App helps treatment

2016-10-11 15:31
Ashley Potts, director of the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre, says a new cellphone app to provide local treatment information has received great response.

Ashley Potts, director of the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre, says a new cellphone app to provide local treatment information has received great response.

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Finding accredited treatment facilities closer by is now at your fingertips.

The Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre (CTDCC) in Eastridge last month launched its official app that provides addicts and families affected by addiction easy access to information on abuse, treatment and stories of others who overcame addiction.

Ashley Potts, CTDCC director, says the app was first proposed in a meeting and took only a few months to create.

The app was launched at the centre’s recent annual meeting and it was “a total hit”, says Potts.

The app offers information on the 50 treatment centres nearest to a user. The closest one will be shown first.

The app also gives users additional information on opening times and costs.

The app will update as the user moves around and will always show the closest treatment centres and support groups when you log on.

Another feature of the app allows the user to navigate his way to the centre of his choice.

Potts says he has seen a more cohesive approach from all the stakeholders and it is no longer competitive.

“We are working together and you can see that at the annual meetings. There is this energy among all of us that we want to work together and the app is doing just that,” says Potts.

“It is helping every treatment service be able to tell parents who are worried about support groups, treatment services and about any questions they may have about addiction.”

The app is available for download on Android phones for free.

“Most people have Android phones, so it becomes a very common and easy tool,” he says.

Registration is simple and users will only need to register and log in once.

The app cost around R80 000 to create and was made possible through a donation by the designer Nico Huysamen. Huysamen’s wife Shareé, project coordinator at the Atlantis branch, initially suggested the app in a meeting which started the process.

The app took three months to build.

“The services are now being made widely available and you have everything you need at your fingertips,” says Potts.
Support for the app is growing steadily and Potts hopes more stakeholders will come on board to further develop and improve the app.

But although the application is a useful tool to help addicts and those affected by addiction, Potts says it only provides advice and information and will not replace treatment by registered and trained professionals.

“This is not a replacement of any treatment or a personal encounter with a trained professional,” says Potts.

“[These encounters] are what all the registered and listed services offer. This will only allow them the information about what is available to them. The stories, the questions and the quotes are not going to allow them to help someone else to get away from drugs. It will merely provide a means of information to them.”

Potts says he is willing to allow for the app to be further developed through input from other treatment facilities.

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