Mobile app helps young adults talk with friends about risky drug, alcohol use

Wednesday November 17, 2021


person holding cell phone

(University of Illinois, March 3) A new smartphone app aims to teach young people how to talk to their friends if they suspect they have a problem with drug use. 

The app, called Harbor, is currently being developed by University of Illinois social work professor Douglas C. Smith. Smith also serves as director of the Center for Prevention Research and Development at the school. 

Through Harbor, users answer a series of questions about their friend’s substance misuse. The app then advises them on the seriousness of the problem. 

"Since young adults have really low rates of coming to treatment, we thought that this peer model might be a way of expanding the benefits of treatment to people who don't usually seek it," Smith said. Read more.