Do Phone Apps Help with Addiction or Make it Worse?
There is a debate within the addiction field as to whether smartphone apps can help people struggling with addiction. Many experts believe that apps are effective in helping people quit smoking, for example, frequently offering gamified rewards for completing levels or tasks. While some apps simply provide access to recovery groups and support programs, others take a more hands-on approach using targeted games and rewards systems. The creators of these apps are mainly coming out of the tech world with great success, but there seems to be an emerging skepticism about their true effectiveness. Here are some phone apps that are designed to help in addiction recovery.
This app is the first choice of many recovering alcoholics due to the gamified rewards system it provides. It tracks individual challenges with goals and rewards that can be traded for gift cards, merchandise, and even cash. Other features include a chat function, text messaging, and email reminders. The app doesn’t replace the need for a sponsor or even in-patient treatment, but it is used to improve self-awareness and stimulates a support network among recovering addicts.
Based on the 12-step program, Pear reSET is another widely used app to help people quit addictive substances. The free app allows users to track their “sober days,” connect with others in the same situation and makes it easier to find support groups. It also provides motivational messages and has a chat feature for further encouragement. While not a perfect solution on its own, many recovering addicts still find this app very helpful when combined with other programs such as in-patient treatment or intensive outpatient programs.
This rewards app is designed to make the process of quitting smoking to a “whole new level.” It integrates social elements such as texting, gamified challenges, and even rewards, along with other features. Those who need something more in-depth than most of the other apps mentioned can look into this app which helps support groups exchange personal experiences and lessons they’ve learned while quitting. Addiction treatment centers across the country also currently use this app to help their clients stay on track with recovery.
This app was developed by behavioral scientists and is based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help its users. It’s designed to analyze behavior through challenges and rewards that can be tracked online or using a mobile device. It also allows users to cope with stress, stay away from triggers, and promote a positive mindset. The in-depth questionnaire helps the app figure out the best learning style for each user, which can allow it to become an ideal companion in recovery programs.
This app is another gamified app based on CBT techniques. It allows users to track their progress in the form of progress bars, earning points, and hitting milestones. A leaderboard tracks their progress from one day to the next, helping them stay accountable. The app also offers a social network where members can connect with others and share tips and tricks to help them stay sober.
While there is a lot of debate on whether phone apps are helpful in addiction recovery, there are many people who swear by them. They provide an intimate level of support that’s often difficult to come by in traditional treatment programs. The challenge isn’t with the app itself but with the individual making use of it and its potential to become an opposing force in recovery if misused. Therefore, the Sands Treatment Center is dedicated to providing a holistic approach to addiction treatment and helping its clients remain in control.