My Sober Life is an app created specifically for adolescents and young adults who are in recovery from alcohol or other drug addiction. My Sober Life was designed and field tested with young adults (age 14 to 25) to offer expert daily guidance, strategies, and targeted tools specifically for young people in early (first year) recovery.
The readings in the Today tool feature daily strategies that help adolescent users focus on positive actions for today. The Sober Counter at the bottom of the home page shows each day, hour, and second in recovery as they add up to show progress. The SOS tool offers an easy way for the user to reach out to a recovery friend, counselor, or sponsor when he or she needs help. The Meeting Finder includes quick access to the AA, NA, and Al-Anon/Alateen websites to make finding local meetings easy. The Stop Cravings/Stay Motivated tool allows the user to upload personal images and captions of his or her goals or favorite sayings to view anytime as a reminder to stay sober. The Track My Day tool offers users a way to easily see their biggest obstacles (things that hold an individual back) and power ups (things that give an individual strength) in recovery. The Relapse tool gives users easy access to information about avoiding relapse along with customizable relapse prevention and response plans. The Twelve Steps tool breaks down each Step into easy-to-understand concepts. My Sober Life is based on current brain research, stages of change, motivational enhancement therapy (MET), and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). My Sober Life was developed using similar functions and content as the Mobile MORE Field Guide to Life app, both of which were born from the MORE (My Ongoing Recovery Experience), web-based program created by Hazelden in 2006. In 2013, Mobile MORE Field Guide to Life won the White House top award for best patient empowerment app for behavioral health. It is expected that the My Sober Life app will continue the success of the two previous MORE products.
The My Sober Life app tracks client engagement data, including feature use and relapse occurrence as reported by the user resetting the Sober Counter (turn device horizontal to see the counter appear). My Sober Life just launched in Jan 2014, but after three months of data is available we expect to see that many young clients open the app daily and use Today’s message as part of a daily recovery practice. We built this app specifically for youth by adding features like the ability to share the first segment of the daily message with a friend by text message, since many in this demographic text more than email. We expect that certain users (“sharers”) will frequently share daily messages with friends. The My Sober Life app designers will review these data analytics at quarterly intervals as part of a continuous app improvement process to maximize young client engagement and remove or improve unpopular features. This information can support and inform clinical trials.
Many aspects of the My Sober Life app can be customized for the individual client in recovery. For example, the SOS contact list is made to encourage the client to identify and store three key supporters that can help in crisis. The relapse response and relapse prevention plan fields encourage the client to create and input his or her personal plans with the help of a sponsor, counselor or friend. The Track tool encourages the client to take a quick account of his or her day and ask: “What positive things did I do today in my recovery practice and what are the challenges that may hold me back?” Over time, this data builds an easy to read trend report which shows how I’m spending my time in recovery and quickly see opportunities for improvement. This app was designed based on collaboration and field testing with young adults who have already been successful in recovery. Young adults asked us to create a tool that they could visit to remind them of their goals and their consequences of returning to chemical use. So we created the Craving tool to allow the client to create a photo library with custom captions and we expect this to be a popular feature with this young audience.
We build apps that not only offer expert guidance but also offer the client many ways to share insights with friends and to customize the app to serve his or her goals and situation.