“Sometimes I thought about my liver but my liver never spoke up,
it never said, “Stop it, you’re killing me and I’m going to kill you!”
If we had talking livers, we wouldn’t need A.A.”
– Charles Bukowski, author of “Pulp”
Now there’s a thought – talking livers…
Any part of our anatomies that suddenly sat up, and started chatting away to us, advising us this or that, and generally just making sure we’re taking good care of our bodies — well, it would be quite something, wouldn’t it? Without a doubt, as far-fetched as it is, it would be highly useful.
However, and I don’t know about you, I’ve never heard a peep out of mine. Not one word. Or my heart. Or my lungs… My brain, though, that’s a different matter entirely. That particular organ of the body simply won’t shut up.
But fear not. In our digitally advanced and somewhat digitally controlled 21st Century world, you have the next best thing. The app. A little piece of source code that is designed to assist every aspect of your daily life – to advise, to cajole, to entertain, to even tell you how fast your heart is beating, and more. The humble app. And, just to be clear, nothing to do with your appendix. If they haven’t got an app for one particular, singular aspect of your existence, don’t fret. It’ll be released tomorrow.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not averse to the benefits of our digital, app-filled lives (however, I do tend to get distinctly annoyed when someone bumps into me in the street because they’re too focused on the screen of their fancy, new mobile, or when a conversation dies a death because the other participant just got a text).
As an ex-drinker (let’s be honest, a recovering alcoholic…), I was somewhat surprised by the emergence of apps designed to keep you sober, and to keep you abstinent; in fact, so much so that I’ve indulged myself with a fair few sobriety appsover recent years. Continuing with the honesty, I was originally skeptical, but my opinion has changed (as it’s want to do), and I currently have one of the most popular on my old, beaten-up excuse for a phone.
So, for those of you who have wondered just what a sobriety app is, or are simply wondering if such an app could have any benefits to you, please read on. All will be explained, and, to boot, you’ll discover our “3 Best Sobriety Apps for Addiction Recovery.”
Before we begin in earnest, let’s first consider what a sobriety app cannot do. It is certainly not going to be a like-for-like replacement for any part of an addiction recovery program whatsoever.It couldn’t even scratch the surface of a dedicated addiction treatment program, like the one I attended at the alcohol rehab in Seattle where I finally got well.
However, it can provide a sense of daily focus, even food for thought, for those who are undergoing treatment for alcohol addiction (medically described as an Alcohol Use Disorder – AUD, or, for the more straight-talking, just plain alcoholism).
For those who simply wish to cut down on their alcohol consumption, or for those who wish to be abstinent for a certain time (think “Dry January”), sobriety apps do the same thing – to provide a sense of focus, and occasionally food for thought. To keep you on track, in other words.
Did you know that an estimated 88,000 people in the U.S. lose their lives annually from alcohol-related causes, making alcohol the 4th leading preventable cause of death today? Now, that’s food for thought, for sure. So let’s look at our “3 Best Sobriety Apps for Addiction Recovery,” and what each of them can offer, regardless of whether you’re an alcohol user, an alcohol abuser, or, like me, a successfully recovering alcoholic.
#1. Sober Grid
Sober Grid is a free-to-use app, available on both iPhone and Android, to connect both those who wish to stop drinking and those who are actually in AUD recovery. The idea is the very basis of social media – to create a community of like-minded people, with similar motivations.
The Sober Grid app is designed to connect local people or those from anywhere in the world, allowing you to speak to other sober people in your area, or for when you are traveling, for example, and languishing in some far off-airport, waiting on that other connection. If you wish to connect immediately for support, the app has a “Burning Desire” option, that accesses their 24/7 Certified Peer Coaches, trained in addiction recovery.
Its news feed allows users to share their different thoughts and experiences, useful resources that they’ve found, and to announce their triumphs in both addiction recovery and sobriety in general.
#2. Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Unlike the free Sober Grid app, many sobriety apps out there are paid for –– the Twenty-Four hours a Day app, based on the book of the same name by Richard Walker, will cost you $5.99, whether you’re an iPhone or Android user. Notably, the app features all 366 daily meditations for Walker’s best-selling addiction recovery guide and is based upon the 12-Step program.
Other features that users can access include:
- PRESS the “Today” button to access today’s message
- SHARE the daily messages with friends through an automated sync to your email or text
- BOOKMARK your favorite meditations (by pressing the star button in the upper right-hand corner), and
- SEARCH all 366 daily messages by keyword
#3. Sobriety Counter
Another free sobriety app out there is Sobriety Counter, designed to be a fun-to-use app, with a vibrant color scheme and bold icons that “gamify” your journey to (and along) the path of sobriety. The app also features a dashboard that wisely informs you how much of that good, cold cash you’re saving by abstaining from alcohol.
The app is full of scientific statistics that show the varying aspects of your improved health, such as better blood circulation, cell regeneration, gray matter, and mental health, as well as your decreased chances of cancer and heart disease.
Finally, if you do get the urge to reach for the demon drink, the Sobriety Counter app encourages you to play a game called “Memory,” simply designed to get you past the scientifically concluded 3-minute threshold for cravings.
So, our “3 Best Sobriety Apps for Addiction Recovery”: Sober Grid, Twenty-Four Hours a Day, and Sobriety Counter. What, if any, has been your experience of sobriety apps? Did you find them to be motivating and helpful in maintaining focus? Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with a comment below. Thank you.
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