Mobile app is launched to help people kick bad drinking habits

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CAMH has developed an app based on a self-monitoring program.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the biggest mental health and addiction teaching hospital in Canada, and one of the top research centers of its kind in the world, has created a new mobile app called “Saying When” that provides assistance to individuals who would like to lower their alcohol intake or quit drinking altogether, by giving them the capability of tracking and managing their alcohol consumption habits.

Saying When is designed for those concerned about their drinking, not those with a serious alcohol use disorder.

The app is the mobile version of a clinical self-monitoring program established by Dr. Martha Sanchez-Craig. The program has successfully managed to help people reduce or quit drinking for more than 25 years.

CAMH’s deputy clinical director, Wayne Skinner, said “We’ve been waiting for the technology to catch up to this program.” He went on to say that “The ability to discreetly track and monitor urges and consumption in real time will help people who are concerned about their drinking be successful with their goal to reduce or abstain.”

According to CAMH’s director, library services & knowledge mobilization, Tim Trip, Saying When is the sole mobile tool that is based on a well-known clinical program that has been specifically designed to aid people in monitoring their alcohol consumption and their efforts to lower consumption or give it up.

Self-monitoring mobile app for alcohol consumptionAfter downloading the Saying When app, users are given a tour of its features. This includes an introduction to Canada’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines, which were created by the National Alcohol Strategy Advisory Committee. Users are then prompted to complete the “Taking Stock” section, which helps them determine their present drinking habits and sets a basic guideline for future success.

The Mobile app makes personal tracking easier and more accurate.

The Saying When app provides users with information using info graphics. When a user enters a drink, it is measured when they fill the interactive glass. From there, the app concludes the number of standard drinks that have been consumed. In addition, as it tracks and the user makes progress, it provides them with suggestions for success. The app also has a coping section that gives users the chance to rank and discover what techniques work best for them personally.

In May 2014, a report was released by the World Health Organization that revealed Canadians consume more alcohol compared to the global average and that 23% of drinkers binge drink. Drinking excessively can lead to more than 200 diseases and injuries and is a massive public health concern. Skinner believes the Saying When mobile app will allow CAMH to reach more people and help them.

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