App May Help Alcoholics Stay Sober

Published 03/28 2014 03:56PM

Updated 03/28 2014 03:59PM

A new app is designed to give support to recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. It's a pocket-sized counselor with a panic button. One push and you can find the nearest AA meeting, reach out for support,  or even go through relaxation exercises.

A user can also program in addresses where they used to drink or deal drugs. If they get too close, the app asks if it should text or call a friend.

Andrew Isham who helped develop the app, predicts that it will become a standard part of addiction treatment in ten years. Researchers say the app  cut risky drinking in half and improved alcohol abstinence by 22 percent.

The app was developed at the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies at the University of Wisconsin and is nicknamed A-Chess in honor of the center.  It's not yet on the market. 

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