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Hope Not Handcuffs

Transforming addiction treatment with custom software and data analytics

The Challenge

Hope Not Handcuffs is an initiative created by Families Against Narcotics (FAN) in collaboration with law enforcement and community organizations to provide viable treatment options for individuals looking for help in overcoming addiction. With over 180 partners in Michigan and New York, the organization knew it had a lot of valuable data and experience that needed a robust software solution to extend its reach and assist more individuals with their addiction.


Hope Not Handcuffs


Custom Software

How We Helped

  • Development
  • Software Design
  • Discovery
  • On-Going Support
Hope not handcuffs custom software

Significant growth brings new opportunities

Hope Not Handcuffs began in 2017 with a single goal—to provide assistance to addicted individuals and their families in order to keep them on the path to recovery. This requires a complex web of people and organizations—such as police, treatment facilities and other partners—in different roles working together. This community initiative includes “angels” who volunteer as the first person they connect with, peer recovery or family coaches who assist along the way and administrative staff that keep everything coordinated behind the scenes. After just a few years of achieving life-altering results, they brought us in to help create a solution that would remove the increasing amount of administrative work and allow them to focus on expanding into more communities.

Hope not handcuffs signature feature

Coding a new path forward

When we initially met with the key stakeholders of the Hope Not Handcuffs team, we were blown away by the impact they had created in just a few years with minimal resources. Essentially working from a growing collection of spreadsheets, emails and even faxes, the entire operation ran off of institutional knowledge and a team of extremely dedicated people. FAN used this data to determine key breakpoints where the recovery of a person is most at risk, and the intervention steps needed to prevent a relapse in recovery. Through a series of meetings, we began to flesh out the details of all the pieces of the program and the data relationships that formed the basis of their success.

We structured the data relationships in a manner that allows their team to see trends in potential relapses and identify problems ahead of time without adding more work to the organization.

In the end, we created a system that generates, stores and sends all of the necessary paperwork to the community partners as needed to remove barriers that those with addiction face when seeking help. In addition, the new system prompts follow-ups at critical times so that peer recovery coaches can help keep people at their most vulnerable on track for recovery. Finally, we structured the data relationships in a manner that allows their team to see trends in potential relapses and identify problems ahead of time so that the program can continue to become more effective without adding more work to the organization.

hope not handcuffs custom features
Hope not handcuffs support

Rehabilitation Reimagined

Hope Not Handcuffs is an amazing program for the community, and we’re proud to know that thousands of participants have gotten the help they desperately needed since the launch of the new system. But the work is far from over. Because the system makes it easier for Hope Not Handcuffs to record data from people’s recovery, they can more quickly identify new points where individuals are vulnerable to relapsing. As these key moments are discovered, we work with their team to add corresponding features and update workflows in the system.

With the new system lifting much of the administrative burden off of their organization, the program can help far more people than it could in the past. Hope Not Handcuffs continues to sign up more community partners in Michigan and New York, and the visible success of the program should only make it easier to help more people for many years to come.

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