NSW Health has just launched the new free smartphone app,
Drinks Meter. The app is a useful tool in this time of social distancing and isolation as it provides you with an opportunity to manage your alcohol consumption in times of stress and anxiety.
The Drinks Meter app is packed with unique features to help you control and reduce how much you are drinking. They include:
- Interactive tools to assess your alcohol intake using common standard drinks, kilojoules (calories) and unhealthy food equivalents
- Feedback on your alcohol consumption adjusted to your individual personal risk factors, including family and medical history (e.g. BMI, prescription medication, mental illness and other drug use)
- Drinking diary with weekly goal setting function and reminders (along with encouraging tips)
- Calculator to track your alcohol expenses and savings
- Comparison tool to see where your drinking measures with national guidelines and more than 30,000 other Drinks Meter users
The Drinks Meter app was developed in the UK by Professor Adam Winstock, an addiction medicine specialist and founder of Global Drug Survey and has been customised for Australian audiences.
"The personalised elements of Drinks Meter means that the information provided is specific to the person using the app, allowing them to make informed choices about their alcohol consumption." Said Mr Daniel Madeddu, Director of Alcohol and Other Drugs, NSW Ministry of Health.
A unique feature of Drinks Meter is the 'risk adjustor', it provides you with confidential feedback adjusted to your personal risk factors. Such as information on your personal and family medical history, if you are using other drugs (prescription or illicit) and other health considerations.
"The benefit of Drinks Meter is it's always available on your phone and can help you manage your drinking during these times of social isolation and increased anxiety." - Mr Madeddu, Director of Alcohol and Other Drugs, NSW Ministry of Health
The app is available free to download in the
Google Play and
Apple App stores.
Alcohol use in Australia
Alcohol continues to be one of the major causes of
preventable disease in Australia, it is associated with the risk of developing a range of health problems such as mental health issues, liver disease, some cancers and heart disease, as well as injuries resulting from road accidents and violence.
"People should be aware of how many standard drinks they are drinking. Drinks Meter has an interactive pouring tool to help people understand how many standard drinks are in common glasses. People can also check alcohol they have bought from retail outlets as it will show on the label how many standard drinks it contains." Said Mr Madeddu.
If you need further help the app can refer you to services like the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) for specialist counselling or the Get Health Coaching Service, which offers a program of modules for people needing extra help to cut back on their drinking.
For free and confidential advice 24/7 call Family Drug Support on
1300 368 186 or Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 250 015. Counsellors are available to provide information, referrals, crisis counselling and support. Or start a
Web Chat with an ADIS counsellor online Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5pm. ADIS can also provide up-to-date information about service availability in your area during the COVID-19 pandemic.