Illawarra residents struggling with addiction are being recruited to trial a new app that will help them keep track of their cravings and impulses.
The University of Wollongong is leading the trial, which aims to help people manage problematic behaviours like drug and alcohol misuse, smoking and gambling.
Researchers from UOW's School of Psychology and the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute have partnered with SMART Recovery Australia for the trial which will start in a few weeks.
SMART Recovery runs more than 300 support groups across Australia, reaching more than 2000 people weekly.
Participants of these groups - including those in the Illawarra - can take part in the trial to complement their group sessions.
Associate Professor Peter Kelly said the SMART Track app would give participants another tool they could use to manage their behaviour, and help achieve their goals.
"The app will help people in these groups track their substance use or other problematic behaviours through the week, as well as their cravings and urges," he said.
"It also lets them track their mental and physical health during the week so they can monitor changes over time."
This allows people to get real-time, meaningful feedback on where they're up to and help them manage their addictive behaviours.Associate Professor Peter Kelly
Prof Kelly said the app used an online Routine Outcome Monitoring (ROM) tool, so participants received instant feedback.
"This allows people to get real-time, meaningful feedback on where they're up to, to help them manage their addictive behaviours," he said.
"We know monitoring and tracking any of our behaviours is a good way of making any positive changes - and we hope this app really aids people in their recovery."
The app - designed by GHO - also features a range of information and advice about addiction and recovery.
"If people are really struggling, there's also a list of contacts so they can quickly link in with any services they need," Prof Kelly said.
SMART Recovery participants interested in taking part in the trial can visit smartrecoveryaustralia.com.au/smart-track-app