Talking to a friend or loved one about their drinking habits can be a difficult conversation. When is the right time to step in? What is the right thing to say? A new app is looking to make this discussion easier and more effective.
Called “One Degree, Shift the Influence,” the app allows users to take part in two simulated conversations. In one interaction, you speak with a co-worker, “Jordan,” whose job is in jeopardy due to his excessive partying habits. In another, your family member, “Donna,” is a woman in her 40s who is going through a divorce and whose drinking has escalated. These situations have organic scripts that progress like a conversation would in real life and are guided by the user’s answers. Even more helpfully, the app provides feedback at every turn. The app was created by Peer Assistance Services Inc., a company that trains nurses and other medical professionals on how to speak with people struggling with addiction.
Currently, about one in four people in America engage in problematic drinking behaviors that can affect them socially, personally, and professionally. This app is designed to help people feel better prepared to approach their loved ones who are struggling with substance abuse. The app’s developers hope that by providing tools for practicing this conversation, more people will discuss substance misuse with their loved ones sooner.