The Spanish government has recently released a new smartphone and tablet app said to be the first of its kind. It is designed to help users determine quickly whether or not they have a drug addiction problem, and gives information about nearby help-centres.
The app includes an interactive map of drug help-centers and other public resources related to drug consumption. It also contains experts’ testimonies, answers to people’s questions about drugs and advice to parents on what to do if they suspect their children are using.
There is also useful information for professionals about relevant legislation, about the National Drugs Plan, the National Strategy and the various other action plans across the country, as well as statistics and indicators concerning drug use nationwide.
After browsing app stores we’ve found out that the Spanish Health Ministry app is not really a world prémiere: the Australian government published its National Drugs Plan app in 2011, with similar objectives and features. We have also found several useful but non-governmental drug dictionaries and drug news apps, many of which promise to help people quit their addiction.
But we have also stumbled across a few impressively useless – or just plain weird – apps about drugs.
1. The “Cocaine sniffing” app. Basically consists of an animation simulating the act of inhaling cocaine. And that’s about it. “The first free simulator to sniff cocaine” the developper says.
2. An app that allows you to roll a marijuana joint. It costs 1€99 for the privilege and “The original is better” admits the developer.
3. “Smoke weed legally” is the title of this other “virtual joint” app
4. Are you high? It scans your finger to detect if you have consumed drugs although in practice it is completely useless as a medical drugs test.
5. And then we’ve come across the sophisticated THC calculator. “The only purpose of this application is to provide a statistically calculated probability of THC metabolite detection time frames for an individual person”. We tried hard to understand the point but we still don’t grasp what’s going on here.
“Digital highs” seem to have found their own market. There’s a whole myriad of apps that claim to make your smartphone or tablet a legal psychotropic.
6. …either through sounds on specific frequencies…Like “Digital Drugs”.
7. …or with psychedelic visuals like Trippin’
8. And for those whose drug is alcohol, there is the BrainWave hangover relief, which promises to “provide relief from the headache, nausea and discomfort of a hangover” through “relaxing low wave frequencies”