Eastern Kentucky students create app to help the opioid crisis

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PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT)- Students at Pikeville High School created an app that law enforcement believes could help save lives.

Students with The Empty Chair Project created an app that helps people learn signs and symptoms and where those dealing with addiction can get help.

"Almost every family in Eastern Kentucky deals with drug addiction in some way, form, or fashion," said Sarah Belcher, a member of the Empty Chair Project.

For families who may know someone dealing with addiction now help is in the palm of your hand.

"And so we thought using the internet, using apps and, like, using social media just to get the word out and figure out ways to help," said Olivia Whitfield, a member of the Empty Chair Project.

The mission of The Empty Chair Project is to help with the opioid crisis through outreach to programs in the community.

"To find out, like the statistics of based on how many people in our community this has happened to, overdoses and how many were addicted to drugs it was a crazy amount for our little town of Pikeville," said Bailey Lovern, a member of the Empty Chair Project.

Teaming up with Bit Source their app features individual tabs to help people learn signs and symptoms, who they can call for help and what programs are offered in the region.

"You know that people are addicted, but you don't know what to do once they are or if you are even in that case so it's a way to show that there are programs in Pikeville and places that are going to help," said Sarah Belcher, a member of the Empty Chair Project.

Work on the app began in September. Monday it became available to the public.

"Even if it's just one person you're still helping people and that one person is connected to families kind of the whole empty chair idea," said Lyndsie Bartley, a member of the Empty Chair Project.

The app is free to the public to download.

It can be found on iPhone and Android devices by searching 'The Empty Chair'.

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