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Project TAMMI is a research study that tests whether different types of text messages and assessments are helpful to people who want to cut down on their drinking. These text messages are based on studies that have been shown to help people reduce their drinking in the short-term, but we are examining the effects over time. Individuals who enroll will be randomly assigned to one of three groups which vary in the amount and type of messages.

This project is being conducted through the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at Northwell Health, and is sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

Ideal study participants include those who are currently drinking more than they would like and want to cut down or moderate their drinking, but not quit altogether at this time.

Tammi traffic
Tammi traffic

If you decide to be a participant in the project and are eligible, you would:

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Complete an online screening form to confirm eligibility
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Sign electronic consent
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Speak with a research staff member via phone call or text to address any questions or concerns
You will be compensated for your time and effort.

If you are eligible to participate, you will complete a brief online baseline assessment, receive text messages for 6 months that are designed to help you moderate your drinking, and complete brief online assessments at the following time points: 1, 3, 6, 12, and 18 months.

Those who take part in this project have the opportunity to try out a new program that may help them reduce their drinking, but are also contributing to science by helping us to build the best possible interventions.

We thank you for your time and interest.

If you are interested in participating, please complete the confidential questionnaire to see if you are eligible for an initial screening call with a research staff member.


According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), problem or risky drinking is defined as:

greater than 14 standard drinks per week for men.
greater than 7 standard drinks per week for women

The Institute of Medicine reports that problem drinkers are those with mild-to-moderate problem severity who do not have physical dependence. Many people who do not need or want formal treatment can successfully cut down on their drinking with remote support.

Text messaging or short message service (SMS) is the most widely available mode of mobile communication and despite its simplicity, has been proven to be a reliable and effective method to induce behavior change across behavioral health targets, including problem drinkers. However, there is little empirical evidence to validate SMS intervention in relation to heavy drinkers.

That’s where Project TAMMI comes in!


How long is the study?
The study is a total of 18 months long. For the first 6 months, participants receive text messages and online assessments. After the text messages end, participants are asked to complete two online follow-up assessments at 12 months and 18 months. Participants can continue to receive text messages for an additional 6 months after completing the 18-month study.

Do I have to pay to participate in the study?
Nope! In fact, we compensate participants for their time and effort.

Do I have to have a phone or will one be given to me?
Because the study is conducted entirely remotely and there are no in-person appointments, participants must own a phone AND be able to send and receive text messages.

How is my mobile phone data stored and protected?
Participant mobile phone data—for the purposes of our study, this is the text messages sent to us and those that participants receive from us—is stored both on the individual phone company’s server like any text message you send or receive as well as our secure, HIPPA compliant server. Participant information is not shared with any third parties, and any study data that is transmitted between research staff members or collaborators is sent de-identified. In addition, if you are eligible to participate in the study, we will provide you with tips on how to keep your mobile phone secure while participating in a digital research study.

What does “de-identified” mean?
De-identified means that any information that can identify an individual, including name, phone number, email address, etc., are removed from the participant’s study data. Instead, all data are coded with a unique validation code comprised of 5 digits that only the participant and the researchers are aware of.

What if I want to stop the study before it ends?
As a voluntary participant, all of those taking part are free to withdraw from the study at any time. All we ask is that participants please let us know by contacting TAMMI@northwell.edu.

Can I change my mind and withdraw permission to use or share my information?
Yes, participants may withdraw or take back permission to use and share their information at any time. If a participant decides to withdraw permission, we will not be able to take back information that has already been collected and/or shared with other research staff and collaborators. To withdraw permission, please contact us at TAMMI@northwell.edu.

Please note: Those who decide to withdraw permission will not be able to stay in the study. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Who can I contact with questions, or if I’m concerned about my rights as a research participant?
All questions, concerns or complaints regarding participation in this research study, or any specific questions about rights as a research subject should be directed to TAMMI@northwell.edu.

Why is my information being used?
Participant information will be used by the research team and collaborators in order to conduct this study, in hope of answering our research questions. A more detailed explanation can be found in the electronic consent form.

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (PDFK) is a nonprofit organization that provides support and guidance to families struggling with substance abuse. PDFK empowers families with information and guidance to get the help their loved one needs and deserves. Also, PDFK advocates for greater understanding and more effective programs to treat the disease of addiction.

For more information, visit drugfree.org

Northwell health

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in New York State. Home to 50 research laboratories and clinical research throughout dozens of hospitals and outpatient facilities, the 2,000 researchers and staff of the Feinstein Institute are making breakthroughs in molecular medicine, genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and bioelectronic medicine—a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine.

For more information about how the Feinstein Institute empowers imagination and pioneers discovery, visit feinsteininstitute.org

Frederick Muench, PhD
Frederick Muench, PhD is a Clinical Psychologist and the CEO/President of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Formerly, he served as the Director of Digital Health at Northwell Health. He is the Principal Investigator of Project TAMMI and has been studying mobile interventions for behavioral change for 15 years.
You can contact Fred at fred_muench@drugfree.org.
Cameron Haslip, M.A.
Cameron Haslip, M.A. is a Research Assistant at the Center for Addiction Services and Personalized Interventions Research (CASPIR) within Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at Northwell Health. Cameron currently assists in research of digital health substance abuse programs to help people live healthier and works as a health coach for an alcohol moderation program.
You can contact Cameron at chaslip@northwell.edu.
Aradhana Srinagesh, MPH
Aradhana Srinagesh, MPH is a Research Project Manager at the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Her background is in incorporating research-based intervention and prevention models to improve clinical practices, mainly in the addiction and mental health field.
You can contact Ara at ara_srinagesh@drugfree.org.