cbt app

New to Drinker's Helper: Profiles, Matches, and Programs, oh my!

We wanted to share a bit more context on some recent updates we’ve made to Drinker’s Helper, the companion app for people who are cutting back or quitting drinking.

There are three new things you’ve probably noticed if you’ve gone into the latest version of the app:

  1. Profiles: a simple, anonymous profile to introduce yourself to your Group

  2. Matches: introductions to others in your Group who share similar specific challenges

  3. Programs: organized courses of exercises

So why did we make these changes? Well, it’s all about what’s right for you (figuratively speaking).

We believe that being understood is critical in getting meaningful support. While in some broad sense everyone using Drinker’s Helper is trying to do the same thing (cut back or quit drinking), in another sense each person’s challenge is quite unique.

For example, some people work as bartenders, or in the wine industry. Wow. That’s a hard one. Imagine how hard it is cutting back or quitting drinking when you’re surrounded by the stuff and constantly offered free drinks!

Some people are better suited to supporting one another because they have specific challenges like that in common and can share tips. But there are more basic examples, too. Someone who primarily drinks when celebrating with their hard-partying social circle is going to have a harder time connecting with someone who primarily drinks at home alone when feeling depressed.

That’s why we created both Profiles and Matches - to help you meet people in your Group who can offer the right support to you based on what you’re dealing with. We hope you make deeper, faster connections as a result of talking with your Matches.

The same simple core insight led us to create Programs: that each of us has unique challenges in cutting back or quitting drinking. There are over 100 exercises in the Drinker’s Helper library, and it is important that we pick the right ones for you based on the support you need.

Some people need to shore up their motivation to change their drinking; others are plenty motivated and simply need some mental tricks to change how they think about alcohol. Programs allow us to tailor a set of courses to your situation.

We hope you give Profiles, Matches and Programs a try in the Drinker’s Helper app!

A mockup of a Match

A mockup of a Match

Quick Profiles: the rehab option

Our goal with Drinker’s Helper has always been to help people before they reach the point of needing rehab, or to continue helping them upon completion of a successful rehab stint.

However, we did some basic research to understand what goes on in such programs, and wanted to share our findings with you.

We should caveat this by saying we did not dive deep into any of the particular rehab centers, so their specific programs may be very different from what we describe.

  1. It’s actually the less popular option among formal treatment. According to Sober For Good, 90% of all addiction treatment in the US is actually outpatient, where you continue to live at home and go to a program during the day. Inpatient programs are the ones you’ve probably heard of or seen celebrities go to. Their advantage is that you live at the center, and it’s an important part of ensuring you stick with the program (you’re free of temptation, around others who are also avoiding those substances). Outpatient is cheaper, and has the benefit of making you deal with the situations at home or at work that make you want to drink.

  2. Most programs offer both group and individual counseling. It’s hard to overstate the importance of not feeling alone in this effort; that’s why we have virtual support groups in Drinker’s Helper. Those who give counseling are often former addicts, which means they can empathize with those in treatment rather than coming off as judgmental.

  3. Many are 12-steps based. (If you’re not familiar, this is the Alcoholics Anonymous program). This is not always the case; some focus more on cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy, the two therapies from which we drew our exercises in Drinker’s Helper. But it’s true for 90% of programs.

If you’re interested in formal treatment for alcohol abuse or dependence, there are countless resources available with just a quick scan of Google; the largest national chain is American Addiction Centers.

If you’re not yet at that point, but want to make changes to your drinking, we’d love to help. Drinker’s Helper is an app that offers exercises based on cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy, support groups, tracking, and insights to help people cut back or quit drinking.