Down Your Drink is a free, web-based intervention designed to encourage heavy drinkers to adopt a healthy pattern of drinking and reduce alcohol-related harms.
Users complete an initial risk assessment on level of drinking and receive personalized feedback. If a user screens positive for risky drinking, they are then provided access to six weekly intervention modules programmed to be used consecutively, one week at a time. Modules are divided into three phases: decision making, implementing change, and relapse prevention. The website content also includes extra tools, such as an automated drinking diary, consumption calculator, online quizzes, and a non-moderated listserv for users to send personal messages about the program or provide peer support.
Link to commercial site here.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Motivational Enhancement Theory (MET)
Alcohol dependence symptoms
Mental health symptoms
Young Adults (18-30)
Internet-based interactive health intervention for the promotion of sensible drinking: Patterns of use and potential impact on members of the general public.
Linke SB, Murray E, Butler C, Wallace P. Internet-based interactive health intervention for the promotion of sensible drinking: Patterns of use and potential impact on members of the general public. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2007; 9: e10. PMCID: PMC1874715.
Summary: This article describes a pragmatic cohort study of the first 10,000 people registered to use the Down Your Drink website. Visitors to the Down Your Drink homepage who provided alcohol consumption data were screened for risky drinking using the Fast Alcohol Screening Test. Any visitor who scored above the cutoff point for risky drinking was directed to the program.
Website usage was tracked for 6 weeks. Results showed that Down Your Drink had a high attrition rate. Only 1,654 (16.5%) of the original 10,000 registrants completed the 6-week program. Of the program completers, 57% completed outcome questionnaires. Individuals were more likely to complete the program if they were female, married, at less risk for alcohol dependence, or if they did not have children. Outcome data indicated that alcohol dependency scores and alcohol-related harms were significantly reduced from baseline to program completion for both men and women. Mental health symptoms were also significantly lower by the end of the program period, across four areas of functioning.
Take Away: The Down Your Drink online intervention may be useful in reducing dependence symptoms and alcohol-related harm, but has a high attrition rate. Randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the impact of the program.
On-line randomized controlled trial of an internet based psychologically enhanced intervention for people with hazardous alcohol consumption.
Summary: To further examine the effectiveness of the Down Your Drink program, this study examined the results of a blinded randomized controlled trial. Consenting visitors to the Down Your Drink website were screened for risky drinking using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C). Any visitors screening positive for risky drinking were randomly assigned to complete the Down Your Drink program or a comparator. The comparator consisted of an online, text-based informational website on alcohol-related harms. This comparator was not interactive, and participants had no access to any additional tools, like the quizzes or consumption calculator. Despite this, the Down Your Drink program and the comparator were both located on the Down Your Drink website so participants were unaware of their group assignment. Alcohol use was assessed using online questionnaires at 1 month, 3 month, and 12 month follow-ups. Participants getting Down Your Drink and the comparator had equivalent reductions in alcohol consumption, drinking days, and binge drinking occasions at all follow-ups. Both groups had significant increases in self-efficacy. Overall, no differences were detected between groups.
Take Away: The Down Your Drink program does not reduce alcohol use more than a text-based, informational website.