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NDUS app monitors alcohol consumption

GRAND FORKS — The North Dakota University System has launched an app to encourage responsible alcohol consumption.

“What’s Your Buzz” is similar to other drink monitoring apps in that it calculates a person’s blood alcohol concentration based on gender, weight and the number and type of beverages consumed. The free app also features a sober countdown that tells users when they can expect to be sober if they stop drinking and a button that will open a user’s browser directly to available taxis in the area.

NDUS Director of Student Affairs Becky Lamboley has been working to get the app established for about a year. She said it had about 50 downloads as of Saturday, which was five days after its release.

Lamboley said the university system got involved with curbing unsafe drinking after the North Dakota State University Campus and Community coalitions launched their own respective efforts.

NDUS partnered with Fargo-based developers Myriad Devices LLC to create the app. The system put $8,900 into it from the North Dakota Higher Education Consortium for Substance Abuse Prevention, of which Lamboley is also the president.

While the app still had a few kinks to work out, Lamboley said there is a continued $100 per month contract with Myriad to maintain and update the app.

Each of the 11 institutions the NDUS oversees will market the app differently, while the university system spreads the word through social media.

The University of North Dakota’s Associate Vice President of Health and Wellness Laurie Betting said she hopes students will utilize the resource because according to the school’s National College Health Assessment, about 79 percent of students said they didn’t want more information from their university concerning drug and alcohol use.

Betting said she sees the app as a way students can obtain information themselves instead of having it handed to them.

UND has made pointed efforts to address dangerous alcohol consumption and plans to utilize the app.

The app is available in the iTunes App and Google Play stores.

Anna Burleson

Anna Burleson is the higher education reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. She is a 2013 graduate of the University of South Dakota's Mass Communication program and is originally from Watertown, S.D. Contact her with story ideas or tips by phone, email or Twitter, all of which are listed below. Examples of her work can be accessed here.