From: Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Subscription List
Sent: Mon 18/03/2013 7:44 AM

NEW APP HELPS VETERAN COMMUNITY THINK BEFORE THEY DRINK

A new smart phone app helping current and former serving members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) track their drinking habits was launched today by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon.

Mr Snowdon said the app ON TRACK with The Right Mix uses mobile technology to encourage users to think about impact of drinking on their lifestyle and physical health by tracking consumption against the impact on their budget, wellbeing and fitness.

“Binge drinking, and drinking above low-risk levels are associated with a range of harms including, in the short term, alcohol-related violence and aggression and road trauma and falls,” he said.

“In the longer term, there is increased risk of cancer, heart disease, brain damage and deterioration in relationships and social functioning.

“ON TRACK with the Right Mix was designed specifically for the veteran and ADF communities but can be used by anyone in the community who wants to track their alcohol intake.

“The app allows users to track their drinking habits, set a budget for a night out, learn about the effect alcohol has on their wellbeing and fitness, and how much exercise is needed to burn off the alcohol calories. Settings can also be personalised according to gender, height and weight.”

The app is based on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs The Right Mix alcohol management website — www.therightmix.gov.au — designed to help users choose safer drinking habits and a healthier lifestyle. It also drew from feedback from user testing.

“The app was tested with some of the people who we hope will use it: a group of young Australian Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. They provided feedback on the concept and the ‘look and feel’ of the product, and suggested the incorporation of tracking features.” he said.

“This app is another way we can help the younger generation of veterans and Australian Defence Force members to better consider their drinking choices and the impact excessive drinking can have in the short term and later in life.”

ON TRACK with The Right Mix was developed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in consultation with the ADF and the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS). It can be download free from the Apple App Store (iOS)* and Google Play (Android)* or www.therightmix.gov.au

Media inquiries: Minister Snowdon: Lidija Ivanovski or Marcus Butler 02 6277 7820 or 0407108 935 / 0417 917 796
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line
can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046.