stop drinking 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

How people quit or reduce drinking: Setting goals

We’ve been around for a little while now, and we wanted to start sharing some of what we’re learning from our community of members with you. Of course, we won’t share anything specific to any person or small group - just overall averages and percentages. But we think even this high-level info can be helpful to get a sense for what people do when they set out to quit or cut back on drinking.

Let’s start with setting goals. What does that look like?

Here are just a few things we’ve learned about the goals people set in Drinker’s Helper:

  1. People seek help with just cutting back on drinking, not just staying sober. Only 25% of those using Drinker’s Helper have set weekly drinking goals of 0. It’s often overlooked that people who are cutting back on drinking (not just those who are quitting) still want encouragement, advice, and support. It’s tougher than you might think!

  2. People will generally set a reasonable drinking limit, if you advise them as to what that is. We’ve seen less than 5% of our members set daily drinking limits higher than those recommended by the NIAA, and less than 6% set higher weekly drinking limits. It’s encouraging that given the right information, people will make good choices!

  3. People like to start out with a pledge. Fully half of our members set a pledge on their first day using the app. A pledge is a promise to stay sober for a certain number of days. Making a formal pledge can help to strengthen commitment to change, and staying sober can help a person see what life without alcohol is like, and understand their own level of addiction to it.

  4. People are generally able to stick with their goals. We were delighted to find that 78% of our members who checked in were within their drinking limits. Obviously, for those who don’t check in, we have no way of knowing how they’re doing. But it’s encouraging to see that something - the tracking, the goal-setting, the group, the commitment - appears to be working for them.

We’ll keep coming back to you with more insight on what we’re learning in the Drinker’s Helper app. For now, if you are interested but haven’t explored the app yet, please do check it out! We help people quit or cut back on drinking with a combination of drink and urge tracking, insights, a personalized support group, and our library of exercises.


Apps to help people quit drinking

While we of course hope that you use and love Drinker’s Helper, we also want to be sure you have all the tools at your disposal to quit or cut back on drinking. Many of our members use multiple apps, and we want to let you know about some of ones we’ve heard work well.

The benefit of using an app (or more than one app!)

Here are some of the top rated apps that can help you quit or cut back on drinking:

  1. Sober Grid (rated 4.9 stars): This app is great for finding people near you who are also trying to go sober, and getting encouragement from the community. It also helps you track your progress and feel a sense of accomplishment by hitting particular milestones.

  2. I am Sober (rated 4.8 stars): The core of this app is a sobriety counter that helps you track how long you’ve been sober and celebrates successful attainment of sobriety milestones. People also seem to love the motivational quotes, and the ability to make daily personal pledges to strengthen their commitment to sobriety.

  3. Nomo (rated 4.8 stars): Although it also has a simple sobriety clock, this is one of the most feature-complete apps in terms of offering many different tools to quit or cut back on drinking. They offer games to distract yourself instead of drinking, a journal, community encouragement, milestone celebrations, the ability to find accountability partners and talk to them, and more.

We encourage you to explore the apps that are out there and find what works for you. There are quite a few apps that are designed to help people quit or cut back on drinking. You can see more profiled here on Healthline).

Our app, Drinker’s Helper (rated 4.5 stars), combines three important pieces of the process: support groups, tracking and insights, and motivational exercises.

We have our own unique take on all three. For the support groups, we think it’s important that you talk to people similar to you, so we match you with others who have similar past drinking habits.

For the tracking and insights, we think it’s important not just to track drinking, but also to track urges to drink and the circumstances behind each. That helps you get an idea of what drives you to drink, so you can more effectively fight our urges.

Finally, for the exercises, we drew from two evidence-based therapies: cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy.

We believe that using the app, you can get valuable support to quit or cut back on drinking. Join today!