The App Designed to Fight Alcoholism

In a world dominated by cell phones and technology, it comes as no surprise that your recovery can be managed through an app. The recent development comes courtesy of researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Named ControlTheBrain, the new gaming app fends of alcoholism by rewiring neural circuitry.

In layman’s terms, the app teaches the brain to not get stuck on negative patterns of thought. The game works by showing photos of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, in which the user has to make the decision to either pull the drink in closer or to push it away. However, the user actually cannot bring the drink in closer – they only have the option to push it away. The only drinks that are allowed to be brought in closer are the non-alcoholic drinks. The constant repetition of said behavior inevitably ends up rewiring the brain to respond to alcohol in a different way.

According to lecturer in psychology, health and technology at the University of Twente, Marloes Postel, “Both conscious and unconscious processes play a role in keeping an addiction going, so paying attention to both will therefore have the greatest effect. The app offers a simple alternative to those addicts for whom approaching a therapist is too big a step, as it helps them to overcome these biases themselves in an unconscious way.”

The app is the perfect solution for those who are nervous about attending AA meetings or are hesitant to receive alcohol addiction treatment; it is not only easier to access than a meeting, but also maintains the privacy of the user.

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