Affect combines cash rewards and therapy in an app to fight meth addiction – Forbes

Anne Field interviewed Affect CEO Kristin Muhlner for Forbes in April 2021 about our approach to digital methamphetamine and cocaine addiction treatment. Applying game design theory and incentives to activate the brain’s reward system instead of substance abuse is shown to be more successful in reducing stimulant use.

Affect’s app is a gateway to an entire care team that a member can carry with them at all times, bringing scientifically-proven effective treatment to more people. Read more below:

It doesn’t get that much attention, but the methamphetamine epidemic in the U.S. is startlingly widespread and lethal. The number of overdose deaths involving meth increased 7.5 times from 2007 to 2017, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse. And, while there were 1.6 million users in 2017, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more current estimates peg the number at 3 million.

Kristin Muhlner is CEO of Affect Therapeutics, a startup that developed a smartphone app to treat meth and cocaine addiction using game design theory and contingency management.
Kristin Muhlner

At the same time, effective treatment often relies on behavioral therapy programs that aren’t tailored to the needs of meth addicts, according to Kristin Muhlner, CEO and cofounder of addiction treatment startup Affect Therapeutics. There is no FDA-approved medical therapy for methamphetamine user disorder.

That’s why in 2020, Muhlner joined forces with Dr. Jeff De Flavio, a founder of opioid addiction treatment programs, among other  ventures aimed at broadening access to healthcare, to launch Affect, a New York City startup with an app-based treatment program for meth addicts that combines reward systems—paying cash for achieving certain tasks—with group therapy.

The article continues at Forbes