How does APPstinent work?
Smartphones are well established with people by now. Really well established- it seems like they are part of the body in some people's hands- or part of the "I"(Myself)concept it would seem.
Smartphones can act as an external motherboard of our brain and access to new knowledge. Important information and also help tools are always handy and ready to be clicked on. One click and all the knowledge is accessible and usuable. It can be transferred and memorized to the brain.
If that kind of perception is a bit too much for some people, at least they can agree that the Smartphone is a reliable mobile partner with whom most people by now maintain a strong user relationship. With the Smartphone as a partner, people can ask for support at all times. Why not use this strong relationship between yourself and the Smartphone as a support and training tool, as an emergency kit in challenging situations like maintaining the resolve to stay abstinent from consuming alcohol?
The Smartphone as the modern pocket Therapist.
Still, the memory of addiction often seems to be unforgetable for some people- so far only retraining your brain to think and maintain abstinence seems to be possible. To faciliate retraining, your brain must stay sober. APPstinent was designed as a learning program in the form of a game. APPstinent is rewarding abstinence decisions by winning points and stars. Previously "desire triggers" leading to drinking alcohol, now are connected with a different reward than alcohol consumption. With frequent use of the APP and collecting abstinent days, points are gained and people are rewarded with different coloured stars. Producing a strong association between thinking and acting sober and the reward stars are established and reinforced. The longer period of time that you are abstinent and the frequency of the use of the APP, take you to the next level, all the way up to the golden star. With frequent use of the APP only pushing the "No!" Button and its vibration, will be enough to stimulate the decision to stay abstinent.
Like the knot in your handkerchief, it reminds you that you resolved to stay sober.