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TRIPP and Sober Grid Win $1.7M NIH Grant to Research Impact of VR and Mobile Peer Support on Reducing Drug Addiction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse grant seeks to improve addiction recovery using TRIPP’s first-of-its-kind immersive treatment combined with Sober Grid’s personalized mobile app that connects the world’s largest addiction recovery community


LOS ANGELES (Oct. 1, 2019) -- Today, TRIPP, an adaptive digital health company that develops products to improve mental wellness, focus and productivity, together with Sober Grid, the world’s largest mobile addiction recovery community, announced the receipt of a highly-competitive $1.7M “fast track” grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). 

The grant is presented in two phases to streamline the administrative process with the first phase launching immediately under NIDA’s Small Business Innovation Research grant program. Both study phases will take place at Houston’s renowned Memorial Hermann Prevention & Recovery Center. The “PaRC” has an award winning, 35+ year history of treating alcoholism, drug addiction and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders in Houston, TX.

“I know on a very personal level about how substance abuse can devastate individuals and their families,” says Nanea Reeves, CEO and co-founder of TRIPP. “Tapping Sober Grid’s amazing sober community and building on traction from TRIPP’s other research projects is an important step in developing an effective treatment and helping people get their lives back.” 

Combining TRIPP and Sober Grid technologies will allow researchers to study the effectiveness of providing continuity of care in addiction recovery treatment. The study will analyze the use of TRIPP’s VR platform in clinic and following (with an at-home version of the platform), and its efficacy when augmented by Sober Grid’s easily-accessed digital peer recovery coaching support and robust mobile recovery community. The goal of the two-phase project is to develop innovative treatments to help reduce drug abuse and strengthen addiction recovery, which accounts for an estimated $600B a year in societal costs, according to NIDA.

Two-Phased Research
The grant’s first phase will pilot the use of Sober Grid’s peer recovery coaching services via the company’s mobile app paired with TRIPP’S virtual reality (VR) platform. TRIPP’s proprietary technology delivers proven mindfulness structures, targeted sound frequencies, visuals and interactions that adapt to specific users over time. The Phase One pilot will take place at Memorial Hermann Prevention & Recovery Center (The PaRC) in Houston, Texas.

On successful completion of the 6-month pilot, phase two of the grant will launch a two-year project that includes a randomized comparison trial of 80 total participants which will also take place at The PaRC. 

“Evidence shows that giving patients access to peer support reduces relapse,” Sober Grid’s founder and CEO, Beau Mann, points out. “So the idea of coupling Sober Grid’s platform, which gives patients free, personalized, easy-to-access community support plus 24/7 live certified recovery coaching support, with TRIPP’s in-clinic and at-home treatment technology is extremely powerful in terms of reducing relapse and freeing people from addiction.”

Sober Grid’s app is free and has been downloaded over 200,000 times. The platform maintains high levels of patient retention and engagement and its developers have worked with researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine to employ natural language data processing and artificial intelligence to predict the risk of relapse.

News of the joint grant to Sober Grid and TRIPP comes on the heels of two separate research projects specific to addiction recovery by TRIPP. The first was an early pilot study at Westwind Recovery, an outpatient clinic and residential program in Los Angeles  In a little over two months, the Westwind treatment center reported a 27 percent increase in emotional well-being among patients recovering from addiction as an aggregate across sessions as measured through TRIPP’s platform.  

TRIPP is also working in collaboration with the National Mental Health Innovation Center (NMHIC) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus on a feasibility research study that will commence this fall at CeDAR (Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation) A division of UCHealth in Aurora, Colorado.

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TRIPP is a digital health company developing transformative experiences that improve mental well-being, focus and productivity. The company is now delivering its first digital therapeutic offering to companies providing mindful-productive work breaks as a mechanism to improve employee well-being, as well as foster greater connection and better interactions between employees. TRIPP’s consumer offering is also available at

TRIPP was founded by Nanea Reeves and Zack Norman after leading three companies to a combined $1.16B in exits and is shaped by their passion for video games and Nanea’s 20+ year practice with meditation.

The TRIPP development team is comprised of senior developers and creative talent from Comcast/NBC Universal, Disney, Qualcomm, Riot Games, EA, Activision/Treyarch and The Glitch Mob among others. TRIPP is headquartered in Los Angeles.

About Sober Grid
Sober Grid is an easy-to-use mobile platform that combines evidence-based recovery tools with the world’s largest mobile peer recovery community to provide access to real-time recovery support to anyone within reach of a mobile device. The company partnered with leading addiction researchers from Harvard Medical School, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, and has received funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation to create a robust, evidence-based platform and to develop innovative capabilities such as predictive analytics to identify heightened risk of addiction relapse and advanced scientific tools for outcomes data gathering.

Sober Grid’s iOS/Android app is free and instantly connects users to a vast community of individuals in or seeking recovery to help build strong sober support networks locally and around the world. The company is based in Boston. 

About Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center (The PaRC)
The PaRC is a free-standing alcohol and drug treatment center for adults that provides comprehensive, individualized, empathetic care with complete patient confidentiality in a warm, retreat-like environment. The PaRC has an award winning, 35+ year history of treating alcoholism, drug addiction and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. 
The PaRC is located in Houston, Texas. 



 Mental Wellness
 Mental Well-being
 Drug Addiction Recovery
 Innovative treatments

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