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“We lost him 48 hours after his third rehab. His third 28-day program. And there was nothing. No place to take him,” recalls Beth Bullock of losing her oldest son, Robby, to an overdose in 2014.
Nearly 10 years later, Beth – founder of Brave Choices, a non-profit committed to supporting those impacted by addiction – is hoping a new app, R-silience, will help struggling individuals and families find the help they need.
R-silience provides real-time, location-based access to bed availability, house policies, treatment programs and more to help people struggling with addiction find recovery housing that fits their individual sobriety needs. Created by an interdisciplinary team from Miami University, led by M. Cameron Hay-Rollins, Ph.D., and in partnership Interact for Health, the R-silience app takes the guesswork out of finding supportive, appropriate housing so that people can continue their recovery journey.
“I have not seen anything out there that makes as big of a dent in the addiction epidemic in our city as recovery housing,” says Tyler Schmidt of the LIT Movement, a residential recovery program with three sites throughout the city. “This app is going to open the door for access to recovery housing on a more efficient level, a safer level.”
Research underscores the importance of safe and supportive housing during recovery from drug and/or alcohol addiction. Benefits include accountability, peer-to-peer support, and life, coping and other recovery skills, as well as wraparound services such as employment, transportation and other assistance. In a study funded by Interact for Health and in partnership with Miami University’s Global Health Research Innovation Center, recovery housing providers estimated that as many as 50% of people in treatment may benefit from recovery housing.
But the Interact for Health research also underscores a very real challenge: availability and understanding of recovery housing in Greater Cincinnati remains alarmingly low. And for individuals seeking support, finding the right fit can be both overwhelming and inefficient. According to the Recovery Housing in Ohio 2021 Environmental Scan, word of mouth, referrals and even binders of printed materials continue to be the top resources for connecting individuals with recovery housing. In addition to being outdated, options may not always reflect a person’s choices, preferences or needs, which can lead to a shorter length of stay and threaten their long-term sobriety.
Supporting the R-silience app is part of Interact for Health’s commitment to continue listening to the needs of the community, explains Kate Schroder, President & CEO of Interact for Health. “Our goal is to make this app widely available to anyone involved in recovery support,” she says.
For their part, Tyler, Beth and other supporters are committed to spreading the word about R-silience to individuals, families and recovery houses alike, and are calling on community members to do the same.
“This will change the recovery experience,” says Beth. “Because the real work starts after treatment ends and sober living begins.”
R-silience is available through the Apple App Store and Google Play.
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