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In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the University of Alaska Anchorage has taken steps to protect the health and safety of our campus community. Visit the University of Alaska Coronavirus Information website to learn how UAA and the university system are responding to this situation. Find links to communications, policy guidance, resources and information about the university's community restrictions, which apply to all faculty, staff and students. The UAA Student Health and Counseling Center remains open at this time to serve UAA students. For information about COVID-19 symptoms and current health recommendations, visit the CDC website and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

The Step Away Research Study - Coming Soon!

Are you thinking about cutting back on your alcohol use?

Researchers at the University of Alaska Anchorage are looking for people 18 years or older who are interested in using a no-cost smartphone app for three months to help cut back on their drinking.

You might be eligible if you:

  • Are 18 years or older
  • Have either an iPhone or an Android phone
  • Drink alcohol (wine, beer, or liquor) daily or weekly
  • Live in the United States
  • Able to read and text in English
  • Are willing to complete surveys about your drinking

What does the research study involve?

If you are chosen to be in the study you will:

  • be asked to complete online surveys on your current drinking habits and history with alcohol at the beginning of the study and at the end;
  • get a link to download either an app or use an interactive chat program (a chatbot) on your phone;
  • receive information about your alcohol-related health risks, tools, and resources to support your goals.

You may also be invited to participate in an interview at the end of the study, to tell us what you thought of the app or the chatbot, and how we can make it more useful.

Eligible participants will receive an Amazon e-gift card after finishing surveys at the start of the study, and will receive another Amazon e-gift card after finishing surveys about three months later.

People who are interviewed after using the app or the chatbot for three months will receive a third Amazon electronic gift card.  

Who is doing the research study?

The research study is being done by Dr. Patrick Dulin of the Department of Psychology in partnership with Dr. Diane King from the Center for Behavioral Health Research & Services. It is funded by the National Institutes of Health grant number 5R34AA026440-02.

This study has been reviewed and approved by the University of Alaska Anchorage Institutional Review Board.

Take this survey to see if you're eligible to participate.

The survey should take approximately five minutes to complete.

If you are eligible, you will be asked to complete an online consent form and then to complete a longer survey (approximately 30 minutes). 

Please note that this study has not yet started. If you are interested and want to know when we are inviting people to participate, please email us at

Have questions?

Please contact Robyn Mertz or Alexandra Edwards at 907.786.0877 or email You can also visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure

The Principal Investigator, Dr. Patrick Dulin, has a financial interest in Here and Now Systems, LLC, which owns the Step Away intervention system that participants will engage with as part of this study. Due to this conflict of interest Dr. Diane King will oversee data collection, management, and analysis.

Dr. Dulin will not participate in the data collection or data analysis and will not profit from the use of either the app or the chatbot in this study. It is important to note that he has a conflict of interest management plan in place with the University of Alaska Anchorage. Results from this study may inform future versions of Step Away to be sold as a commercial product.