Sobriety? There’s Now An App For That

CHICAGO (March 26, 2014) A smartphone app that includes a panic button sounds an alert when recovering alcoholics get too close to bars or taverns and it’s helping keep some on the wagon, according to the University of Wisconsin researchers who developed the tool.

Adults released from in-patient alcoholism treatment centers who got free sober smartphones reported fewer drinking days and more overall abstinence than those who got the usual follow-up support.

A host of smartphone apps are available that feature a variety of options for trying to prevent alcoholics and drug addicts from relapsing.

The study results are based on patients' self-reporting, which is a potential limitation, but addiction experts say the immediacy of smartphone-based apps could make them a useful tool.

The study was published online Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry.

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