from a substance use disorder. By pressing an emergency button, users can be connected one-on-one with a volunteer ready to help them, day or night. Volunteer provide more than a listening ear, they also can meet up with the caller. The volunteer will bring Narcan, an opioid-overdose reversal drug if there are signs of an overdose.
By assessing the drug user’s physical and mental state, they can decide to call emergency services or help the user get a referral for drug and alcohol treatment. Most importantly, they will be there for people who need somebody to talk to, and hopefully, refer them to help for their addiction.
For people who are hiding their addiction or worry about their family or employer finding out. All calls are anonymous, and the app gives people the promise of a person they can call when they’re ready for help with no strings attached.
“Not everyone will use it, but it’s nice to have an option. It’s a foolproof way to stay alive. It’s strictly to stay there and make sure they don’t die. Just to be within eyesight. If (an overdose) happens, we intervene,” he told the Herald & Review.
Izraylov understands this mentality because that’s the way he lived when he was using drugs. He tried to keep his addiction a secret. He hopes he can help stop overdoses with his volunteers. While he knows it probably won’t make a huge impact, the prospect of saving lives from addiction was worth the work as an essential tool.
“I think we need as much as we can out there to keep people alive so they can recover,” he said.