AROUND 6,000 locals are accessing an app designed to help people stay sober.

The Drink Coach app, managed by the Humankind addiction charity and supported by Barnsley Council, allows people to keep track of their drinking and get free, regular advice.

Intended to be an all-in-one analysis of your personal drinking habits, users are invited to set goals and record advice from their ‘sober self’ for difficult times.

Manager of the service, Adam Muir, told the Chronicle: “It’s really broken into three elements.

“We’ve got the app that everyone can download for free to keep track of their drinking habits.

“Then we arrange with local authorities to handle testing and support.

“The test analyses your risk of developing addiction, anything over 20 implies a serious issue so we then look at sign posting people to the Recovery Steps support service in town.

“There’s a team of alcohol coaches available - that in-person, one-to-one support is vitally important.”

Running for ten years now, the app was designed to mostly act as a preventative measure, helping those who wish to learn more about their own alcohol consumption, rather than people with long-term issues.

“Lots of our users comment on how it helped them with problems like binge drinking,” Adam added.

“It’s a really good preventative tool that can help people before anything escalates to a long-term issue.

“But we offer a number of options to help anyone, whether it’s for maintaining sobriety or lowering consumption.”

Coun Wendy Cain, cabinet spokesperson for public health and communities, said: “As alcohol support services paused face-to-face appointments during the Covid-19 pandemic, we explored the idea of doing digital interventions.

“We commissioned Humankind, who also deliver our alcohol and drug support service Barnsley Recovery Steps, to develop Drink Coach which was launched in Barnsley in January 2021.

“We have found that residents have been self-referring for support via Drink Coach and would not have otherwise accessed this help through traditional means.

“The Drink Coach site has been accessed by more than 6,000 people since its launch with a further 12,000 viewing the self-assessment test within the app.

“In total, nearly 4,000 self-assessments have been completed.

“We’re pleased with how well-received Drink Coach has been within our communities and have therefore continued to fund Humankind to continue to provide support for our residents through Drink Coach, which is now embedded as part of our treatment pathway for alcohol.”