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Nassau County has new app for substance abuse services

Nassau lawmakers on Thursday announced a new phone app to help drug users access services and support to fight their addictions.  Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau officials on Thursday debuted an app containing a directory of substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery services to help residents find the resources they need quicker.

The free app, Nassau C.A.R.E.S., is available to download on Apple and Android devices.

“We know that we have to reach young people. We know that young people are on their smartphones. Giving young people an ability to search for help anonymously and immediately and putting information at the fingertips of other young people, I know it will save lives,” Nassau Legis. Joshua Lafazan (I-Woodbury) said at a news conference in Mineola.

Last year, Nassau lawmakers passed a bill directing county employees to create the smartphone app, which cost the county about $100,000 to build.

The acronym C.A.R.E.S. stands for connection, access, resources, education and support.

Inside the app, the category connection lists agencies and telephone numbers for those seeking help to deal with such issues as suicide, gambling, and abuse of drugs and alcohol.

Perhaps the most helpful feature is under resources, which allows users to search for treatment centers and other resources near their homes ZIP codes.

Teri Kroll, 61, of Lindenhurst, whose son, Timothy Kroll, 23, died in 2009 after a long battle with addiction to painkillers and heroin, said she didn’t know where to turn to get help for her son.

“We couldn’t find help at all because we didn’t know where to go,” Kroll said Thursday. “My God, now we can find help at our fingertips. This is all in one spot. To me, it’s unbelievable.”

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, who signed the bill, said she tried the app and it was easy to use.

“I had a chance to navigate the app. It is very easy to navigate. It’s easy to use," Curran said at the news conference. "And, I firmly believe that it will improve and save lives.”

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