Research suggests that there are 240 million people worldwide who are dependent on alcohol, according to results published in the journal Addiction. Figures from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) show that around 29 million people suffer from drug use disorders.
Yet, what if it was now possible for those suffering from chronic and fatal diseases, such as drug and alcohol addiction, to manage their addictions better?
Hayver, a new drug, and alcohol recovery app, is aiming to provide a solution for those suffering from addiction while incentivising users with its own cryptocurrency, the Duitcoin, which will be issued using Ethereum. Based on the use of a drug and alcohol verification system, behavioural models, and a circle of support, users will have a real-time look at the progress they are making, all of which will be on the blockchain for greater transparency.
Speaking to CoinJournal, John M. Copenhaver, MD, and co-founder and chief medical officer of Hayver Corporation, explained that the creation of Hayver was the result of his own struggle with alcohol and opiate addiction.
“I had retired my medical license years earlier so I was no longer in a physician’s monitoring program meaning that I was no longer subject to random drug and alcohol screens,” he said. “I knew that physicians and pilots have a five-year recovery rate often in the ninety percentile and the rest of the general public, now like myself, had around a three percent chance of abstinence for five years.”
He said he saw an opportunity to create an app that allowed for random drug and alcohol screening with peer-to-peer accountability for public use.
“I simply wanted to give myself and everyone else a better chance of staying in recovery,” he added.
He’s clear, though, when he says that this can in no way replace the community benefits of 12-step programs. Instead it should be looked at as an additional support system to recovery.
Every user on the app has a peer group, also known as a circle of support, of between five and 20 people. According to Copenhaven, most have 10 in their support group. These can be made up of loved ones or people going through a similar situation, who help the individual embrace a sober lifestyle.
Each day, users are required to check-in to the Hayver app. On their dashboard, they will be able to see the number of days they have remained sober, their check-in percentage, and any reward points they have achieved. Users will also be selected at random to submit a urine sample using a home testing kit. These tests are shown to someone in their circle of support with the results entered into the app. The network is notified that a sample was submitted and who verified the sample. The urine test screens for 11 drugs, including popular opiates, and alcohol that goes back five days said Copenhaven.
“Remember, this is peer-to-peer accountability with no legal stipulations involved whatsoever,” he added. “My wife is the person I show my results to and the impact it has had on rebuilding trust in our relationship is priceless.”
Like any chronic disease, a daily maintenance routine is the best way to staying healthy. The same is for addiction, explains Copenhaven. Unfortunately, there is nothing stopping the person from not checking in each day except for the encouragement from their circle of support. If someone feels that someone in their group is slipping they can order an anonymous spot check.
Another way to maintain a healthy pattern is by incentivising app users. Through the Hayver Duitcoin Incentive program members and the people in their support network can earn Duitcoins. These can be used to purchase goods and services from Hayver such as monitoring subscriptions or breathalysers.
“Similar to the pink ribbons of the Susan G. Komen foundation to bring breast cancer out of the shadows and into the public eye, the Duitcoins are a symbol of courage to raise awareness of removing the social stigma for people suffering from this mental illness,” explained Copenhaven.
Duitcoins will be earned when a user exhibits healthy behaviours. According to Copenhaven, there are algorithms behind the rewards engine that looks at the daily interaction with the app and determines the daily reward. Primarily, though, members will earn Duitcoins by checking in and submitting negative urine samples. The ability for the member to exchange Duitcoin to fiat may be regulated via smart contracts and the circle of support. In this instance, a stipulation of remaining sober for six to 12 months could be put into place before the exchange can take place, suggests Copenhaven.
So far, the results are proving positive for the team. Of those checking in daily 90 percent of the time they are still sober. However, those checking in less than 90 percent have all relapsed.
Copenhaven ends by saying that he hopes to raise the five-year recovery rate for anybody suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction.
“I’m hoping for random drug and alcohol screen monitoring to be standard of care treatment for everyone coming out of treatment centers and recovery residences,” he added. “It will be one day. The physicians treating addicts and alcoholics know that monitoring works yet they continue to not suggest it for everyone.”