TORONTO, June 5, 2014 /CNW/ - A new mobile app developed by the Centre
for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) offers those who want to reduce
or quit drinking alcohol the ability to track and manage their drinking
Excessive alcohol consumption is a major public health concern, leading
to over 200 diseases and injuries. In May 2014, the World Health
Organization released a report that showed Canadians drink more than
the global average, with 23 per cent of drinkers engaging in binge
The new app, called Saying When, is a mobile version of a self-monitoring program pioneered by Dr.
Martha Sanchez-Craig while a Senior Scientist at the former Addiction
Research Foundation (now CAMH). Previously a paper-based manual, the
program is clinically sound and has helped people cut back or quit
drinking successfully for over 25 years.
"We've been waiting for the technology to catch up to this program,"
said Wayne Skinner, Deputy Clinical Director at CAMH. "The ability to
discreetly track and monitor urges and consumption in real time will
help people who are concerned about their drinking be successful with
their goal to reduce or abstain."
Saying When is designed for people who are concerned about their drinking, but who
do not have a severe alcohol use disorder.
On launch, Saying When app users are presented with a tour of the app's features, including an
introduction to Canada's Low Risk Drinking Guidelines developed by the
National Alcohol Strategy Advisory Committee. Before moving on to track
urges and consumption, app users will complete a section called "Taking
Stock" to help determine current drinking patterns and set a baseline
for future success.
"Recent studies have shown that entertainment- based apps including
drinking recipes or drinking games are the most common type of
alcohol-related app," said Tim Tripp, Director, Library Services &
Knowledge Mobilization at CAMH. "To our knowledge, Saying When is the only mobile tool based on an established clinical program that
helps people monitor their drinking and efforts to cut back or quit."
To make personal tracking easy and precise, the Saying When app describes and defines standard drinks through info-graphics. Each
drink entered is measured when the app user fills the interactive glass
and determines how many standard drinks they have consumed.
Throughout the tracking process, the app is programed to offer tips for
success as the user makes progress. The coping section of the app also
provides users with the opportunity to learn what strategies work best
for them as they rank the success of each one over time.
"Many people are motivated to change their drinking behaviour," said
Skinner. "Saying When gives them a way to do so on their own or, if they are getting help, to
set goals and keep track of how they are doing, day by day. Having a
mobile version of this resource will allow us to reach and help more
The Saying When app is now available for purchase in the iTunes store.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as
well as one of the world's leading research centres in its field. CAMH
combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and
health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by
mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is fully affiliated with
the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health
Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For
more information, please visit www.camh.ca.
SOURCE: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
For further information:
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
416 535 8501 x36015