Dr. Hester has joined Psychwire’s panel of experts. He answers questions about drinking, heavy drinking, alcohol problems and others related to alcohol. Here’s a link to the questions.
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CheckUp & Choices is the leading provider of a clinically proven online program, created to help people who want to change their drinking or drug use. The non-profit organization Self-Management And Recovery Training (SMART) collaborated with CheckUp & Choices in a randomized clinical trial that proved people who participate in both the SMART Recovery meetings and the CheckUp & Choices program have a higher chance of success in recovery.
In fact, SMART Recovery now encourages their participants to use CheckUp & Choices’ evidence-based program to increase their odds of success. One of the best parts about using CheckUp & Choices is that you get to evaluate your drinking habits and reduce problems associated with them in a completely confidential and non-judgmental environment – all from your smartphone or computer.
If you’re considering joining the program to practice control or quit your use of alcohol, marijuana, stimulants, opioids, or any other substance, here are a few reasons why CheckUp & Choices can help you achieve your objective:
It Is Based on the Proven Principles of Behavioral Change and SMART Recovery
The digital tools and behavioral and cognitive strategies you’ll find inside the program reinforce the SMART Recovery principles of self-motivation to make it easier for you to overcome your issue. The program will equip you with mindfulness exercises and tracking tools to support each aspect of your efforts:
- Coping with urges, be it to drink or use drugs.
- Building and maintaining motivation.
- Controlling your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.
- Living a healthier, balanced life.
It Helps Increase Your Internal Motivation
If you’re assessing your drinking for the very first time, we recommend starting with the 35-minute CheckUp. It is specifically designed to increase one’s internal motivation to change by giving them individualized feedback that are based on national norms for age and gender. Inside the CheckUp, you’ll have access to sections titled “Look At Your Drinking” and “Get Feedback” which may help you increase self-awareness. Then the “Consider Your Options” section may help you make an educated decision about changing the habit.
Here’s what you will learn from your CheckUp:
- How to clarify your relationship with alcohol/drugs/other substances, including its effect on your health and life in general.
- Whether you need to change your habit.
- Which option would be better for you – moderation or quitting altogether?
If you want to make serious changes in your life, the Abstain program provides mindfulness techniques and behavioral exercises through guided emails. You’ll receive the emails at your own pace (i.e., every day or every week). These tools and techniques will help you track your progress, set realistic goals, identify and manage triggers, and maintain motivation throughout the process.
It Has Shown Promising Results
The program has been scientifically proven to help address and reduce problems with alcohol consumption. In multiple studies funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), individuals who used CheckUp & Choices showed:
- A 36% reduction of drinking days.
- A 50% decrease in alcohol related problems.
- A 55% decrease in drinking intensity, frequency, and quantity of drinking.
If you are not ready to attend the SMART Recovery meetings, the program resources can serve as a convenient first step toward real change. It can also complement your attendance in meetings.