New recovery app could help those suffering from addiction

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INDIANA - Indiana University of Pennsylvania is holding a conference this week in hopes to help fight against the opioid epidemic.

The Mid Atlantic Training and Research Institute for Community and Behavioral Health is bringing the community together to hear and discuss new ideas.

"We brought in teachers, workers and community members so we can work together on these problems and help stem this crisis in order to make our families and communities better," said Christian Vaccaro, associate professor of sociology.

One man, Ryan Brannon, introduced his "My New Leaf" app.

The app focuses to promote recovery and wellness and is aimed to target millennials.

"It can help them utilize their own motivation to sustain early recovery," said Brannon.

"My New Leaf" is an addiction recovery app.

"It's going to target people ages 14-30. I targeted the millennial generation, those really tied to their phones."

While the app will provide feedback and rewards to its users, Brannon said the app will also help addicts get through their day.

"It serves two purposes. It's a behavioral monitoring tool as well as a crisis relief function, if someone would need it in an emergency situation," said Brannon.

The app can also help fight against cravings and has motivational messages and tips.

"I want this to be both available as a tool to professionals and to anyone out in the wild, to provide similar benefits for coping and crisis relief while in the comfort of your own home," said Brannon.

The 27th annual MARTI Summer Conference goes on until Friday and hopes to find new ways to fight the growing opioid epidemic.

"We hope to build this up and become a catalyst to change in Western Pennsylvania," said Vaccaro.

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