Online tool helps reduce drinking

Addiction researchers find self-help tool on the Internet may be as useful as interventions

Researchers at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have found web-based tools could be just as useful as live interventions when it comes to changing drinking behaviours among problem drinkers. According to a study published in the journal Addiction, “problem drinkers provided access to the online screener, reduced their alcohol consumption by 30%—or six to seven drinks weekly—rates that are comparable to face-to-face interventions.” Based on the information a user enters into the web application, the site generates a report that compares their alcohol intake to the national average and informs them of the physical and health risks associated with their drinking patterns. The report also calculates the amount of money spent on alcohol annually and how much of their time is spent under the influence each year. “When presented these facts in a non-judgmental manner,” says principal researcher Dr. John Cunningham, “participants are able to re-evaluate their drinking and may be motivated to reduce their alcohol consumption.


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