The Rebound mobile app is poised to become a vital new tool in the struggle to reverse the tide of prescription drug addiction. The app empowers users to develop an individualised plan for regulating their medicine intake and stepping down their dosage in a safe, controlled manner while maximising well-being. Rebound is set to launch in December 2017; the first 100,000 people to sign up will enjoy 3 months of free access. Learn more here.
Prescription drug dependency and side-effects is a devastating global issue. One problem often encountered even by those taking medications as directed is the rebound effect: After extended usage, drugs lose their effectiveness and symptoms return with surprising force. Certain classes of drugs, including opioids, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications, are at higher risk of inducing the rebound effect. In any case, the effect is a major factor in drug dependence and addiction, which then leads to degraded quality of life and human suffering.
American Society of Addiction Medicine say that drug overdose has become the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., with over 50,000 such deaths in 2015. Nearly half of those overdoses were related to prescription pain relievers. The developers of Rebound see the app as an important asset in helping to reduce these numbers. One of the founders personally had 14 years of experience with drug dependency and withdrawals, before recovery. Millions of people are tapering off every day and there is a profound need for a higher level of support to these individuals.
Patients looking to reduce or stop their prescription medicine usage are encouraged to plan their withdrawal in collaboration with a medical professional. However, a doctor or nurse can’t be present 100 percent of the time, and that’s where the Rebound app comes in. With the app, users can develop a personalised step-down plan based on their specific medications and dosages. The app then alerts users about the amount of their next planned dosage and provides different features allowing them to keep track of their progress.
Symptom awareness and management is critical in pushing through withdrawal. The Rebound app allows users to track symptoms via daily symptom surveys. The app includes a list of common symptoms, and users can add their own. Every two weeks, Rebound generates a well-being score based on World Health Organisation metrics. By looking at all this data, patients can adjust their step-down plan, slowing it down or stabilise it, as symptoms and overall wellness allow.
For healthcare professionals, the benefits of offering the Rebound app to patients include improved adherence to instructions. When patients have a greater sense of control, outcomes are nearly always improved. Doctors can also receive progress data directly from the app if patients choose to send it, giving the opportunity for healthcare professionals to learn more about the withdrawal process in general. The goal is to ensure higher quality assurance when patients withdraw and preventing the increased amount of injuries occurred during a fast or wrong tapering process.
The development of the Rebound app has been made possible by a partnership between Business Angels and the head management behind the Misuse Portal, a Danish nonprofit organisation that provides education and support for those grappling with substance abuse. An associated Kickstarter campaign is now live to raise funds for optimising and bring awareness about the app worldwide.