Parents smiling and playing with daughterThe impact of heavy drinking within a family can ripple through every aspect of daily life, straining relationships and eroding trust. The combination of excessive alcohol use and the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increased risk of contracting the virus, heightened stress levels, job loss, and a surge in interpersonal conflicts and violence.

Despite efforts to contain the virus and roll out vaccinations, the impacts of the pandemic on mental health and alcohol use persist, highlighting the ongoing need for support and interventions to address problem drinking and its consequences.

FAM-CHESS is a five-year study that will test the use of a smartphone app developed for heavy drinkers plus a family member. The app offers couple behavioral therapy services along with services related to alcohol and other substance use and COVID-19.

By comparing the effectiveness of the FAM-CHESS app with and without couple therapy services, as well as against a smartphone alone, the study team aims to determine if this digital ally can curb problematic drinking and enhance the quality of life for affected family members.