New app developed by Valley man helps those in recovery stay sober
PHOENIX — With millions of Americans struggling with addiction, there’s a new app modernizing the way people stay sober through telemedicine.
iTether is a virtual one-stop shop for those who have recently left in-patient therapy and are transitioning back into their reality.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were more than 70,000 opioid overdose deaths in the United States in 2017, the same year Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey declared an opioid crisis in the state.
Brad Wilde, co-founder of iTether and a Valley resident, is one of many in the country who has been impacted by addiction.
“My involvement is personal,” Wilde said. “I’m a recovering person for 30+ years. I have seen over the years based on my personal journey and my experience working with a long-term provider here, both what works and what is lacking in the recovery continuum. What’s lacking is good, connective, out-patient care.”
He said leaving the comfort and security of in-patient care is difficult and can be extremely jarring.
“The last and perhaps most critical part of the recovery process is once you leave and go out the door,” Wilde said. “What tools do you have to go forward and live your life? The answer today is ‘not much.'” Wilde said.
The app compiles all of the services needed to help keep those in recovery on track.
“Your plan of care is essentially in your hand,” he said. “If you need to review lesson plans to keep you connected and sober, those are on your phone. If you need other resources for housing, job connection, meeting reminders, that’s all on your phone.
This includes being able to contact help directly through the app if you can’t get to a meeting soon enough in emergencies.
Wilde added the the app and program are even working to extend into the criminal justice and health-care aspects of addiction.
“There’s a lot of crossover between substance abuse recovery and criminal justice recovery,” he said. “We’ve found many of the tools used for the substance abuse folks are also used in the criminal justice recovery arena.”
Wilde said that creating the app helps to complete the mission of many addicts who have found success in sober living.
“We’re taking a rocket ship ride to helping a whole lot of people,” he said.
The app and platform were developed between Phoenix and St. Louis and first tested in the Valley over a three-year period.
iTether is now available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.