The Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NJC) is providing clients with alcohol and other drugs dependency with a relapse prevention app to help cope with cravings, avoid risky situations, and stay focused on beating addiction.

Called eRecovery this is the first use of an evidence-based relapse prevention app in Australian courts, and the first use of this app in Australia overall.

NJC General Manager, Rachel Powning says the year-long trial will test the effectiveness of eRecovery to prevent relapse and, ultimately, contribute to reduced offending.

 

eRecovery comprises a Connections app (for clients) and Companion app (for clinicians).

Clients customise eRecovery with content that meets their needs, including treatment plans, relapse triggers, intervention strategies, motivational drivers, and services and people to contact in times of need.

Features include:

  • GPS-enabled warnings of high-risk locations,
  • Beacon button to access a 24/7 helpline and support,
  • Daily check-ins
  • Journaling 
  • Goal setting and progress surveys, which gives clinicians a detailed picture of clients’ progress.

The app also provides dynamic updates on risk and protective factors, enabling clinicians to have more insight into clients’ progress and to tailor their treatment accordingly.

Clinicians can also organise appointments, message clients and even send medication reminders through the app.

All features combine to give clinicians a detailed picture of their client's progress which supports their recovery.

Participation is voluntary, and does not affect the outcome of clients' matters.

By the trial’s end, the NJC will have a solid evidence base about potential broader use of eRecovery in problem-solving and specialist courts.

The University of Melbourne is the NJC’s research partner for the trial.

The Magistrates' Court of Victoria 's Court Fee Pool is funding the trial.

Developed by the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies at the University of Wisconsin, eRecovery is in widely used in the US, including in two drug courts and a family drug treatment court. Outside the US, Waikato District Health Board, New Zealand, is also using the app.

 

For more contact Louise Bassett, Manager, Innovation: 03 9948 8777