Can your smartphone Really get you sober? No. Of course not. But it can be another tool to help you get — and stay — sober.

Everyone seems to be excited about technology and how it can help grow in sobriety.  Us “old timers” can remember when we used to carry cassette tapes in the car and would pop in a tape to listen to “How it Works” or hear someone share their story of experience, strength, and hope. That was big technology — you could take Alcoholics Anonymous with you (almost) anywhere and have a meeting.

From cassette tapes, we moved to the VCR and then DVDs. Now, we can get actional steps on our phones, have daily meditations emailed to us and enjoy recovery stories on our tablets.

Technology can be the force behind addiction. Not always. But sometimes. Digital technology can be used to facilitate substance dependence. A person can stay at home, order wine online and have it shipped right to the house. Prescription medications may be ordered online and shipped in, illegally, from other nations. Often, illicit drug dealers set up ‘buts’ through text messaging and video chat. Tech certainly feeds gambling and shopping addictions as well as compulsive porn use.

There are two sides, and the opposite site of this is that technology can be utilized to help recovery from addictions just as quickly.

Online Twelve-Step meetings are not new. Neither are online support groups. Sites such as InTheRooms seem to have brought the two together in an effect way. ITR has over 400,000 members and is the largest network for those in recovery.

Technology and Therapy

We use computers and smartphones to keep in touch, but things and conduct business. Technology is getting smarter every day.

On the other hand, psychotherapy is one of the most basic of all human activities. Personal interaction, either between therapist and patient or patient and patient, make up the core of psychotherapy. Technology may help address substance abuse and some technology assisted therapies to hold promise.

Best Recovery Apps of 2017 identified four apps like the ‘best’ based on quality, user reviews, and reliability. These apps are available for use inexpensive smartphones and wholesale tablets.

Twelve Steps Companion

Alcoholics Anonymous is possibly the most popular recovery program for alcoholics. The ‘companion’ is based on AA’s 12-step program, and each step is a milestone in achieving success in recovery. The app contains the complete Big Book along with daily prayers and a sobriety calculator.

AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker

The tracker is built to help monitor and track alcohol consumption. It estimates blood alcohol levels and helps in tracking alcohol use. The app won’t tell you if you have a drinking problem, but it does provide additional data on which you can decide.

Coach Me

While not built specifically for alcohol problems, Coach.Me can be useful in setting and achieving sobriety goals. Coach.Me also helps celebrate milestones.

My Daily Journal

When we’re struggling with addiction, our thoughts and feelings need somewhere to go. Writing them down can be cathartic. My Daily Journal also allows images to be added to daily entries and shared — but only if you wish.

Addiction can take away everything. Recovery hands it back — often ten-fold. Meetings, books, community, and technology can be the tools we use as we enjoy sober living.

The power to improve is in our hands.