Sober Grid offers practitioners a tool to recommend to their clients seeking sobriety. The app helps users track their abstinence and connect and share with other app users seeking sobriety. By joining groups or using a location, the user can find individuals, locally or globally, who will celebrate their accomplishments and support them in their struggles. By completing the daily tasks, users will create data to look back on as they track their work with their practitioner. This app could be useful for a practitioners work with individual clients or entire support groups.
Compatibility: Available only on iOS devices.
Target Audience: Practitioners working with individuals seeking sobriety.
Bottom Line: Provides a free peer support network right in the user’s pocket to aid them in their recovery.
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Features and Options:
Sober grid offers various ways for users to track their journey to sobriety and feel encouraged about their accomplishments. For example, the “Counter” function tracks time sober and days when sobriety is broken. The user can view their history of sobriety in their “My Progress” tab. To celebrate accomplishments along the way, Sober Grid offers badges, which the user can share with the sober grid community or keep private.
Another main tracking feature of the app is “Daily Quests.” This function encourages the user to complete four daily tasks: 1) read the daily inspiration, 2) check into the app, 3) write on the gratitude list, and 4) comment on another user’s post. The more the user fulfils these daily tasks, the more data the user will have as they look back on their progress.
The Sober Grid Newsfeed
The app includes a newsfeed feature, which displays the most recent user posts from all over the globe. The newsfeed can be filtered so it only displays friends’ or certain group’s posts. The content of posts include encouragements, admissions of struggles, and sobriety accomplishments.
The user can post to the newsfeed by writing a post, checking in, or using the triggered function. When checking in, the user is prompted to answer whether they are staying sober, what their current mood is, and what is going on. Instead, if the user selects the “Triggered” function, the app posts to the global newsfeed that the user is triggered. The Sober Grid network responds immediately with comments of encouragement, ideas to avoid breaking sobriety, and individual direct messages.
Building a Community
Sober Grid offers users a variety of ways to meet and connect with smaller groups or individuals over the app. To become a member of a group, the user can simply request to join. Groups are usually associated with in-person sobriety support groups. As such, groups allow users to track their sobriety with real life community members.
Users can also locate other app users in their geographical area. Sober Grid only shares a user’s location if the user has given the app permission. Before initiating a conversation with other app users, the user can view profiles. Some users choose to fill in information on their profiles, while others choose to leave much of their profiles blank, upholding their anonymity.
Talking to peers
The app offers a direct messaging function. Any user can choose to direct message another user. Generally, messages include words of encouragement and greetings. Occasionally, we found that messages can be flirty and potentially inappropriate, considering the app’s main purpose. If another user sends an offensive message, the user can abstain from responding, but there is no block function. While we think this part of the app could be helpful, we recommend practitioners warn their clients about the possible misuse of this function by other users.
The importance of self-help in addiction recovery process is well accepted. Sober Grid could likely represent an additional element to a comprehensive, self-help strategy. As with any intervention, it is incumbent upon the social worker to examine the benefits and risks of using the app. This collaboration should result in a specific addition to the client’s service plan. For example, the practitioner may not want to use the sobriety counter early when abstinence may be more difficult and continually resenting the counter may be discouraging. But using the triggered function may be critical to getting immediate support in times when professional help is not available.
Sober Grid could also be helpful for work with groups. Practitioners presiding over a sobriety support group could create a Sober Grid app group for members to voluntarily join. Real life groups with Sober Grid app groups could increase morale and cast a wider net of accountability amidst group members.
Device used for this review: IPad