Smartphone app may decrease unhealthy alcohol use among college students

Clinical Question

Can a smartphone application decrease unhealthy alcohol use among university students who self-report excess alcohol use?

Bottom line

A smartphone application can lower, on average, the amount of drinking — total amount and heavy drinking days— in college students who are concerned enough about their drinking to try the app. The app used in this study is not universally available but a quick trip through the app stores revealed a bunch of low-cost or no-cost apps that targeted university students. Other studies have also found apps to provide some reduction in alcohol use. 1b-

Study design: Randomized controlled trial (nonblinded)

Funding: Foundation

Setting: Outpatient (any)


Allen F. Shaughnessy, PharmD, MMedEd
Professor of Family Medicine
Tufts University
Boston, MA

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Impact assessment



cell phone and drinking

good to know


using apps and alcohol use

Good to know, apps can be of help in lowering alcohol use in university student