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The Top Apps to Help With Substance Use Disorder in 2023

Elena Hill, MD, MPH profile image
Medically Reviewed By Elena Hill, MD, MPH • Updated Oct 11, 2023 • 11 cited sources

There are a number of apps that can help in the recovery process from substance use disorder (SUD). We’ve outlined the top ones available in 2023 below. Please note this is not an endorsement of any of these applications, but simply an opportunity to share some available resources so that you as a patient can decide for yourself if they might be of benefit to you in your recovery. 

What Are the Benefits of Using Apps for Substance Use Disorder?

While apps shouldn’t be used to replace the help of mental health professionals, they can be a supplemental recovery resource for those struggling with substance misuse.

An addiction recovery app can help you to set and meet important goals, walk you through exercises or activities that support recovery, and sometimes even allow you to speak with a mental health professional virtually. 

What Are the Top Apps for SUD in 2023?

The ideal application will depend on your specific recovery needs. Here are the top 10 apps to support recovery from SUD in 2023:

1. Pear reSET

This app, available in English and Spanish, aims to provide a  12-week prescription digital therapeutic program to patients with SUD. It is unique in that it is the first FDA-approved treatment of this kind, with solid evidence showing that it can increase drug abstinence and treatment retention rates.

Some recent reviews have said updates to the application have made it run worse, making it more difficult to use. This app also requires a user to provide some personal data, although this is fairly standard.[1]

2. Sober Grid

Sober Grid is a multipurpose addiction recovery application, offering users peer support coaching, a supportive online community, digital therapeutics, and a digital library of mental health resources. The company claims to have made their tools evidence-based. [2]

This application is well reviewed and doesn’t seem to have any obvious red flags beyond what seems like standard levels of data collection.

3. Nomo – Sobriety Clocks

Nomo is a different sort of application than those mentioned so far in this list. It was designed by a man in recovery named Parker rather than a company.

The idea of the application is very simple. It allows you to set up multiple different clocks to track different aspects of recovery, such as how long you’ve been sober and how many days you’ve otherwise been engaging in positive (or negative) habits.[3] This application is very well reviewed. It does seem to collect some personal data. 

4. SoberTool

SoberTool is another sobriety help app. It does a number of things, including calculating the number of days a user has been sober and estimating the amount of money that sobriety has saved the individual. It can generate daily strategies to continue recovery, and it markets itself as also providing a great forum for those in recovery.[4] Overall, this application reviews very well and doesn’t indicate that it collects much data. 

5. WEconnect

WEconnect is a mobile app that markets itself as helping a person go through a journey of personal wellness. It isn’t solely an addiction recovery application, although it can help a person in recovery through the one-on-one peer support offered, free online meetings with certified peers, and an easy-to-use routine maintenance tool..[5]

6. rTribe

rTribe is a tool that markets itself as the first counseling and habit change platform “to offer an innovative smart-match solution…to the best licensed therapists and certified coaches.” A major component of the app is getting some key information from a user and helping them find the best professional for their needs. The application also offers peer support, company accountability, and analytic insights based on the information you put into it.

The application seems to review well, with occasional reports of technical issues being the major source of lower ratings. It also definitionally needs to collect significant amounts of data from users. Overall, it’s worth considering, especially for those who have struggled to find a good counselor for their needs.[6]

7. I am

I am is a different type of application than the rest discussed thus far, as it focuses on providing users with daily affirmations to bolster confidence and build self-esteem. While less directly related to addiction recovery than the other applications on this list, this application is very well reviewed and has a straightforward premise. Daily affirmations may not help everyone, but some people really benefit from the positive messages.

The biggest downside of this application is related to the data it collects. Despite presumably not needing large amounts of user data to function, the application still collects a fairly large pool of user data, much of which is noted as linked to a source user.[7]

8. 12 Step Toolkit

The 12 Step Toolkit is designed to help users go through the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. In its marketing material, it has a long bulleted list on how it can help users accomplish this, with multiple guides on how to work through the steps, a recovery calculator, over 164 pages of AA recovery material, and more.[8]

This type of program isn’t for everyone, and evidence for 12-step programs is mixed.[9] It’s undeniable that some people really benefit from these programs and, in entering them, find long-term sobriety. 

At the same time, don’t be discouraged if you think 12-step programs may not work for you. Instead, seek other forms of treatment and support to see if they work better. Recovery isn’t a one-size-fits-all process, and what works for someone else may not work for you. A tailored approach to treatment is best. 

9. Quitzilla

Quitzilla is an application that aims to help users break self-destructive habits, including those related to substance misuse. It helps users track their habits and work at methodically reducing how often they engage in those habits, with a number of useful tracking metrics and visuals to show progress and setbacks.[10] 

With moderate data collection and a fairly simple premise, there isn’t much we could find about this application that sets off obvious red flags. It also reviews very well on most platforms.

10. SoberWorx

SoberWorx is an application that is designed by people who have personally dealt with SUD. They wanted to design a tool for families and friends to help loved ones struggling with substance misuse and SUD. 

The primary goal of the app is to help families capitalize on brief moments of clarity many people struggling with SUD have when they are most open to entering a recovery program. In essence, it can help people use valuable and limited opportunities in productive ways, telling them how to talk with people about recovery when they’re most receptive to the idea.[11]

We consider the biggest issue with this application to be the unknowns. We simply don’t know of any source of data regarding how effective this tool is. However, it is a good idea in concept, and there don’t seem to be many comparable applications. 

The Importance of Treatment

Any of these apps can be a supplemental source of support in recovery, but they can’t replace evidence-based treatment, including a formal relationship with a provider to offer medications for addiction treatment (MAT) and or concurrent behavioral therapy. Talk to your treatment team about how these apps can support your recovery efforts. 

And if you haven’t started treatment for SUD, take the first step today. At Bicycle Health, we offer Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT) to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). You can connect with our treatment professionals from anywhere via our telehealth services. Reach out today.

Medically Reviewed By Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where ... Read More

  1. Pear reSet. Apple, Inc. Accessed August 17, 2023.
  2. The Leading Digital Behavioral Health Solution With Proven Outcomes for Addiction Recovery. Sober Grid. Accessed June 17, 2023.
  3. Nomo – Sobriety Clocks. Apple, Inc. Accessed August 17, 2023.
  4. SoberTool – Addiction Recovery. Apple, Inc. Accessed August 17, 2023.
  5. Build the life you want. WEconnect. Accessed August 17, 2023.
  6. rTribe. CredibleMind. Accessed August 17, 2023.
  7. I am – Daily Affirmations. Apple, Inc. Accessed August 17, 2023.
  8. 12 Step Toolkit. Apple, Inc. Accessed August 17, 2023.
  9. Kaskutas LA. Alcoholics anonymous effectiveness: faith meets science. J Addict Dis. 2009;28(2):145-157. doi:10.1080/10550880902772464
  10. Quitzilla: Bad Habit Tracker. Google Play. Accessed August 17, 2023.
  11. SoberWorx. Google Play. Accessed August 17, 2023.

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