How Technology Is Changing the World’s Relationship with Drugs and Alcohol

Millions of Americans are vowing to put down their phones for 2018. Kim Kardashian even tweeted from hers that it’s one of her New Year’s resolutions. While there should be designated phone-free times, some of the benefits to those struggling with or questioning their drinking and drug use are worth keeping your phone in hand!

Recovering from addiction or alcoholism is a lifelong commitment and a difficult one. While the first step in recovery is getting help – whether with a treatment center, through 12-step programs, Smart Recovery or any other method – after you’ve made up your mind to quit and have sought treatment, you can also enlist your smart phone in your efforts to get and stay sober. Ever wondered if your drinking, smoking or using is a problem? There is an app for that!

A relapse can’t wait for an appointment. However, when a sponsor can see where you are in real time, be alerted to the possibility of risky situation you’re in, and reach out to you to help redirect you, technology can assist in your recovery. Apps exist for this exact purpose!

A decision to not pick up that drink or drug could be solidified by an always available conversation with someone who can help you through it. There is an app for that!

A 12 step meeting online could mean all the difference to you and the others who are in attendance. There is an app for that!

Thanks to technology, you never have to be alone in recovery. Having access to these and other apps in the palm of your hand, or at your desk in tandem with programs, can be the difference between life and death. Whether you want to cut down, control, or stop all together there are apps to help.  Some are free, some are a minimal fee, and more are being developed every day. Below are a few to consider in your recovery.

Pear reSet

In September of 2017 the FDA green lit the first ever mobile medical app called Pear reSet. Pear reSet has both a clinical and patient application and is designed to assist in outpatient therapy for alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana and stimulant addiction. You must be over 17 and have a prescription for this app. It is not permitted, however, for use in opioid addiction.

Hello Sunday Morning

Hello Sunday Morning was born in 2009 when Chris Raine undertook a year-long experiment to change his relationship with alcohol. A nightclub promoter at the time, Chris blogged about the challenges and successes of this experiment when he woke up hangover-free every Sunday Morning, signing off with, “Hello, Sunday morning!”


Stop Drinking with Andrew Johnson

The Stop Drinking app provides listeners with motivational messages that help listeners relax. These messages are designed to help people overcome the physical and emotional cravings for alcohol, as well as help them recognize triggers associated with drinking behaviors and replace unhealthy self-destructive behaviors with healthier alternatives.  

Step Away

Step Away was produced with support from the NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. This iPhone app was designed to help users cut in half the number of drinks they consumed each day.  With this app, you have instant access to tools and information that stems from decades of research on effective interventions for alcoholics.

Step away can act as your personal assistant offering immediate support if you get a craving and can’t get to a therapist, group, or family member. Step Away also lets you assign high-risk locations, where you feel you might be tempted to drink or use and the app can help you connect with people you have designated as supportive.

Today’s Step

Whether you are suffering from an addiction or just want a healthier lifestyle, Today’s Step offers health awareness, daily messages, easy to follow exercise videos, meditations, and stories from its community.

Sober Tool

Sober Tool was developed by a Sober Harvard-educated addiction specialist. It is aimed directly at anyone who wants to stay sober. The app offers daily prompts as well as a reward system. There is a search function which helps users to look for answers to emotions and situations that could threaten sobriety, like anger, sadness, frustration and stress.

Quit That

Quit That is a simple app that helps you quit anything from coffee, to junk food, to meth. It tracks hours from last use and calculates the amount of money saved, which can be very motivating.

Technology is making it easier than ever for people to maintain sobriety and prevent relapses of bad behavior and self-destructive habits and patterns. There is such a vast array of apps and many many more than I have named here. Anyone serious about getting or staying clean and sober can take advantage by finding the right app for them and making it a part of their journey into a successful, long term recovery.