New app to support Edinburgh's drug and alcohol recovery community launched

A mobile phone/tablet app to help support people in Edinburgh who are recovering from drug or alcohol addiction has been launched.

The Addiction Recovery Companion-Edinburgh (ARC-Edinburgh) is the result of a collaboration between the City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh Apps winners Anne-Marie Mann and Ella Robbins.  It aims to help its users to link to the extensive addiction recovery network in the capital, to track their progress and to boost motivation.

Features of the ARC-Edinburgh app

ARC-Edinburgh is free, confidential and does not gather any information about its users. The app helps people connect to recovery events, meetings and services, and to plan their time. People and groups organising events and meetings will share them through the app, and users will share inspirational quotes, articles or links that helped them.

The app has been developed with the help of people in recovery through a series of consultation events. These events, like the launch, were held at Serenity Cafe – Scotland’s first recovery café and a thriving community of people who support each other’s recovery. 


The app’s features include:

• Meetings: map and list of all of the regular recovery activities in the city: mutual aid meetings (such as Alcoholics Anonymous, or SMART recovery); social events and leisure groups. 
• Calendar: a planner for all of the appointments, meetings and events app users plan to attend. 
• Diary: a private journal for people to record their ups and downs in words or photos.
• Reflection: inspirational quotes and readings, mindfulness and relaxation exercises.
• Services: a map and list of professional services in the city.
• Counter (optional): app users can add how many days they have been in recovery. 
• Emergency: app users can press this when things are difficult and need to call or text one of their contacts (such as a friend, family member or sponsor).

Run by the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh Apps is the annual ‘civic challenge’ that encourages participants to develop digital services such as mobile apps, websites or product concepts to enhance life in the city for residents and visitors. It is one of the first events of its kind to take place in the UK, allowing entrants to work with Council and partner data to create new ideas.

Councillor Ricky Henderson, Health and Social Care Convener, said: “ARC-Edinburgh was the winner of the Council’s Edinburgh Apps competition in 2014 and it is fantastic to see their ideas take shape and come to life. I believe the end result will be a very useful tool for the recovery community in Edinburgh. The Council is proud to help launch this app on behalf of the Edinburgh Drug and Alcohol Partnership.

“Once downloaded, the app contains a menu of hundreds of things to do and can help its users to organise their time and find local services, facilities and groups on their doorstep that will help support them during their recovery.” 


David Williams, from Edinburgh Drug and Alcohol Partnership said: “We know that for many people trying to end their addiction and build a new life, spending time with others who have come through addiction is more helpful than anything else. There are over 150 events in Edinburgh every week where people in recovery come together to share their strength, hope and experience or just to take part in social, learning or leisure events. We hope that the app will enable people to find the support that helps them get on their feet as well as helping them to plan their time and keep focused.” 

Anne-Marie Mann, co-creator of the app, said: “The idea for ARC-Edinburgh came about in 2014, when we decided to enter the Edinburgh Apps competition. For us, we saw an opportunity to make Council services work for the people who use them. Luckily for us, the Council thought so too, and we have been working since January 2015 to make this a reality. We and our developer Dave Morrison have been working hard building the ARC app to help support people in recovery and are delighted to officially launch.”

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