Now, there's a app for that.
Safe and Anonymous
The new ann-e app for the iPhone is a peer-to-peer application which brings people in recovery together over a safe and secure communications tool for mutual support.
"The ann-e app provides a vehicle for a safe and anonymous way to stay connected with other recovering addicts, no matter where you are," said Annie, the application's inventor, in an email interview. "Whether you've missed your plane, at a conference, walking down the aisle of a big box store, or in your own backyard, there is someone not far from you who will understand and anonymously support you to do the next right thing."
A Network of SupportAnnie came up with the idea for the ann-e anonymous network after a encounter at her local grocery store with someone with an eating disorder and a cart full of junk food. The extremely obese man could not even make eye contact.
"I thought later what if that man had known, even before walking into the store, that there were people close by who understood addiction and who could help because they themselves were in recovery?" said Annie who then began her quest to put together a network of addicts from more than four-dozen different 12 Step programs.
How It WorksThe ann-e application brings all the latest technological bells and buzzers to 12-step support. Here's some of the features and how they work:
- Users registered their affiliation with one or more 12-step programs and their anonymous username.
- Those who want to help others can put themselves "on call" and receive notifications when someone asks for support.
- Initial contact is made by instant text message, but the conversation can be moved to a voice conference line.
Locating Support Face-to-FaceBut Annie's idea of a worldwide safety net doesn't stop with text and voice contact. Once a ann-e user has developed a trusted relationship with another member, they can exchange contact information to help identify each other on the network in the future.
The names of the persons that you have contacted before will show up on the top of the list of "on call" helpers. Members can also add their friends from their regular face-to-face meetings to their contact list, if their friends have an iPhone.
Members can also choose to reveal their geographic locations via the iPhone's GPS capabilities, so that you can see if anyone in the ann-e network is close by and potentially available to meet face-to-face. You can also use ann-e to locate nearby 12-step meetings.
A Worldwide Safety NetAnnie envisions a time when members can launch their ann-e app and instantly locate others in the support network nearby no matter where in the world they are.
"As more of us become aware of ann-e, the world will certainly become our safety net," Annie said. "We are each such a wonderful resource for each other. No one need ever feel alone again. No one need ever lose another precious minute to this disease of addiction."
Available on iPhone, iPodThe ann-e application is available from iTunes for $4.99. Ann-e is available on the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch, and the iPod touchG. The iPhone may be used on WiFi, 3G and Edge networks. The iPod may be used on WiFi networks.
The iPhone and iPod do not support Bluetooth networking.