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How effective are apps in helping fight substance abuse?

Apps! Where would we be without these small, single-purpose programs? There are apps to wake one up in the morning, get one to work on time, remind one of their meetings, and track what one eats during the day. Apps can buy movie tickets, take-out food, and even help one purchase a new car.

Surprisingly, apps can also help with drug abuse. Although not a replacement for therapy and treatment, apps can help people struggling with addiction find more information about their disease, build support groups, and manage their moods and cravings. Some apps even warn against the dangers osf drug addiction.

Fighting addiction with apps

Apps can be easily used by people who wish to prevent a relapse because of its easy accessibility and the fact that the user can keep their identity a secret. Additionally, apps are updated regularly. While some of the apps may have a nominal fee, most of these apps can be accessed for free.

Addiction support apps are gaining popularity because all of them share some common features, which can benefit a user tremendously. Some of the features are:

  • Sober trackers: The applications have a tracker which can help a user keep a tab on the number of days one has been sober, number of days one felt strong withdrawal symptoms, when they relapsed, and so on.
  • Sober meetings and networking: Since smartphones are GPS-enabled, these applications can easily connect users and help them find a local sober meeting easily. These meetings can play an instrumental role in motivating a person during recovery.
  • Positive reminders: These applications provide a user with ample space to journal about important lapses and milestones. They also have a pool of motivational quotes that are sent to the user as a reminder so that they are encouraged to practice sobriety.
  • Coping skills: When one feels distracted, these apps offer help by suggesting coping mechanisms. For example, one can learn about breathing exercises, yoga postures, meditation, and mindfulness practices that can empower an individual when they feel weak.

Some popular sobriety applications

AA Speakers to Go: This application has an exhaustive data of 400 speakers from alcoholic anonymous (AA). Moreover, it also offers an in-app purchase facility of attending workshops and seminars.

NA Speakers: This app has audio recordings of nearly 300 speakers of narcotics anonymous (NA) from across the world. Listening to these recordings can be a life-changing experience for someone.

RecoveryBox: This app helps a user log entry on an everyday basis which can help them track the number of sober days, types and frequencies of triggers, incidence of relapse, etc. One can even generate reports and share these with their accountability partners, mentors, or loved ones.

Squirrel Recovery: This application is useful as it connects a user with a team of 10 people, available 24/7. This team supervises the users’ logs in terms of level of stress, triggers, etc. The app also provides an option of pressing a panic button that can help arrange support immediately.

Sober Grid: This application is a social networking site for people in sobriety across the world. One can connect with people from different walks of life who have conquered their addictions and are living examples of a strong will.

Apps can only do so much

Apps should never be seen as a replacement for therapy and treatment, however. Mary Andres, Ph.D., an associate professor of clinical education at the University of California, cautioned against this line of thinking. “You can’t replace the value of face-to-face identification and the phenomena that happens in group,” Andres said in an interview with “You’re not going to get all that in a tweet. You’re going to get that only by having a three-dimension experience with another person.”

If you or someone you know is addicted to substances and is looking for drug treatment centers, get in touch with 24/7 Recovery Helpline. Call our 24/7 helpline 855 441-4405 or chat online with one of our experts to know more about research-backed, customized alcohol and drug rehab programs. Our specialized team of medical professionals can help you access a customized treatment plan for you or a loved one. You can also chat online with a representative for further assistance.

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