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  • Lindy Backues

The Opposite Of Addiction is Connection: Sober Sidekick has the data to prove it.

Updated: Oct 2

We at Sidekick Mobile Technologies recently have been doing a deep dive into data available to us by way of the social network sobriety platform we designed, Sober Sidekick. Sober Sidekick recently surpassed the 130,000-user mark, a level of user participation that affords us significant understanding into the recovery process, provided we can successfully explore the heart of what those numbers mean. As we mined these data, we stumbled upon a correlation that, frankly, does not surprise us; but we do believe it might surprise others. This discovery also validates a primary reason we began this work in the first place: we have long believed that a decentralized mental health support tool can reward empathy and motivate people to assist others toward recovery. We feel our recent data discovery strongly validates such a belief. Here is what we found.





1. Our data show there is a strong correlation between continued and repeated platform user activity and a member’s ability to maintain sobriety.


As can be seen by the graphic above, for those Sober Sidekick members who respond to, reach out to, and/or assist other persons on the platform (by way comments offered to co-participants in the platform community – as indicated on the vertical axis), a need to change their Sober Date goes down in a parallel fashion (this is the date they indicate on the app showing when they last had a drink or when they last used an intoxicating substance – see the horizontal axis). What this means is, as users engage with each other and as they help each other cope, they themselves end up far better prepared to maintain their own sobriety. The data show that, in respect to Sober Sidekick users, a move to help others actually serves to help the person posting him- or herself. These posters of comments simply do not relapse as much. Thus, it is now possible to view regular and consistent activity that a user engages in by way of our app as a determining factor for a given member’s ability to maintain sobriety.

2. `We at Sober Sidekick have means for accurately tracking these data, since the app serves as a powerful tool for successfully doing that, and we monitor, support, and maintain it in an on-going and real-time manner.


With the proprietary technology we have hardwired into the app, it is possible for us to isolate, monitor, and accurately report on data sets like those we underscore here, first by way of isolating correlations like this (we are in search of other discoveries like this, so stay tuned!), and by doing so in an on-going, real-time manner, with parsed data sets potentially always at our fingertips. The data here is primary data, directly derived from real users, from concrete locations that indicate actual conditions persons struggling with addiction find themselves in. Our findings are not hypotheticals! Users create these data, they update these data, and they self-report in a way that is seamless and accurate. These data are reliable – and, thus, they have a very strong likelihood of offering sound understanding of the recovery process to those like us who wish to create a climate of greater connectivity, increased sobriety, and enhanced well-being for persons previously ensnared by addiction.


These data seem to indicate that use of our app produces bona fide results – and that makes us very happy. That is precisely why we at Sidekick Mobile Technologies felt led to enter this space in the first place.


3. Furthermore, this finding (and we hope others like it) also carries a message for outside parties who embrace common goals to ours, those who seek ways of controlling costs while still delivering potent recovery services to those in recovery space so in need of assistance.


To all those concerned about financial costs of recovery who might choose to partner with us, we can confidently say that we are able to deliver what is needed for realizing a reduction of cost per beneficiary tied to concrete, on-going results linked to authentic recovery stories. And what we are talking about here is not some sort of one-time data dump. With our technology linked directly to a real, large and growing recovery community, we should always be able to monitor data like these even as research activities and the results that derive from them scale up and become quite large. The technological mastery we have developed coupled with grassroots participant reporting ensures that increased scale will not present a problem for us; on the contrary, it should simply solidify the reliability of our data set, since it will be based upon an increasingly sizeable population.


But an unfortunate truth remains. We at Sidekick have noticed that many active in recovery services will not be rewarded as persons with addiction are successful in recovering from their struggles. Think about it: if recovery truly happens, many in this industry offering treatment, rehabilitation, and the like will end up not getting paid, whether by wealthy individuals or by insurance companies on the hook for payment, since the expert treatment models they have on offer are, frankly, reliant upon people continuing to fail, necessitating repeat participation in their program(s) of recovery, at times over and over and over. Reduction of recovery failure – for groups like this—will cost these types of players a good deal of money, since recovered persons no longer need to pay for their services. A central problem in all of this can be found in the fact the substance abuse treatment industry treats only the symptoms of addiction, since its business model thrives off of repeat customers instead of giving people their health, happiness, and lives back.


Most in the substance abuse treatment industry will never be potential collaborators for us, since we wish to reduce the degree to which those made vulnerable by addiction in their time of need are preyed upon by rapacious money-grabbers. Actual potential collaborators and partners for us will be those who also seek success in terms like we do, those who define programmatic and financial success (i.e., lowered cost per beneficiary) in terms of the degree to which individuals struggling with addiction are liberated into sobriety and connectivity. We believe our platform greatly helps in this process – in a way cost-effective and rewarding for end-users. Our members tell us that this is true (we read thousands of comments posted by our members that this is their experience).

So, for those truly interested in actual, verified recovery results – where persons seeking sobriety are helped to successfully achieve their own recovery objectives – our platform can serve both as a tool for helping thousands (perhaps even millions!) of persons achieve their sobriety goals, and it can also provide all of us with a means for tracking and verifying – over the long term – that we are actually achieving our goals. Moreover, it can achieve these worthy goals in a manner much more cost-efficient than most other approaches, by relying upon the vibrancy, the strength, and the resources of our members themselves, individuals who wish to realize sobriety goals far more than even we do.

Such a result will save lives; it will restore families; it will reduce costs. Our data tells us that.