Addiction Tech: Can Recovery Apps Help Cure Addiction?

Addiction technologies, such as mobile apps, can help support individuals on their recovery journey. While not a cure for addiction, they offer use as a helpful supplement or component of an existing recovery plan.

Do Recovery Apps Work?

Millions of Americans in the United States live with a substance use disorder — also known as a drug or alcohol addiction.

With the number of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. on the rise, many are looking to new, innovative strategies for helping people with drug addiction.

One of the most popular, new innovations people are looking to are addiction recovery mobile technologies, or phone apps.

What Are Addiction Recovery Apps?

Addiction recovery apps are mobile applications that serve to assist individuals who are either in recovery or thinking about getting help for substance abuse.

While a fairly new innovation, some apps are now touted by addiction professionals as a way to help fill in the gaps for those who can benefit from extra support.

Common features of addiction recovery apps include:

  • affirmations: Many popular recovery apps offer daily meditations or words of support to help you stay the course on your sobriety journey.
  • sobriety counter: Some apps offer a sobriety calculator, clock, or counter to help you track how many days you’ve been sober.
  • treatment directory: Many apps offer directories for finding a nearby treatment center, AA/NA/recovery meeting, therapist, or addiction counselor.
  • peer support: Several apps offer in-app sober communities, including forums, discussion boards, and chat capabilities for on-demand peer support.
  • coping skills: Many apps offer educational content, relaxation or meditation training, and other tools to help you cope with triggers in the moment.

Addiction recovery apps are not a cure for addiction. But they can offer resources and recovery-oriented tools to help support individuals in the recovery process.

Popular Addiction Recovery Apps

Despite their novelty, there are a wide variety of addiction recovery apps that are now available either for free or to purchase for iOS or Android.

Here is a sample of some of the most popular recovery apps currently available:

Sober Grid

Sober Grid is a sober social network app similar to Facebook, except it’s specifically designed for people who identify as being in recovery from substance abuse.

What it offers:

  • sober days tracker
  • discover sober people near you
  • ability to remain anonymous
  • track recovery goals (or “quests”)
  • 24/7 peer support

Price: Free (with in-app purchases available)

Available on: iOS, Android

Sober Worx

Sober Worx is a directory app that allows you to search for available drug or alcohol abuse treatment options near you.

What you can search for with this app:

  • substance use counselor
  • therapists
  • licensed rehab centers/treatment centers
  • sober living homes

The app was created by and for people battling substance abuse. It’s marketed as a tool specifically for individuals and families affected by addiction.

Price: Free

Available on: Android

I Am Sober

I Am Sober is a popular sobriety app that offers tracking tools, as well as an in-app sober community for people in addiction recovery.

What it offers:

  • daily sobriety pledge
  • calculating time and money saved while sober
  • peer support
  • daily recaps
  • add reasons and photos to remind you why you quit
  • share stories, photos with others

Price: Free

Available on: iOs and Android

Nomo — Sobriety Clocks

Nomo is a sober tracking app that offers a number of features for people who wish to keep track of where they are in their recovery journey and goals moving forward.

What it offers:

  • sobriety tracker
  • accountability partner searching
  • milestone rewards
  • ability to notify accountability partners when you’re feeling tempted to use
  • calculate money or time saved while sober
  • daily check-ins
  • in-chat sober community
  • share successes to Facebook or Twitter
  • mini distraction exercises

Price: Free

Available on: iOS/iPhone and Android

12-Step AA Companion

For people who are curious about 12-Step Programs, or want easier access to them, the good news is: There’s an app for that.

The 12-Step Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) application offers various 12-step related tools and features for those who adhere to the 12-step philosophy.

What it offers:

  • Big Book reader
  • sobriety calculator
  • notes feature
  • anonymous icon
  • morning and night prayers
  • edit/add recovery contacts
  • contact information for AA offices

Other AA/12-Step related apps — such as the Big Book, AA Speakers to Go, and Recovery Box — are also available for iOs/Android mobile devices.

Price: $2.99 (iOS); $1.99 (Google Play)

Available on: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android

What Are The Benefits Of Addiction Recovery Apps?

Addiction recovery apps can, for some, fill in the gaps when professional treatment is either unavailable, inaccessible, or has not been helpful for a person.

On the other hand, they can also help you track and share your progress with an existing treatment team, your counselor, a therapist, or friends or family members.

Unlike most treatment providers, apps are typically available 24/7, 365 days a week.

Recovery apps can also offer benefits that include:

Limitations Of Addiction Recovery Apps

Recovery apps can be a useful tool. But they have their limitations, and cannot accurately be depicted as a “cure” for addiction by themselves.

Limitations of addiction apps include:

  • inability to deliver direct medical care
  • unreliable accountability mechanisms
  • cannot serve as a replacement for certain treatments (e.g. medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder)
  • limited evidence to demonstrate their effectiveness

Telehealth For Addiction Recovery

Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, as well as online portals such as BetterHelp, are similar in that they are other examples of technologies for people in recovery.

Virtual telehealth, for instance, can be used for accessing:

  • general medical care
  • psychiatry services
  • counseling services
  • virtual MAT (e.g. buprenorphine)
  • getting/renewing prescriptions
  • support groups

Some treatment centers, too, are now using mobile tech to help improve patient outcomes and enhance their existing array of behavioral healthcare services.

Learn more about telehealth rehab services.

What Is The Best Treatment For Addiction?

Addiction technologies, such as phone apps, can be helpful, but are not a comprehensive treatment for a drug or alcohol use disorder alone.

At AddictionResource.net, we help connect individuals and families with addiction treatment programs that can help them overcome addiction for good.

Addiction treatment may involve:

  • individual and group counseling
  • detoxification services
  • behavioral therapy
  • medication management
  • relapse prevention planning
  • peer support groups
  • aftercare support

Call Today To Find Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one are looking for help with addiction, we may be able to help.

Call our helpline today to learn more about addiction treatment and how to help you, a family member, or other loved one overcome addiction for good.

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Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.

These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

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