They want to help addicts get sober and stay sober. Now Cairy, a part of Sahlgrenska Science Park’s community, launches a new version of their digital platform. The goal is to become the world’s best social community for an alcohol free lifestyle.
About ten percent of the Swedish population is addicted to alcohol. 20 percent has an at-risk drinking behaviour. Cairy is a digital platform where people with addiction can share experiences and support each other to get sober and stay sober.
“There is a picture that alcoholics are those people we see on the park benches. That’s just part of the truth. Addiction is a widespread problem in society today that has a great impact for the individual as well as for their families and friends. But for many in need, the step of reaching out for help is too big. Our solution makes it easier and has a lower threshold to take that first step,” says Andreas Haglund, CEO and co-founder at Cairy.
Offering the support digitally makes it more available and flexible for the user. The possibility to be anonymous can also be important when taking the first step toward a sober life, according to Andreas Haglund.
Cairy was created by the entrepreneurs Andreas Haglund and Per Lundberg, both sober alcoholics. The experience of addiction has been valuable in the process of creating a digital tool to help others with the same problem, says Andreas Haglund.
“I remember I thought to myself, I can handle my job, so my drinking is not a problem. These kinds of excuses are common. Many people don’t understand that they are addicts. And when they do, they want a solution. Our goal is to be that solution.”
The first version of the app, that was released last year, focused on creating a digital community where members could share experience and support each other in finding a way out of addiction.
“Many addicts become very lonely. Either all of your friends are addicts and you become lonely when you try to break away, or you are already alone because you have misbehaved. Feeling that you are part of a community is important,” says Andreas Haglund.
Inspired by psychology, neuroscience and old wisdom traditions
Last year Pål Dobrin and Jens Lindman joined the Cairy-team. Together with a handful of programming-consultants the quartet launched a second version of the app in June, including a four-week introduction program.
“We call it the “Love yourself-program”. It is a series of exercises with connections from different areas such as psychology, neuroscience and old wisdom traditions to increase your self-compassion, which is vital when getting out of an addition,” says Pål Dobrin.
Later this year the team will launch an additional sober program. According to Andreas Haglund the need for Cairys services might be even greater after the summer vacations.
“The summer is always a risk period. The bag-in-box comes out and many don’t realise that they have been drinking a bit too much until the start working again after their vacation.”
The next step for Cairy is to focus on personalized solutions by using machine learning and AI.
“If we can learn how different users integrate with the content we can create solutions that is even better adapted to the individual user,” says Jens Lindman.
Photo: Part of Cairy team: Jens Lindman, Andreas Haglund, Pål Dobrin