appPeople: Dr. Reimund, what are, in your view, good reasons for a reduced Alcohol consumption?
Dr. Walter Reimund: Many people ask themselves the question of whether they may not drink too much, not just because it’s about the driving license or you’re in front of a Medical-Psychological Examination for fitness to drive. Often, one gradually gets into an increasing consumption of alcohol. From one alcoholic drink every now and then in the evenings, to 3-4 drinks daily as a rule. Days without alcohol become the exception. You start to make some thoughts on this, without discussing it with others.
If medical criteria are taken as a basis, in 2012, 14% of the adult population had a drinking behaviour to be classified as risky in Germany and according to the medical criteria of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) about 3% of the population would be described to abuse alcohol and also 3% would be addicted. Alcohol reduction is certainly a big topic for many.
aP: What would you say as an expert: when is reduced drinking alcohol useful?
WR: Well, some of those who consume alcohol dangerously or abusively may not completely give up wine or beer. It is something else if someone is addicted to drinking. In such case, abstinence, level zero, is certainly the silver bullet. However, in the long run, only one in ten people who have been treated for alcohol dependence do succeed in that. Therefore, controlled drinking therapies are now offered as an alternative to abstinence therapies. Preferably drink less alcohol than doing nothing at all. This is a challenge that is worthwhile in any case.
aP: For whom is MeSelfControl suitable?
WR: MeSelfControl is for people who just want to reduce their alcohol intake. You would like to drink less because you are not feeling well. You can feel that you are not in top form with these drinking habits. Wish to be more efficient. Would like to do something for your fitness and health. I want to keep control. It is not too late yet to take action, but one would like to reduce drinking.
This also means: MeSelfControl does not allow for an evasive manoeuvre, if you are due to a Dependency hazard, and do not wish to refer to a doctor or therapist. If in doubt, users of the app will be asked to speak with their doctor.
aP: What is the advantage of MeSelfControl?
WR: In MeSelfControl many practical expert experiences have flowed in, from addiction counselling, with all the knowledge gained from working with those affected, from prevention communication, as well as medical and psychological advice. So the app is designed for different personality types. Furthermore, a feedback and controlling system is implemented. MeSelfControl is more than just an electronic Drinking diary. After the alcohol reduction, a stabilisation phase starts, which stabilises the drinking permanently on a low-risk level. Users also tell us that MeSelfControl motivates them to reduce, goal-oriented, but not in an obstinate way. And most importantly, it’s completely private, reserved for the user only.