Today, there are apps available to assist with every aspect of life, including your mental health. Mobile apps make it possible to track symptoms and get support for many issues, including depression and bipolar disorder.
Addiction apps are a popular subset. These addiction recovery apps claim to help prevent relapse and promote sober living. But do they deliver on their promises? Read on to get the full story on apps for addiction and mental health tracking.
Using Technology to Support Recovery
Although their features and benefits vary, addiction apps seek to support recovery. Addiction is a lifelong disease that requires ongoing care to prevent relapse. By fitting self-care and monitoring easily into the daily routine, apps for addiction may help lower the likelihood of relapse. Reviews of popular apps show anecdotal success, and scientific studies confirm the benefits as well. One published in JAMA Psychiatry found alcoholics using a smartphone app experienced fewer risky drinking days than those who didn’t.
Benefits of Addiction Apps
Apps for addiction offer numerous benefits, including:
- Smartphone ownership: Approximately 85% of Americans own smartphones, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. As a result, mental health apps are widely accessible. Addiction apps are especially beneficial for those who live in remote and rural areas that lack addiction support services.
- Ease of use: Addiction recovery apps allow you to easily check in with yourself at home and on the go. Some sync with smart watches to work as wearable therapeutics, giving you access to addiction support right on your wrist.
- Increased self-awareness: Many addiction apps encourage you to record your thoughts and feelings daily. This makes you more in tune with your feelings and can help you identify triggers that threaten your sobriety.
- Simple historical tracking: By reviewing your daily entries, addiction recovery apps allow you to spot trends over time. You can use the information to assess how well your aftercare plan is working.
- Streamlined communication with counselors: If you ever need a substance abuse relapse assessment, you can share your data with your counselor. The information can jump-start the treatment process by giving your counselor insights into how your recovery progressed.
Popular Mental Health Tracking Apps
Some popular mental health tracking apps have features beneficial for recovery, such as:
- Calm: This app walks you through complete guided meditations in as little as 10 minutes. Seven- to 21-day programs for beginner to advanced users allow you to customize the experience. For addiction recovery, the breaking habits guided meditation series is especially beneficial. The app also features programs for stress management and calming anxiety.
- Moodpath: This daily check-in app asks you a series of daily questions to assess your mental well-being. Every two weeks, it provides a summary of your results. The data can assess if symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress that contribute to addiction are under control.
- CBT-I Coach: Getting enough rest is important for mental health during recovery. Experts at the VA, Department of Defense and Stanford University created this app for those dealing with sleep problems. Its structured program uses cognitive behavioral techniques to help improve sleep.
- Youper: This app has numerous features found in other mental health apps, including a mood journal and tracker. Artificial intelligence engineered by scientists and doctors is what sets it apart. You can have short conversations with the AI about mental health topics. The bot provides emotional support any time of day. It also detects signs of crisis and encourages you to seek help when needed.
- Inner Hour: This app guides you through engaging activities that help you develop coping skills. For those in recovery, the content assists with anger and stress management. The app also teaches you how to experience happiness to allow you to begin to truly enjoy sober living.
Top Apps Designed Specifically for Recovery
In addition to general mental health apps, there are many apps for addiction only, including:
- Simple DBT Skills Diary Card: One of the many addiction apps that complements specific types of therapy, this app focuses on dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Each day, the app presents one DBT skill for you to complete. A reminder makes sure you don’t forget to sign in. You can customize tracking data and integrate progress from in-person DBT classes.
- Sober Time: This app helps you celebrate your progress by counting the seconds, minutes, hours and days in real time. A quick glance can give you positive reinforcement and encourage you to keep going. Inspirational daily messages and a cost savings calculator provide additional motivation. The app also tracks relapses and lets you record triggers.
- LetGOH: One of the best addiction apps for those in a 12-step program, this program features inventory lists and daily progress tracking. Sponsorship aids and guided meditations are also among its features.
- Recovery Box: Another of the addiction apps for 12-step programs, this program offers tools from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. In addition to inventories and tracking tools, the app features recovery stories and readings. You can get access to an in-app sponsor and chat with other users.
- Sober Grid: Many people in recovery struggle to rebuild a supportive social network. This app addresses the problem by providing a social networking app for recovering addicts and alcoholics. You can use it to make friends, ask for tips and share your thoughts and feelings in a safe environment.
Incorporating Apps Into Your Recovery
Despite their many benefits, addiction apps are just one piece of recovery. Staying clean requires hard work and dedication. Mental health and recovery apps support your efforts, but they’re not a cure for addiction.
Roughly 40% to 60% of those who complete drug addiction rehab relapse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. A robust aftercare plan following inpatient or outpatient rehab can help reduce your risk of becoming a statistic. Addiction apps can play a role in the plan, but you shouldn’t rely solely on them. A combination of ongoing therapy and community support is the key to successful recovery. You should also develop a crisis plan for friends and family to execute if you do relapse.
If you feel you’re in danger of relapsing, you don’t have to face it alone. Our team of counselors is standing by to support and encourage you 24/7. Contact us today at (844) 299-0618.