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Mobile MORE Field Guide to Life App Keeps Addict On Road to Recovery

With so many mobile apps to get your drink on -- from Hello Vino to Mixology -- Hazelden, one of the largest operators of alcohol and drug addiction treatment centers, has released a mobile app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad to help people stay sober in trying times. (The MORE in the title stands for My Ongoing Recovery Experience.)

The price is a bit steep, $6.99 for each app in the three-app set ($20.97 for all three,) but does offer recovering addicts the convenience of an interactive book, workbook and a daily planner complete with daily wisdom and affirmations. The app looks, feels and handles like an eBook, so using an iPhone or iPod touch seems impractical. Writing notes and plans on a small keyboard could be torturou. We would recommend the iPad's larger screen for this app.

In "The Basics," the first volume designed for the first four months of a recovering addict's journey from rehab to real life, the menu starts off with five easily navigable buttons: Today, Track, Challenges, 12 Steps and Support.  The guide starts by offering a five-day intro focused on making one's environment safe (Today,) and gives quick access to the 12 Steps.  The app also gives a daily message including new guidance, actions and thoughts for the day and lets users write and save notes. The Track button provides a way to monitor positive choices versus negative ones, and the Challenges button offers challenges and follow-up activities to assist in recovery. The first is planning your daily schedule while avoiding triggers and high-risk situations.  

Probably the most important part of the app is the Support button which opens to a page where users write down contacts to use in times of crisis, called SOS. It has a single red button in the middle of the screen to click and contact all three people with a pre-programmed message, "Please contact me as soon as you can. I really need your help. Thanks." The section also uses GPS to find support meetings, and offers information on how to both prevent a relapse and create a plan to deal with one.

Following rehab, this interactive mobile app may be vital for those needing additional support and guidance, when used as a tool in conjunction with support meetings. But for someone trying to go cold-turkey, or handle their sobriety on their own, we're not sure an app is the way to go.