According to scientists, using the app Drink Less can help reduce harmful alcohol consumption.

According to scientists, using the app Drink Less can help reduce harmful alcohol consumption.

According to researchers, utilizing a tracking application to monitor one’s alcohol consumption could potentially decrease their intake by approximately two units per week, which is equivalent to the amount in a medium-sized glass of wine.

A study conducted at UCL reported that their Drink Less application is accessible for free on Apple products and can aid individuals deemed as high-risk drinkers. This app enables users to establish targets, track their alcohol consumption, and document their emotions and quality of sleep post-drinking.

The research, which included over 5,000 individuals, discovered that those who were randomly advised to utilize the Drink Less app were able to decrease their alcohol consumption by 39 units per week after six months.

On average, this was equal to a decrease of two units per week compared to the control group who received regular advice from the NHS.

The study revealed that women experienced greater benefits from using the app than those who were directed to the NHS advice website, with many reducing their alcohol intake by an extra 2.5 units per week.

According to specialists, although adding two units per week may seem insignificant, the results could have a notable impact on preventing potential health risks and saving on NHS expenses.

The primary author of the study, Dr. Melissa Oldham from the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, noted that the findings demonstrate the efficacy of the Drink Less app in helping individuals decrease their alcohol intake.

Drinking alcohol can cause various health problems like cancer and heart disease.

The Drink Less application has the potential to aid the approximately 20% of adults in the UK who consume alcohol at quantities that pose a threat to their well-being in reducing their intake.

According to the NHS, it is advised to limit alcohol consumption to 14 units per week, spread over three or more days.

This is equivalent to approximately six 175ml glasses of wine or six pints of 4% beer.

The National Health Service (NHS) offers a Drink Free Days app designed to assist individuals in reducing their alcohol consumption.

Approximately 1/5 of the adult population in the UK consumes alcohol at a rate that raises their chances of experiencing negative health effects.

Dr Melissa Oldham

Other applications are available, including the MyDrinkaware App by the alcohol education charity Drinkaware, which has over 100,000 downloads on Google Play.

Dr. Claire Garnett, from the UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care and the University of Bristol, was in charge of a group that created the app while at UCL. She stated: “There are many apps available that claim to help individuals reduce their drinking, but this is the first randomized controlled trial for an alcohol reduction app in the UK, targeted towards the general population.”

“I suggest trying an app with solid evidence if you plan on using one.”

“A poorly functioning application may decrease the likelihood of an individual attempting to decrease their alcohol consumption in the future.”

Sadie Boniface, Ph.D., director of research at the Institute of Alcohol Studies, stated: “The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) already advocates the use of digital interventions as a supplementary measure to existing services. Therefore, the knowledge that an effective app is available is a highly positive development.”

Expanding the reach of the Drink Less application has the potential to positively impact public health.

“Nevertheless, it is worth noting that like many other digital health applications, these may not be suitable for everyone.”

Applications are a useful tool to have, but they cannot solve all issues related to alcohol harm.

What is required is a comprehensive plan on a national level that involves utilizing apps in conjunction with other effective measures and policies, like increasing the price of alcohol, reducing its availability and aggressive promotion, and enhancing access to alcohol rehabilitation and assistance.

The study, which was released in the journal eClinicalMedicine, was financially supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).