HEALTH

NJ company creates online, step-by-step guide for addiction recovery

BY Michael Hill, Correspondent |

Twenty-eight years after seeking treatment, Brian McAlister is still in recovery. The best-selling author and founder of a wellness center says he’s taken what he’s learned and put it in an interactive, online guide, called Freedom 365 Virtual Recovery System.

“It is the first virtual recovery system. Part of the issue with recovery now is only four percent of the population has the type of insurance that will allow them to get treatment. The four percent that need it, at least 96 percent of the population needing addiction treatment with no way to address this life-altering disease,” said McAlister.

McAlister says Freedom 365 does not replace calling 911 for emergency help and does not replace treatment. He says it’s meant to support treatment and aftercare.

“You can get in on your phone, you can get it on your PC, you can get in on your tablet. 24/7, 365 days a year you have interactive recovery content in a whole suite of tools that was really designed to help interrupt the negative thinking pattern, keep people sober, keep them from relapsing and help them achieve their potential,” he said.

McAlister says the program takes advantage of technological advancements, is HIPPA compliant, is confidential and encrypted, and takes subscribers on a 28-day journey that tests their compliance and encourages them to set goals and take action.

He says the program forces those who use it to be honest with themselves and about where they are on their road to recovery.

“It’s almost like a gamification. It encourages use. It makes it fun. It can’t be preachy. Nobody could have made me get sober. I had to want it, and this makes people want to want it,” McAlister said.

McAlister launched Freedom 365 this summer. He says it’s catching the eye of major American companies looking for innovations in treatment. A serious health concern but some humor to sum up some reaction.

“My partner Steve always says it will ruin your drinking and drugging. You’ll know too much. You can’t hide behind ignorance any more. If you have this issue, if you have this disease that I have which is known as drug and alcohol addiction, you will recognize yourself in here. But it will also give you solutions — fun solutions, enjoyable solutions. It can’t be punitive. It can’t be something that you have to do. It’s got to be something you want,” McAlister said.