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By: Rick Fannin
Today we live in a technological world where access to pretty much anything we need is a click away. Recovery from substance use is a process, and throughout your journey, it is vital to have multiple resources ready to help you when the need arises. Addiction Recovery Apps can help you achieve sobriety in several different ways.
Recovery apps can’t replace treatment, but they do fill a significant gap in care access. Over 20 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have a substance use disorder, but less than 4 million receive treatment for it. Every person with a substance use disorder would receive treatment from a licensed facility in an ideal world. However, we still have a long way to go to reach that reality.
Using apps for addiction recovery support can never replace treatment by a licensed mental healthcare provider. But they can provide you with social support between sessions or 12-step meetings, and they might introduce you to people in the recovery community who you would never have met otherwise.
Most government authorities, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), support digital tools to complement substance use treatment. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, we all have had to get used to digital life. Peer support groups and substance abuse counselors moved their services online. And people with substance use disorders turned to apps to help them manage their cravings and symptoms.
Key Features of Recovery Apps
There are many different types of recovery apps out there, but most of them include at least one of the following features:
- Sobriety tracker: This counts how many days (or hours) you’ve been sober. This can be excellent for keeping up your motivation.
- Informative content: This is text, video, or audio that teaches you about the science of addiction and recovery.
- Peer support: This is a public forum or messaging service that allows you to connect with others in the recovery community. As the success of 12-step groups has proven, peer support is key in early recovery.
- Habit tool: This is a feature that helps you build new, healthier habits. These habit tools may help you change your alcohol or drug addiction habits or just help you build new ones (like daily self-care habits).
- Relapse prevention: Some apps come with a feature that helps you manage cravings at the very moment they hit and avoid relapse.
- Directory: This is a listing or map of local treatment providers or peer support groups, so the help you need is at your fingertips.
- Other: Some apps have other types of features, including interventions and tools specific to the group or treatment method they are used for.
The Apps that Will Help You Get Over Addiction
Recovery Path allows you to navigate your unique path to sustained recovery, share progress with others, and receive support. Recovery Path incorporates aspects of Motivational Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Community Reinforcement to boost your treatment and recovery plan.
Key features of Recovery Path include:
- Never be alone. Connect with your care team, sponsor, or loved ones for in-app support
- Receive daily inspiration and rewards that delight
- Build enjoyable activities into your days and plan ahead for risky events
- Access over 100 strategies for overcoming cravings and triggers
- Find nearby community meetings
The WEconnect app provides you with daily reminders to stay on track with your recovery plan. You can create reminders to call your sponsor, go to a group meeting, or meditate—anything you need to provide that extra push.
You can also check in to activities such as 12-step meetings, outpatient treatment, group therapy, church, or one-on-one meetings with a coach or sponsor. The app includes a list of “clarity routines” that you can mark off throughout your day. Some clarity routines include spending time doing something creative, visiting the doctor, exercising, journaling/writing, listening to music, spending time in nature, and much more. If you’re feeling really down, you can use the “SOS” feature to get extra support when you need it the most.
When you first download the app, you can select whether you want to manage your own recovery or be a supporter of someone else’s recovery. This is a great option for sponsors, coaches, friends, family, and coaches.
Sober Grid: Best recovery social networking app
Facebook, Snapchat, and LinkedIn: Our world is now filled with social networking apps. You can use this networking platform to your advantage with Sober Grid, a social networking app specifically designed for people in recovery. It claims to be “the world’s largest recovery app,” and thousands of people have downloaded it so far.
On Sober Grid, you can share your recovery progress with other app users and create posts to both give and receive support. But its best feature is the 24/7 live peer coaching. Certified and trained peer coaches are ready to provide you with constant live support 365 days out of the year.
Pear reSET from Pear Therapeutics is the first mobile medical application approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help treat substance use disorders. The digital therapy app consists of a specialized, 12-week program schedule that includes weekly check-ins. Currently, it is only available for download to individuals who are over the age of 17 and have a prescription from a clinician.
The reSET app guides users through a series of engaging lessons that help guide them through recovery. Users complete the lessons at their own pace and take a quiz after completing each lesson to receive virtual rewards.
The results of a 12-week randomized clinical trial of 399 patients found that the app significantly improved treatment outcomes, including higher rates of abstinence—40.3% compared to 17.6% among those who did not use the app.
If you are interested in trying out the app to supplement your own treatment regime, talk to your doctor or therapist for a prescription access code.
An Addiction Recovery app that was developed in the early 2000s was called Twelve Steps – The Companion. Several A.A. tools are available to the user, including the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, daily meditations, a sobriety reminder that keeps track of how long the user has been sober, and an A.A. Meeting Finder that provides easy access to Maps.
This Addiction Recovery app has features that will help people with alcohol and sex addiction walk through the recovery journey.
The Features Include;
- Live Chat– this feature enables an individual to talk with other people having the same problem. Through the connection that pone makes, they can feel a sense of change.
- Attending Meetings– a directory of 12 steps and the option of checking in at meetings enhances the sense of cohesiveness among the addicts.
- A recovery journal
- Daily check-ins
- The prescribed diet is a defined meal plan for all patients, mainly intended to reduce cravings and subsequent health restoration.
- Finance Calculator– This feature’s main intent is to allow the addicts to keep track of their spending behavior, enabling openness and responsibility.
The idea behind creating this Addiction Recovery app is to help one become accountable and, in turn, make them decide to take a journey on addiction recovery.
The users can inventory all the behaviors they want to keep track of, then rate their success rate by the green, yellow and red light system, the same scenario as the traffic lights. However, by tracking their frequency, the app rates their success which helps them know what contributes most to the rating.
By generating a personal profile and communicating with others through a person or group messaging, this Addiction Recovery app assists users with Porn, Drug, and Food Addictions in overcoming their addictions. Apart from connecting users, the app also allows them to monitor their rehabilitation progress and receive assistance if they feel the urge to drink or engage in some other addiction. The application also keeps tabs on user check-ins and sober days.
What makes the application one of the best in functionality is the ability to mark when the user feels like using drugs. We may be able to develop a preventative strategy and choose when and how to prepare for the triggers, which will aid us in developing the preventative strategy. It is also possible to test through the application to determine the type of addiction you have. Still, it is also possible to grow a recovery plan for yourself through the application.
Nomo can be a valuable tool for helping others with their rehabilitation. The clock feature will help you mark emotional turning points, and you can share any worries, joys, or shames you’re having in the app’s “encouragement” portion, which can make you feel less alone in your recovery.
The Following Are Some of The Highlights:
- Your sobriety clock allows you to keep track of how many days you’ve been sober.
- Ability to share your sobriety clock with people who are helping you get sober, such as family, friends, partners, coaches, or counselors.
- If you’re feeling compelled to use, you can contact an accountability partner.
- There’s also a “distraction” feature that acts as a quick refocusing tool to help you stay strong when you’re feeling down.
This Addiction Recovery app includes a group finder, podcasts, blessings, and life experiences, and also the entire text of that same Big Book, which are all available. The app allows you to save significant passages, make comments in the discussion segment on individual chapters, and check for relevant keywords. You can also use the app’s sobriety calculator to chart your progress and input your date of sobriety.
This Addiction Recovery app features hundreds of insight meditations that are simple to follow and calming music, blessings, and 12-step counseling audio. This application features a meditation clock, soothing sounds, everyday inspiration, and the ability to layer sounds and create your sound mixes to help you make meditation a habit while recovering. You can create your relaxation playlist using the app. To gain access to all of the content, you must sign up for a subscription. Then you can decide how much you’d like to pay. Whether you’ll be distracted and won’t become able to attend meetings, this is a perfect way to keep up with the measures.
SoberTool is an easy way to track your clean and sober days. The app includes daily motivational messages and reminders to keep you on target. You can earn rewards by hitting different milestones for the time that you have stayed sober. The app even calculates your estimated savings from staying sober. One of the unique tools featured in the app is working through triggers and avoiding relapse. If you feel like you may relapse, you can answer questions and be guided through uplifting messages that will inspire you to stay sober.
I Am Sober is a sobriety tracking app that helps you stay motivated by keeping track of the time — down to the second — you’ve been sober. Many apps come with a sobriety tracker, but I Am Sober has the best, most user-friendly sobriety tracking feature. The tracker also tells you how much money you’ve saved in the time you’ve been sober.
I Am Sober comes with features that help you build new habits and connect with a wide recovery community. It even comes with a withdrawal timeline, which lets you know what withdrawal symptoms you can expect in each stage. When you’re in early recovery, it’s important to know what withdrawal symptoms to expect so you can better cope with them.
Quitzilla: Best recovery app to build good habits
Quitzilla shares many of the same features as other apps on this list, including a sobriety tracker and a motivation reminder, which helps with relapse prevention. You can use the app for any bad habit, not just substance use.
What makes this app especially unique is its habit-building feature. Quitzilla asks you about addictions and bad habits that you want to change, and it supports you in changing them. It helps you stay motivated about your “why” of recovery, and it rewards you for progress made toward new habits.
Joe & Charlie is another addiction recovery app with a huge following. This app contains audiotapes of speakers, workshops, reflections, and user stories to help people in recovery.
The Joe & Charlie app offers help to anyone struggling with addiction, sobriety, or other recovery challenges.
Joe & Charlie app features include:
- 1000+ audio tracks
- Offline listening
- Sleep and meditation stories
- Relaxation sounds
- Daily inspiration
Content of the app includes 12 step stories, A.A. recovery stories, Joe & Charlie Big Book, Al-Anon speaker stories, guided meditations, among other stories and audio tracks. While the app is free to download, there is a subscription fee. A 1-month subscription costs $3.99 while a 3-month subscription costs $6.99.
The app is available for download on Android and iOS platforms.
The Bottom Line
If anything is clear in the world of substance use treatment, it’s that not nearly enough people are receiving the treatment they need. In the meantime, there are apps. Although apps can’t — and don’t — replace licensed treatment, they put support and information in the pockets of people struggling to recover from addiction.
Sobriety is about maintaining a new lifestyle free of alcohol and drugs, a journey that will differ for every person who is fighting against addiction. Having a little extra help in your hand through a smartphone app can be the support needed at times when your usual support system is unavailable or you need instant positive reinforcement that reminds you of just how far you have come.
If you feel like you need extra support for your substance use disorder and you have a smartphone, give one of these apps or web-based tools a try. If you need professional help for your addiction, call us today. We provide outpatient and medically assisted treatment, including Suboxone, in Columbus Ohio.