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Mobile app which helps veterans seeking to reduce their alcohol consumption is now publicly available

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Today, 21 June 2022, a new smartphone app, Drinks:Ration, which has been found to be successful in helping UK veterans to reduce alcohol consumption, has been made available to the public.

The alcohol intervention app was tested with more than 120 UK veterans- most of whom were recruited from Combat Stress and suffered from mental health problems- as part of a trial funded by Forces in Mind Trust.

After using the app, veterans consumed 28 fewer units of alcohol over a week than they had previously, compared with a control group, who received government advice and consumed 10.5 fewer units of alcohol.

The app, developed by researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London and supported by Combat Stress and Lancaster University, is designed to help people track their alcohol consumption.

Previous research has shown that alcohol misuse is higher in the UK Armed Forces than in the general population, and that this persists after an individual leaves service, particularly for those who are seeking help for a mental health condition. Currently, no app exists in the UK designed to support the UK Armed Forces community to manage the amount they drink.

Dr Daniel Leightley, Lead Researcher from King’s IoPPN, said “Our trial demonstrated that the Drinks:Ration app was effective in reducing alcohol misuse in help-seeking veterans in the medium term. This could make it a valuable tool for the Armed Forces community while they are waiting for treatment and support. This digital intervention could provide a novel, low-cost alternative to conventional help-seeking and be as effective as face-to-interventions. I am pleased that the UK Ministry of Defence will be undertaking a trial of the app with the serving community.”

Professor Dominic Murphy, Head of Research at Combat Stress commented “Our research shows that the Drinks:Ration app supported veterans to make positive changes to their patterns of drinking. We look forward to this app being rolled out more widely to support the veteran community.”

The Ministry of Defence will now be trialling the Drinks:Ration app to assess its benefit to the serving community. The trial is due to start later this year.

To download the report, click here: