What is a Sobriety Calculator and How to Use It

What is a Sobriety Calculator and How to Use It

March 17, 2024

Introduction to Sobriety Calculators

Definition and Purpose

A sobriety calculator, in the context of recovery from substance use disorders, is an invaluable tool designed to track the amount of time an individual has remained sober from drugs, alcohol, or other addictive substances. At its core, this digital tool enables users to input their sobriety start date, which in turn calculates the duration of their sobriety in terms of years, months, days, and sometimes even down to the minute. More than just a numerical counter, the sobriety calculator serves a dual purpose of affirming the commitment to recovery and acting as a tangible reminder of the progress individuals have made on their journey towards long-term sobriety.

Importance in Addiction Recovery

The journey of recovery from addiction is one fraught with challenges, including the daily resistance against temptation and the continuous effort to remain committed to the path of sobriety. The importance of a sobriety calculator transcends its basic functionality, it stands as a beacon of hope and a source of motivation, encouraging individuals to persevere through difficult moments by visualizing their accomplishments. Incorporating this tool into one’s recovery process can enhance feelings of empowerment, self-efficacy, and accomplishment, which are critical components in the maintenance of a drug-free life. Additionally, sobriety calculators can play a significant role in addiction recovery by fostering a sense of community, as milestones can be shared with and celebrated by others in recovery, including at Narcotics Anonymous meetings or within other support groups.

Overview of This Guide

This guide is designed to walk you through the intrinsic details of what a sobriety calculator is, its significance in the recovery process from narcotics or substance abuse, and step-by-step instructions on how to utilize it effectively. We will delve into understanding sobriety and its milestones, how sobriety calculators work, and the manifold benefits they offer, ranging from tracking recovery progress to setting and achieving sobriety goals. This narrative also aims to demonstrate how the usage of a sobriety calculator can be seamlessly integrated with resources such as the NA meetings locator service, offering a holistic approach to recovery. Through a comprehensive examination, this guide will assist in navigating the emotional aspects of tracking sobriety, offer tips for maximizing the utility of your sobriety calculator, and underscore the importance of celebrating sobriety milestones within the Narcotics Anonymous community and beyond.

Understanding Sobriety and Its Milestones

The Concept of Sobriety in Narcotics Anonymous

Sobriety within the framework of Narcotics Anonymous (NA) extends beyond the mere abstinence from mood-altering substances, it encompasses a holistic transformation of the individual’s lifestyle, mindset, and relationships. It is grounded in the principles of the twelve-step program, which guides recovering individuals through a structured process of personal accountability, making amends, and spiritual growth. In NA, sobriety is not just measured by the length of time one has abstained from using substances but also by the quality of life improvement and the development of healthier coping mechanisms. This multifaceted concept of sobriety reflects in how NA members support each other, sharing experiences, strengths, and hopes, and working together to rebuild lives that are not just clean but enriched and purposeful.

Celebrating Clean Time Milestones

Celebrating milestones in clean time is a fundamental aspect of the recovery journey within Narcotics Anonymous. Milestones, marked by each day, month, or year of sobriety, signify personal victories over addiction and are pivotal in reinforcing the commitment to a drug-free life. Recognizing these clean time milestones not only boosts the individual’s morale and motivation but also inspires others within the community to persevere in their recovery efforts. Events like chip ceremonies, where members receive sobriety tokens signifying various lengths of clean time, are not just celebratory but deeply symbolic, reminding members of the progress they have made and the continuous support available to them within the NA fellowship. These ceremonies are vital, as each token represents not just time but the struggles, growth, and victories experienced along the way.

The Role of Recognition in Recovery

Recognition in recovery plays a crucial role in the rehabilitation process, acting as a reinforcement mechanism that encourages continued abstinence and personal development. Within Narcotics Anonymous, the act of acknowledging one’s sobriety milestones and celebrating them within the community serves as a powerful reminder of the value of sobriety and the strength of the collective support system. Such recognition helps to strengthen individuals’ commitment to the NA program and bolsters their resilience in the face of challenges. It also fosters a sense of achievement and belonging, essential elements in building a new life free from substance use. Ultimately, the practice of recognizing and celebrating milestones not only validates the individual’s effort but also reinforces the transformative potential of the recovery journey, inspiring hope and determination among all members of the NA recovery community.

How Sobriety Calculators Work

Basic Functions of a Sobriety Calculator

A sobriety calculator is designed to provide a practical and emotional support tool for individuals journeying through addiction recovery. Its basic function is straightforward yet profoundly impactful-it calculates the exact amount of time an individual has been sober. At a click or a tap, users can view their sobriety timeline broken down into years, months, days, and even minutes. This functionality does more than track time, it visualizes the journey of recovery, offering a clear representation of progress that can be crucial during moments of doubt or temptation. By using a sobriety calculator, individuals gain a tangible grasp on the significance of every moment spent in sobriety, turning abstract concepts of time into meaningful milestones.

Inputting Your Sobriety Date

To begin utilizing a sobriety calculator, the primary action required from the user is inputting their sobriety start date. This date represents the first day the individual embarked on their journey to recovery without the influence of substances they were previously dependent on. Inputting this date can be a moment filled with mixed emotions, as it signifies both an ending and a hopeful beginning. The process is designed to be user-friendly, typically requiring just a few clicks on a website or taps on an app. Some platforms may offer additional features, such as the ability to include a brief personal note or significant milestone details, further personalizing the experience and linking it with the emotional and psychological aspects of recovery.

Calculating Clean Time

Once the sobriety start date has been entered, the sobriety calculator processes this information to display the individual’s clean time. This calculation is more than a simple arithmetic function, it is a dynamic feature that continuously updates, providing real-time feedback on the individual’s ongoing journey. The display of calculated clean time often includes the total years, months, and days of sobriety, which can be an empowering and motivating factor for individuals. For example, someone might see that they have been sober for “2 years, 3 months, and 12 days,” which can significantly boost their morale and reaffirm their commitment to recovery. Furthermore, some calculators also highlight upcoming milestones, encouraging individuals to stay the course and celebrate future achievements in their recovery journey. These functions collectively contribute to the support and encouragement provided by the calculator, making it an invaluable tool in the arsenal of resources aiding individuals in navigating the complexities of addiction recovery.

Benefits of Using a Sobriety Calculator

Tracking Recovery Progress

One of the principal advantages of a sobriety calculator is its ability to meticulously track the timeline of an individual’s recovery progress. In the journey of recovering from substance use disorders, maintaining a visual representation of the time spent in sobriety can immensely boost an individual’s confidence and remind them of how far they have come. A sobriety calculator distinctly marks each day, reinforcing the notion that every moment of sobriety is a victory. This tracking mechanism can be particularly beneficial during moments of doubt, serving as a beacon of hope and a tangible reminder of the individual’s strength and resilience.

Moreover, the function of tracking recovery progress through a sobriety calculator is instrumental in identifying patterns or triggers that may influence the journey of recovery. By correlating periods of increased stress or temptation with particular milestones, individuals can better anticipate challenges and prepare coping strategies, further solidifying their path to sustained recovery.

Setting and Achieving Sobriety Goals

Using a sobriety calculator transcends mere tracking, it allows for the setting of specific, measurable sobriety goals. These goals may range from reaching the next clean time milestone, such as a week, month, or year of sobriety, to more personalized objectives like undertaking new hobbies or reconnecting with family and friends. The act of setting goals within the framework of a sobriety calculator provides individuals with clear targets to aim for, instilling a sense of purpose and direction in their recovery journey.

Achieving these set goals, facilitated by the ongoing use of a sobriety calculator, generates a profound sense of accomplishment and self-worth. As each goal is met, the recovery process is positively reinforced, encouraging the individual to continue striving towards new milestones. Importantly, this practice also cultivates a growth mindset, allowing individuals to view recovery not as a static state but as an ongoing journey of personal development and renewal.

Strengthening Commitment to the NA Program

Integration of a sobriety calculator within the recovery process can significantly strengthen an individual’s commitment to the Narcotics Anonymous Program. By visually mapping out the course of one’s sobriety, the calculator acts as a constant reminder of the individual’s dedication to living a life free from drug and alcohol dependency. This reminder can be especially poignant during times of vulnerability, where the temptation to revert back to previous habits looms large.

The benefits of the sobriety calculator are multifaceted, not only does it serve as a personal tracker, but it also fosters a deeper connection with the NA program’s principles. Seeing one’s progress laid out in concrete terms reinforces the tangible results of adhering to the program’s teachings and participating in Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Moreover, it encourages ongoing engagement with the NA community, as milestones can be shared and celebrated among peers, further anchoring the individual in the support system that NA provides. This shared experience of marking sobriety milestones bolsters a collective spirit of encouragement and accountability, essential elements for sustaining recovery in the long term.

Integrating Sobriety Calculators with NA Meetings Locator

Finding NA Meetings Near You

One of the most valuable uses of the NA Meetings Locator is its ability to connect individuals with Narcotics Anonymous meetings in their area. For someone on the path to recovery, integrating the use of a sobriety calculator with the locator can provide a comprehensive approach to managing their journey. When an individual inputs their sobriety date into a calculator, it can become a significant milestone in their recovery process. The NA Meetings Locator then serves as a resource to find nearby meetings where they can share their experiences, challenges, and successes related to this milestone. By entering their location, individuals can access a wide range of meetings – from open meetings that welcome all, to closed meetings designed for those in recovery. This tool ensures that support and narcotics anonymous support is just a few clicks away, making it easier for individuals to stay committed to their recovery goals.

Linking Sobriety Milestones to Local Meetings

Celebrating sobriety milestones is a key aspect of the recovery journey. When individuals reach significant milestones, such as 30 days, 6 months, or multiple years of sobriety, it’s important to acknowledge these achievements. Through the use of sobriety calculators, individuals can keep track of these dates and plan accordingly to celebrate them within the Narcotics Anonymous community. The NA Meetings Locator facilitates this celebration by helping individuals find special meetings or events dedicated to marking these milestones. Some local NA groups may host special ceremonies or speaker meetings where members share their stories of recovery in celebration of collective milestones. This integration of tools not only encourages individuals to recognize their progress but also to share their journey, offering hope and inspiration to others within the group.

Utilizing Online and Virtual NA Meetings

In today’s digital age, the journey of recovery and the resources available have evolved to include online and virtual NA meetings. For those who may be unable to attend local meetings due to geographical limitations, health concerns, or personal preferences, virtual meetings provide an indispensable alternative. The NA Meetings Locator is a valuable asset in finding these online resources, ensuring that support is accessible anywhere and at any time. By combining the use of a sobriety calculator with the availability of virtual NA meetings, individuals can closely monitor their progress and maintain a consistent connection with the recovery community, regardless of their physical location. This virtual engagement allows for a continuous exchange of support, experiences, and narcotics sobriety tracking, fostering an inclusive environment that extends beyond physical meeting spaces. Through this integration, the NA Meetings Locator and online meeting platforms work in tandem to provide a seamless, supportive experience for those on their recovery journey, making the path to sobriety more accessible and interconnected.

Navigating the Emotional Aspects of Tracking Sobriety

What is a Sobriety Calculator and How to Use It

Tracking your sobriety can be an emotional rollercoaster, reflecting the very essence of the recovery journey itself. As you mark each day, week, and month of staying clean, the emotional highs and lows associated with these milestones can significantly impact your well-being and motivation. It’s crucial to approach the emotional facets of tracking sobriety with understanding and strategy to ensure that you continue to move forward in your recovery process.

Dealing with Emotional Highs and Lows

Tracking sobriety often brings a mix of joy, pride, anxiety, and sometimes fear. Meeting a sobriety milestone can fill you with an overwhelming sense of achievement, while the fear of relapse may linger as a constant shadow. To navigate these emotional highs and lows, it’s essential to maintain a balanced perspective. Remind yourself that recovery is a journey, not a destination. Celebrate your victories, no matter how small, and recognize that feelings of fear or uncertainty are part of the process. Engaging in regular self-care practices such as meditation, exercise, or journaling can also help stabilize your emotions and keep you grounded in your recovery goals.

The Importance of NA Support and Sponsorship

In moments of emotional turmoil, the support offered by Narcotics Anonymous meetings and sponsorship can be a lifeline. Narcotics Anonymous support provides a safe space to share your experiences and feelings without judgment, allowing you to process emotions that come with tracking your sobriety. A sponsor, who has likely navigated their own set of highs and lows, can offer guidance, empathy, and understanding, helping you to put your emotions and experiences into perspective. This relationship can be especially critical in times when you’re struggling to manage the emotional aspects of your sobriety journey. The shared experience and strength found in NA support remind you that you’re not alone and that emotional fluctuations are a natural part of recovery.

Managing Expectations and Disappointments

Setting realistic expectations for your sobriety journey is crucial in managing emotions. While it’s important to celebrate sobriety milestones, it’s equally important to acknowledge that the path to recovery may involve setbacks. Experiencing disappointment or frustration after a relapse or during challenging times is normal. However, it’s how you respond to these setbacks that define your path forward. Instead of viewing them as failures, see them as opportunities for growth and learning. Revisit your recovery strategies and adjust where necessary, always with the understanding that recovery is a continuous process of improvement and self-discovery. In moments of disappointment, lean on your support network-family, friends, and your NA community-to provide encouragement and reassurance that setbacks are a part of the journey, not the end of it.

Navigating the emotional aspects of tracking sobriety requires patience, understanding, and support. By embracing the highs and lows of the journey, seeking out the support of the NA community, and managing expectations realistically, you can continue to make progress on your path to recovery. Remember, every day in sobriety is a victory, and every emotion felt along the way is a step towards understanding yourself and your journey to recovery deeper.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Sobriety Calculator

Regular Updates and Check-ins

The habit of regularly updating your sobriety calculator and checking in on your progress can profoundly impact your recovery journey. This simple action serves as both a reminder of where you’ve been and a roadmap of where you’re headed. By routinely entering your sobriety dates and reviewing your journey, you can maintain a clear perspective on your milestones and the hurdles you’ve overcome. Furthermore, regular updates encourage a form of self-accountability, ensuring that your recovery goals remain in the forefront of your daily life. Whether it’s weekly or monthly, setting a reminder to update and reflect on your progress with your sobriety calculator reinforces your commitment to the recovery process, making the tool a pivotal part of your support system.

Sharing Milestones with Your Support Network

Openly sharing your sobriety milestones with your support network plays a crucial role in enhancing the recovery experience. By celebrating these achievements with family, friends, and fellow members of the Narcotics Anonymous community, you invite them to partake in your journey, multiplying the joy and sense of accomplishment. Celebrating sobriety milestones not only reinforces your personal commitment but also strengthens the bond within your support network, creating an environment of mutual encouragement and inspiration. Structured support networks, including NA meetings, offer an ideal platform for sharing these milestones. Engaging in these gatherings fosters a sense of belonging and demonstrates the collective progress of individuals striving towards sobriety. It’s a reminder that you’re not alone on this path and that each milestone, shared in the spirit of recovery, contributes to the solid foundation of your sober life.

Using Calculated Dates for Personal Reflection

Leveraging the dates calculated by your sobriety calculator for personal reflection is a powerful practice that can enhance your recovery journey. These milestones provide an opportunity to pause, reflect, and evaluate your growth, challenges, and areas for improvement. As you observe each milestone, consider journaling your thoughts, feelings, and the lessons learned along the way. Reflecting on your addiction recovery progress using these dates as markers offers insights into your resilience, triggers, and how your coping mechanisms have evolved. It creates a personalized narrative of your recovery, acknowledging the depth of your journey and instilling a sense of pride in your achievements. Moreover, this reflective practice encourages mindfulness and gratitude, reminding you of the benefits sobriety has brought into your life and motivating you to continue on your path of recovery.

Celebrating Sobriety Milestones with the NA Community

What is a Sobriety Calculator and How to Use It

Participating in Milestone Meetings

Milestone meetings within the context of Narcotics Anonymous are special gatherings designed to honor and celebrate the significant achievements of individuals in their journey of recovery. These meetings often coincide with anniversaries of sobriety, whether it be one month, six months, one year, or multiple years of living clean. The act of participating in milestone meetings symbolizes not only a personal triumph but also serves as a testament to the power and support of the NA community. It is during these gatherings that members come together to reflect on the transformative journey of recovery, sharing words of encouragement, strength, and hope.

For many, attending these milestone meetings is a pivotal moment that reinforces their commitment to sobriety and the Narcotics Anonymous program. It offers an opportunity for members to connect with and draw inspiration from the stories of others who are also navigating addiction recovery. Furthermore, these meetings provide a safe and supportive environment where individuals can openly acknowledge the challenges they’ve faced and the growth they’ve achieved, thus fostering a deeper sense of community and belonging.

Receiving Tokens and Acknowledgments

A highlight of celebrating sobriety milestones within the Narcotics Anonymous community is the tradition of receiving tokens and acknowledgments. These tokens, often referred to as “chips” or “medallions,” symbolize the time an individual has remained clean and serve as tangible reminders of their perseverance, dedication, and commitment to recovery. The presentation of tokens is a cherished ritual in NA meetings, imbued with significance and emotion. It acknowledges not just the passage of time but the hard work, struggles, and victories encountered along the way.

Receiving a token is a profound moment that resonates deeply with individuals in recovery, instilling a renewed sense of pride and accomplishment. It also serves to inspire both the recipient and other members of the community, reminding everyone of the hope and possibility for change that lies at the heart of the NA program. Beyond the tokens themselves, words of acknowledgment and encouragement from fellow members further amplify the meaningfulness of these milestones, reinforcing the collective journey towards healing and growth.

Sharing Your Story as Inspiration

One of the most impactful ways of celebrating sobriety milestones is by sharing your story with others in the NA community. When individuals choose to open up about their journey-highlighting the highs, the lows, and everything in between-they contribute to an atmosphere of honesty, vulnerability, and hope. Sharing your story is not only cathartic for the speaker but also incredibly inspirational for listeners, especially those who might be in the early stages of their recovery or encountering difficulties.

The act of sharing fosters a profound connection amongst members, allowing them to see reflections of their own experiences in the stories of others. This shared narrative of struggle and triumph encourages a sense of solidarity and reinforces the message that nobody is alone in their journey. Moreover, hearing about the hurdles others have overcome and the milestones they’ve achieved can be incredibly motivating, providing tangible examples of the positive outcomes that can result from steadfastness and dedication to the recovery process. Through the shared storytelling, the NA community grows stronger, bound together by a collective resolve to support one another in achieving and celebrating narcotics anonymous clean time.

Concluding Thoughts on Tracking Sobriety

The Journey of Recovery

The journey of recovery is a deeply personal and transformative experience, marked by its unique challenges and milestones. Utilizing tools like a sobriety calculator becomes an integral part of this process, offering a quantitative reflection of the hard-won victories over addiction. The significance of each day, month, and year of sobriety cannot be understated, these markers serve as beacons of hope and testament to the resilience of the human spirit. The path of recovery, navigated with the support of communities like Narcotics Anonymous, is not a linear one. It involves peaks and valleys, moments of doubt interspersed with triumphs. Yet, the decision to continue moving forward, to embrace each day with its potential for growth, underscores the courageous commitment to a sober life.

Continued Growth and Learning

Recovery is an ongoing process of growth and learning. The use of a sobriety calculator, while providing an important measure of progress, also invites introspection and self-awareness. It prompts individuals to reflect on the lessons learned with each passing milestone and to recognize the evolving strategies that support their sobriety. Embracing the principles of the Narcotics Anonymous program, such as the 12 steps, individuals learn to navigate life’s complexities without reliance on substances. This process of continued growth fosters a deeper understanding of oneself and the cultivation of coping mechanisms that enhance resilience. The journey of recovery is as much about rediscovering one’s potential and purpose as it is about abstaining from substances.

Encouraging Others in Their Recovery Process

One of the most profound aspects of tracking sobriety is the opportunity it presents to encourage and inspire others on their recovery journeys. Sharing your story and milestones within the Narcotics Anonymous community or other support groups creates a ripple effect of motivation and hope. These shared experiences, marked by both vulnerability and strength, foster a sense of solidarity and empathy among individuals striving for sobriety. Celebrating one’s sobriety milestones, therefore, is not only a personal achievement but also an act of service. It underscores the message that recovery is possible and that no one is alone in their struggles. By lifting others with words of encouragement and sharing the tangible markers of sobriety progress, individuals contribute to a nurturing environment where recovery can flourish, perpetuating a cycle of support and inspiration.

The use of a sobriety calculator, in conjunction with resources like the NA Meetings Locator, provides a holistic approach to managing and celebrating the journey of recovery. By meticulously tracking clean time, setting and achieving goals, and fostering a supportive community, individuals navigate the path of recovery with a sense of direction and purpose. As we reflect on the significance of these tools and the collective efforts of the recovery community, it becomes clear that the journey of sobriety, with all its challenges and victories, is a testament to the enduring power of hope and resilience.


Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How can a sobriety calculator aid me in tracking my recovery milestones effectively?

Answer: A sobriety calculator is an invaluable NA sobriety tool designed to help you meticulously track your recovery milestones by calculating the exact amount of time you’ve remained sober. By inputting your sobriety start date into the calculator, you can view your progress in years, months, days, and sometimes even to the minute. This not only helps in recognizing and celebrating each step of your journey but also in setting future sobriety goals. Using a sobriety calculator, offered by NA Meetings, enhances feelings of accomplishment and motivation, providing a tangible reminder of your commitment to recovery and the strides you’ve made towards living a drug-free life. Moreover, it serves as a cornerstone in managing your recovery process, allowing for introspective reflection on your growth, resilience, and the efficient navigation of your addiction recovery.


Question: Can the NA Meetings Locator help me find Narcotics Anonymous meetings where I can share milestones tracked by my sobriety calculator?

Answer: Absolutely! The NA Meetings Locator is a comprehensive tool designed to help you find Narcotics Anonymous meetings in your area, where you can share and celebrate the milestones tracked by your sobriety calculator. By integrating the use of a sobriety calculator with the NA Meetings Locator, you embrace a holistic approach to your recovery process. Whether you’re looking for open meetings, closed meetings, or even virtual NA meetings due to geographical limitations or personal preferences, the locator ensures you have the support of the Narcotics Anonymous community at your fingertips. Celebrating your sobriety milestones within NA meetings fosters a sense of community and belonging, offering encouragement and inspiration to both you and your peers in the recovery journey.


Question: In the blog post “What is a Sobriety Calculator and How to Use It,” it mentions celebrating sobriety milestones. How important is this in the recovery process?

Answer: Celebrating sobriety milestones, as highlighted in “What is a Sobriety Calculator and How to Use It,” is crucial in the recovery process. Recognizing these achievements reinforces your commitment to sobriety and serves as a reminder of the progress you’ve made on your journey. Celebrating milestones, whether privately or within the supportive environment of Narcotics Anonymous meetings, instills a sense of pride and accomplishment. It encourages continuous growth and learning, reminding those in recovery of their strength and resilience against addiction. NA Meetings supports this practice by providing tools such as the sobriety calculator and the NA Meetings Locator to track and celebrate these milestones, emphasizing that each day sober is a victory worth recognizing. Furthermore, sharing your milestones within the NA community offers hope and inspiration to others, fostering a nurturing environment where recovery thrives.


Question: How does using a sobriety calculator through NA Meetings enhance my commitment to the NA program and the recovery journey?

Answer: Using a sobriety calculator through NA Meetings directly enhances your commitment to the NA program and your overall recovery journey by keeping you actively engaged in tracking your progress. It provides a clear and tangible method to visualize every moment of sobriety, reinforcing the value of the Narcotics Anonymous support system. The calculator not only serves as a personal tracker but also connects you with the broader principles and community of NA. By witnessing the concrete evidence of your commitment-visualized through the sobriety calculator-you’re reminded of the positive outcomes of adhering to the 12 steps program and the community support available. Sharing these accomplishments within the Narcotics Anonymous meetings strengthens your bond with the community, creating an environment of mutual encouragement and accountability that is vital for sustained recovery.


Question: What are the benefits of integrating online and virtual NA meetings with the use of a sobriety calculator from NA Meetings?

Answer: Integrating online and virtual NA meetings with the use of a sobriety calculator from NA Meetings presents a holistic approach to addiction recovery, ensuring that support and resources are readily accessible, regardless of physical location. This combination allows for continuous tracking of your sobriety milestones while keeping you engaged with the recovery community through virtual NA meetings. The benefits are manifold: it ensures flexibility and inclusivity by providing options for those who may face geographical, health, or personal barriers to attending in-person meetings. Moreover, it enables you to maintain a consistent connection with your support network, sharing your progress and achievements. This integrated approach fosters a sense of accountability and community belonging, crucial elements for navigating addiction recovery successfully. With NA Meetings, you have the tools and resources to manage your recovery process effectively, keeping track of your narcotics sobriety and celebrating your success in both physical and virtual spaces.


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