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Friday, March 28, 2014

Smartphone App Helps You Stay Sober

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Early recovery is challenging, but one may find help from a smartphone app that is designed to give users tools that can help. The Addiction-Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (A-CHESS) app increases your ability to abstain from alcohol, Reuters reports.

A-CHESS has a number of useful tools, such as an alert feature that lets you know when you’re close to a bar or similar risky places. There is a panic button that instantly connects you with your support group, as well as other A-CHESS users. What’s more, the app even has games and guided relaxation techniques to help reduce cravings. The app is being used by a number of treatment centers and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

A study was conducted on people using the app by David Gustafson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Study participants consisted of 349 adults leaving rehabilitation centers for alcoholism. Half received normal post-rehabilitation treatment aftercare plans, while the other also received A-CHESS along with their aftercare plans, called the Addiction-Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (A-CHESS). About 52 percent of the app group didn’t drink at all one year later, whereas only 40 percent of the non-app group abstained in their first year those who didn’t have the app.

The study findings can be found in JAMA Psychiatry.
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