Publish date: Mar 2016

A selection of available apps targeting addiction and recovery 

Alcohol

  • Drinksmeter: developed by Adam Winstock, a Consultant Psychiatrist and drug and alcohol specialist working in London. A stylish tool for assessing alcohol use. The app gives feedback on a user’s drinking, provides information on risks and drinking guidelines and includes a risk adjuster for mental and physical health, and medication use (free; available on iTunes and GooglePlay).
  • Drinkaware: designed by the Charity Drinkaware and perhaps the most sophisticated of the alcohol apps, this allows users to track their drinking and set goals, whilst viewing information on guidelines, support services and risks. It also includes feedback on calories and costs of alcohol as well as a novel feature where users  can input their ‘weakspots’ (places where an individual is likely to drink) and the app will notify them when they are nearby (free; available on iTunes and GooglePlay).

Smoking cessation

  • Smokefree: developed by the UK Department of Health, Smokefree is a four week program providing progress tracking, daily support, help with coping with cravings, a savings calculator and the option to share your progress with friends (free; available on iTunes and GooglePlay).
  • LIVESTRONG MyQuit Coach: developed by the LIVESTRONG Foundation, this app helps users to create a personalised stop smoking program through the setting of achievable goals and achievement tracking. The app provides motivational and inspirational messaging and photos and optional social support features (free; available on iTunes).

Recovery

  • Recovery box: designed to work with any addiction, this app focuses on the tracking of daily life activities to identify and break unhelpful habits that may impact on a user’s recovery. Daily activities are broken down into green, amber and red ‘lights’ which help users be aware of habits that may reinforce addictive behaviours (£1.49; available on iTunes)
  • SoberGrid: Using geo-location features this app connects users with other sober people who are nearby, helping them to build strong recovery networks. Sobergrid also provides a function for users to reach out for support if they feel they might lapse (free; available on iTunes and GooglePlay).
  • Afternoon affirmations: this app is aimed at people in recovery from all addictions, sending out an inspiring affirmation at 1pm each day to support a sober lifestyle (free; available on iTunes)

Impulse control

  • NoGo: a game designed by academics from the neurocognitive field to improve impulse control through cognitive training. The app targets unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, caffeine and unhealthy eating (free: available on iTunes).

Apps based on the 12 step-recovery program

  • Cassava: developed by US based recovery website Addiction.com, this app, focusing on abstinence, supports users with recovery resources, expert blogs, a journal function and motivational messaging. For users in the United states, it also has a ‘find a meeting’ function (free; available on iTunes ).  
  • MORE "Field Guide to Life": This award-winning app from the Betty Ford Foundation, provides a year’s worth of addiction recovery support. Key features include daily guidance, reminders and inspiration, a sober counter, a personal progress tracker, community support and relapse prevention tools. It also includes video clips from recovery experts in the field (£5.99; available on iTunes and GooglePlay)
  • 12 Steps AA Companion - Alcoholics Anonymous: this was the original 12 step-based app providing the full ‘Big Book’ with a search function, a sobriety calculator, helpful contacts and social media sharing (£1.31; available on iTunes and GooglePlay).

The opinions expressed in this commentary reflect the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official positions of the Society for the Study of Addiction.