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Free Smartphone App Offering Telehealth Support for those Struggling with Addiction During COVID-19

Addiction Policy Forum and CHESS Health Partner to Launch Technology Proven to Reduce Relapse and Support Individuals in Recovery



Jay Ruais

M: 603.475.0332

North Bethesda, MD, March 19, 2020 – As the nation grapples with COVID-19, it is important to remember that social distancing does not mean social isolation. Connection is critical to maintain sobriety for those struggling with substance use disorder (SUD), who rely on supportive networks as a crucial part of the recovery journey.

To address this urgent issue, the Addiction Policy Forum has partnered with CHESS Health to make available their free Connections App, which supports patients in recovery by offering anonymous, prosocial engagement with others in recovery, connections to their care team, digital cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and other engaging and helpful features. In clinical studies and implementations worldwide, the Connections App has been proven to reduce rates of relapse and heavy substance use.

Through the Connections App, the Addiction Policy Forum will supply trained counselors with a Telehealth strategy to help individuals with SUD maintain recovery. Training will occur daily from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Both companies will collaborate to moderate online discussion groups for individuals to support one another and share recovery strategies in a safe, anonymous setting.

To request the free app, individuals should visit the Addiction Policy Forum’s Connections App landing page:

“With more than 23 million Americans in recovery, it is essential that they be provided with the necessary tools to be successful. Particularly now, in the midst of this pandemic, we need to redouble our efforts to offer connection and support for individuals in treatment for SUD and those in recovery,” said Jessica Hulsey Nickel, founder of Addiction Policy Forum. “We are hopeful that bringing this much-needed technology to Americans across the country will help in this highly stressful time.”

“We’re hearing from our customers and the recovery community that people are unable to get to 12-Step meetings and outpatient therapy because of the implications of COVID-19. At this moment they need help more than ever,” said Hans Morefield, chief executive officer of CHESS Health. “We’re pleased to work with Jessica and the team at the Addiction Policy Forum to offer another path, on such short-notice, to support those in recovery during such a difficult time.”


About Addiction Policy Forum

Addiction Policy Forum is a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating addiction as a major health problem. Our national headquarters are located in Washington, DC with resources and services in every state. More information on our mission and projects is available at our website,

About CHESS Health

CHESS Health creates innovative solutions designed at the intersection of science, technology and recovery. Founded by nationally recognized substance abuse researcher Dr. Dave Gustafson, CHESS developed A-CHESS, the leading evidence-based relapse prevention technology. By integrating A-CHESS into treatment plans, providers can best support those in recovery with access to predictive relapse analytics, condition-specific content and access to live support, which reduces relapse by 50% while decreasing costs and saving lives. The recent addition of eReferral capability prior to treatment, and an eTherapy functionality during treatment, creates an industry-leading technology platform to support the full continuum of care. CHESS Health has received recognition from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), the Journal of Substance Abuse, and the Surgeon General. For more information, visit


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