Elyssa Wiecek , Clinical Reseach officer, Arli
Our mission is to build the largest and most connected ecosystem of support for people fighting addiction.
Soon marks the launch of Arli and this is our promise.
Arli has the potential to become something truly great, and we promise we understand the responsibility that comes with that. From the beginning and with every step, Arli is made for those affected by addiction, to change the stories we all know of those who have struggled and to make a better future for those still battling.
We promise to hold ourselves to the highest standards to create the best ecosystem of support for you and your loved ones in the
fight against addiction.
Between 2010 and 2015, the number of drug deaths in upstate New York surged over 84%. My hometown of Buffalo saw a 256% increase in per-capita drug deaths alone in the state. I was a newly minted pharmacy intern, being unleashed from my protected white suburban upbringing straight into the front line of the opioid epidemic. Between the summers of 2011 to 2013, I experienced firsthand the desperation of opioid-addicted patients, due to no fault of their own. I watched a family I grew up with and care deeply about fight addiction, and I heard about old high school classmates passing away from opioid overdoses. I will always remember my sister’s shaking voice over the phone as she told me our friend lost his well-fought battle with addiction and mental health.
I continued my training as a pharmacist, vowing to uphold my healthcare duty to help end the opioid epidemic. I was 23 when I realised the front line wasn’t the best fit for me and became more enthralled with the research behind healthcare practice. I pursued my PhD beginning a new adventure in Australia in 2016 and through a deep interest and a bit of luck, found myself dreaming of the future and potential of digital health. When the COVID-19 lockdown took over, I was introduced to Sally’s vision of helping those battling addiction. The dream of digital health outlined in my thesis was becoming a reality as the world was quickly adapting to a new digital landscape. The idea that we could be so far apart, but an app could keep us connected and supported immediately hooked me in and the Arli dream started coming to life.
A dreamy save-the-world vision could attract anyone, but the real reason I wanted to work for Arli was based on my first conversation with Sally. She understood the responsibility of digital health, and wanted to do it right: ethically, morally, and scientifically. While Arli is not a medical treatment, our core values still align with my healthcare identity: first, do no harm.
We believe in Arli and the potential it has to help those battling addiction, but we must always strive to be critical, evaluate constantly, and continue to improve.
As Clinical Research Officer at Arli, I promise to do just that. The constant evaluation of our app is vital not only for our internal integrity but to prove Arli’s worth to our members and stakeholders. We are partnering with respected universities, researchers and organisations to hold us to our highest standard and potential.
As we build the app from the ground up, every piece is backed by science. Countless research articles and studies from experts in the field inform every function of Arli. And to clarify, Arli is not reinventing the wheel; we are enabling better access and reach to proven strategies through technology. As we continue to develop and evaluate, every ounce of knowledge we gain from assessing Arli will go right back in to improve Arli. Our vision of Arli’s future far exceeds proving our app as an effective tool. While we prioritize Arli serving as the best support for addiction recovery, we are also excited by the other ways Arli’s technology enables us to learn. Randomised controlled trials remain the gold standard of research, yet they still have limitations. The data we gain from members using our app in their everyday lives, outside of a clinical or research setting, can be valuable to understanding the true reality of recovery. The more we advance Arli to better understand patterns of triggers or assess progress by other means than substance use, the more we can learn and advance the entire field of addiction recovery. We dream of Arli, but we also dream of a better and more holistic future for recovery.
So this is our promise on our launch. That we are in this fight due to our own stories and passion, and promise to stay in your corner always. That we will continue to build on the hard work of the researchers and everyday workers in the field. That we will always hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards while building an ecosystem for support and recognition. That we will be transparent and open as we continue to learn and improve. That we will never stop working to rewrite the stories of the lost battles to addiction and will always strive for a better future for those still fighting.
Clinical Research Officer