Swipe away alcoholism? Smartphone app helps college students cut their heavy drinking
Swipe away alcoholism? Smartphone app helps college students ... Study Finds
Reducing Alcohol Consumption with Smartphone App: A Report
Unhealthy alcohol consumption poses a significant health risk, particularly for individuals between 15 and 49 years old. College students, in particular, are prone to engaging in excessive drinking. To address this issue, international researchers have developed a smartphone app aimed at promoting responsible drinking among college students. This report presents the findings of a study that examined the effectiveness of the app in reducing alcohol consumption.
The study involved 1,770 students from four Swiss universities who had previously been identified as having unhealthy alcohol habits. These students reported an average weekly consumption of 8.59 standard alcoholic drinks and engaged in heavy drinking on 3.53 days a month. The participants were randomly divided into two groups: the intervention group and the comparison group. The intervention group was asked to download the “Smaart” app, while the comparison group did not receive any assistance or support to reduce their drinking.
After a year, the intervention group reported a 10% reduction in their weekly alcohol intake and an 11% decrease in heavy drinking days per month compared to the comparison group. The app features personalized feedback on drinking habits, estimated blood alcohol content, a self-monitoring tool, goal setting, a designated driver selector, and informational fact sheets on the impact of alcohol on health. The participants in the intervention group accessed the app an average of 21.2 times over the year.
The study had some limitations, including the potential under-reporting of alcohol intake due to self-reporting by the students. There is also a possibility that students from the comparison group might have accessed the app indirectly through friends.
The study authors report that providing access to the app for 12 months was effective at reducing the average drinking volume of university students with unhealthy alcohol use. The intervention method is resource-efficient and does not require hiring trained professionals or dedicated campus spaces. However, it is important to note that such interventions are not a complete solution to reducing harmful alcohol use, especially in achieving international targets like the Sustainable Development Goal of a 20% reduction in harmful alcohol use by 2030.
The study highlights the potential of smartphone apps in promoting responsible drinking among college students. The app’s availability for both Apple and Android smartphones makes it accessible to a wide range of users. It is recommended that digital and mobile health interventions be considered alongside existing services to reduce alcohol intake, as supported by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. The findings of this study contribute to the global efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Analysis
1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?
- SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
- SDG 4: Quality Education
- SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
The article addresses the issue of unhealthy alcohol consumption among college students, which is linked to SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being). It also mentions the creation of a smartphone app aimed at promoting responsible drinking, which is connected to SDG 4 (Quality Education) as it provides educational resources on the impact of alcohol on health. Additionally, the study’s success in reducing alcohol intake through the app highlights the importance of partnerships and collaborations (SDG 17) in addressing health-related issues.
2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?
- Target 3.5: Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.
- Target 4.7: By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles.
- Target 17.16: Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology, and financial resources.
The article’s content aligns with Target 3.5 of SDG 3, which aims to strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including harmful use of alcohol. The development and implementation of the smartphone app contribute to this target by providing a tool for individuals to monitor and reduce their alcohol consumption. The app also supports Target 4.7 of SDG 4, as it promotes sustainable lifestyles and educates users about the impact of alcohol on health. Furthermore, the collaboration between international researchers and the availability of the app for both Apple and Android smartphones demonstrate progress towards Target 17.16 of SDG 17, which emphasizes the importance of global partnerships and knowledge-sharing in achieving sustainable development goals.
3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?
- Weekly alcohol intake
- Frequency of heavy drinking days per month
- Number of app downloads and usage frequency
The article mentions several indicators that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets. The reduction in weekly alcohol intake and frequency of heavy drinking days per month serve as indicators for Target 3.5 of SDG 3, as they reflect a decrease in unhealthy alcohol consumption. Additionally, the number of app downloads and usage frequency can be indicators of the effectiveness and engagement with the intervention app, supporting Target 4.7 of SDG 4 by measuring the acquisition of knowledge and skills related to responsible drinking.
SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Table
|SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being||Target 3.5: Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.||
|SDG 4: Quality Education||Target 4.7: By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles.||
|SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals||Target 17.16: Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology, and financial resources.||
Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.
Join us, as fellow seekers of change, on a transformative journey at https://sdgtalks.ai/welcome, where you can become a member and actively contribute to shaping a brighter future.