Many people are diagnosed with substance use disorder (SUD), which is the technical term for drug and alcohol abuse or addiction which leads to work, school, or social impairment. According to government data from 2019, 20.4 million people aged 12 and older in the United States had this type of disorder. Furthermore, this statistic only includes those who have been diagnosed, implying that there are many more people struggling with substance abuse who go unrecorded.
Substance abuse includes problems with both illegal street drugs and legal drugs such as alcohol and prescription drugs that are misused. Furthermore, many people are addicted to multiple substances and may have at least one co-occurring mental health disorder.
In Alcoholics Anonymous, there’s a saying that goes, “It works if you work it.” But here’s the catch: many people who need to “work it” can’t because of traditional recovery programs’ time and cost constraints.
According to the statistics, 18.9 million people did not receive the necessary addiction treatment. Inpatient treatment facilities frequently have long waitlists, and those seeking treatment in rural or urban areas may have few options. However, regardless of where you live, the current system causes problems for many people: people with limited transportation are unable to attend regular office appointments, and those with small children or demanding jobs find traditional outpatient care impossible.
Fortunately, modern telehealth solutions can alleviate some of these concerns, allowing more people to get the help they require. Workit Health is one such solution. In this article, we’ll look at what Workit Health is all about and how they’re removing the stigma and restrictions that come with seeking addiction treatment. We’ll go over the services in detail so you can decide if it’s right for you or a loved one.
Does telehealth for addiction treatment and recovery really work?
People dealing with addictions may find that online therapy is a viable option. Traditional addiction treatments have a high dropout rate and are underutilized. This suggests that conventional options may not completely meet people’s needs. Online therapy may fill this void for people who do not seek out or adhere to traditional treatment approaches.
This review of studies concluded that online therapy could help you reduce your substance use both immediately after treatment and in the long term. However, the review’s authors suggest that more research is needed, particularly to investigate and compare the effectiveness of various online options. Similarly, according to the findings of a systematic review of 22 articles conducted in three regions (the United States, the European Union, and Australia), telemedicine reduced alcohol consumption. Other common outcomes included decreased depression, increased patient satisfaction, increased accessibility, improved quality of life, and lower costs.
Lastly, online therapy may also outperform traditional therapy in a few ways. According to findings published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, participants in a web-based treatment had higher success rates and were less likely to drop out than those treated with individual or group counseling.
All of this scientific evidence is enough to persuade us that telehealth for addiction treatment and recovery is an excellent option. Now, let’s take a look at Workit Health.
What is Workit Health?
Source: Workit Health
Workit Health provides an on-demand, end-to-end virtual addiction treatment solution that includes all key components of evidence-based care: intake/consultations, tele-counseling, tele-nursing, home drug testing, tele-group work, courses, prescriptions, and content. The company’s user-centric design and scalable technology successfully intervenes and changes members’ behaviors before a crisis occurs, avoiding the high costs, stigmas, and embarrassment that keep patients from seeking treatment.
Workit’s model has proven effective for patients, with a remarkable 90% retention and adherence rate compared to the industry average of 39%. It also provides treatment for mental health and co-occurring disorders (which means you have a combo of substance and/or mental health disorders).
What kind of addiction does Workit treat?
Workit Health provides support for the following addictions:
The service tailors care for each individual’s needs. You can choose whether you want to become completely sober or just cut back on your substance use. The service can provide medical detox to help you stop using alcohol or opioids and get through withdrawal symptoms, as well as ongoing support to help with the recovery process and preventing relapse.
What kind of treatments does Workit offer for addiction?
Workit Health offers the following treatments for addiction:
Medication Assisted Treatment: Also known as Workit Clinic, it’s catered towards opioid and alcohol addiction treatments. Within this program, you may receive medication that helps cut down on substance cravings and the likelihood of relapsing. Workit also often combines it with other care, including counseling, post-acute withdrawal care, and primary care.
Primary Health Care: Related to addiction, Workit Health provides smoking and nicotine cessation and withdrawal support.
Online Therapy: Available nationwide, this includes counselors and therapeutic curriculum for any type of substance use problem.
Mental Health Care: For those who have addiction as well as a mental health disorder like anxiety or depression, Workit Health offers medication and therapy to help.
If necessary, you can combine primary and mental health care with medication-assisted treatment. Workit Health also assists people with process addictions such as sex/porn, gambling, and disordered eating.
Workit Health is one of the few platforms that offer such comprehensive services (mental health, HIV prep, etc.) alongside addiction therapy. In contrast, many platforms that claim to be one-stop-shops, such as Hims, Hers, and Roman, do not offer addiction treatment despite their myriad of other services.
Where does Workit Health prescribe medication?
While online therapy is available nationwide, at the present time, Workit Health is only licensed to prescribe medication-assisted treatment in the following states:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
What meds does Workit Health prescribe?
Source: Workit Health
1. Acamprosate for alcohol addiction
Acamprosate (brand name Campral) is an FDA-approved medication for treating alcohol use disorder. It can help you manage your alcohol cravings, as well as minimize withdrawal symptoms and balance your brain chemistry once you’ve stopped drinking. Although the mechanism of Campral is unknown, it is thought to work by correcting some of the brain changes caused by chronic alcohol consumption. Drinking affects some neurotransmitters that make you feel calm and quitting drinking can make you feel worse. Campral alleviates these distressing symptoms by influencing neurotransmitters in the brain that cause excitability, and appears to reduce the ‘cravings’ for alcohol use.
Furthermore, it does not have a high potential for addiction. The most common side effect is diarrhea, which should be mild and quickly passes. Intestinal cramps and flatulence, headache, increased or decreased libido, insomnia, anxiety, muscle weakness, and dizziness are some of the less common side effects.
2. Suboxone for opioid addiction
Suboxone is a brand name for the medication buprenorphine/naloxone. One of only three FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder is buprenorphine/naloxone. This medication works in the brain to reduce addiction to heroin, fentanyl, and other prescription pain relievers. Suboxone has a low potential for abuse, but it also works in the brain in a similar way to other opioids that cause addiction, such as heroin and pain relievers. This means that it alleviates withdrawal symptoms and cravings caused by opioid addiction while also being safer to take. Furthermore, when taken as directed under medical supervision and in conjunction with a counseling program, Suboxone has a lower potential for misuse or abuse than other opioids. The duration of your Suboxone treatment is entirely up to you and your physician. Evidence of long-term Suboxone treatment, on the other hand, appears to be beneficial.
3. Naltrexone for alcohol and opioid addiction
Naltrexone (brand name ReVia and Vivitrol) is an FDA-approved medication for treating both alcohol and opioid addiction. Naltrexone functions as an opioid antagonist. It binds to and blocks opioid receptors, reducing cravings for opioids such as heroin or narcotic pain killers. It lessens the euphoric effects of opioids such as heroin, methadone, and oxycodone. Because naltrexone binds to opioid receptors in your brain, taking it too soon can cause precipitated withdrawal symptoms and make you sick. Before beginning naltrexone treatment, it is recommended that you abstain from all opioids, including Suboxone, for at least 7-10 days.
Workit Health prescribes naltrexone to people who are stable in recovery and Suboxone to people who are ready to quit other opioids.
How does Workit Health work?
Source: Workit Health
You start the service by taking a short assessment that determines whether the program is appropriate for you. According to the website, the quiz will only take five minutes and will recommend a specific program if applicable. I took the quiz to learn more about how the program works. It only took a few minutes, and it then recommended a free 5-week course. It provides links to the course but no additional information about treatment upfront. Workit Health works with you to find a treatment plan that works for you, according to the FAQs. You can request a call with a Care Navigator for a more personalized introductory experience.
You can also download the Workit Health app and set up an account. You’ll choose your treatment plan and payment method in the app. You can use an insurance checker to confirm your coverage, or you can self-pay. Workit Health is significantly less expensive than traditional rehabilitation.
After you’ve created your account, it’s time to book your first appointment. Do this within the app. Just like when you see a doctor in person, they will require some information. Fill out the app’s pre-appointment checklist and upload a photo of your ID.
There is also a chat option within the app with different channels to get support anytime you need it.
Medical Team Chat: You can use this channel to ask questions about your medicines, symptoms, drug testing, or lab tests.
Coach Team Chat: You can use this channel to communicate with your counselor when you require assistance or request assistance locating resources.
Admin Team Chat: You can inquire about bills or appointment scheduling, technical concerns, or your account.
Clinician appointments with Workit Health
Source: Workit Health
Because regulations differ by state, your first appointment may be with an intake counselor. Whether you start with a doctor or an intake counselor, you’ll get nonjudgmental, expert care from a team that considers your life and goals.
Workit providers are addiction medicine clinicians with training and experience. You’ll meet with your provider via a secure video chat platform, where you’ll be able to ask all of your questions about how your medication will work and what its potential side effects are. Appointments with your provider will function similarly to any other doctor’s appointment, except they will take place in a private video conference on your mobile device rather than in a doctor’s office. Your provider will go over your medical and substance use history with you to ensure that medically assisted treatment is right for you. They can also talk about other health issues, such as anxiety, depression, Hepatitis C, PrEP for HIV prevention, etc.
Workit Health’s counseling and group sessions
Source: Workit Health
Medication-assisted treatment is most effective when combined with behavioral health support, and for Workit members who do not use medication-assisted treatment, counseling may be an important part of their program. This will look different in practice depending on your needs and goals. 1:1 sessions with a trained and licensed counselor via video chat or audio calls appear to be an option for some members. Others rely on text conversations with a counselor.
Many of their counselors are in recovery or have been personally affected by addiction in some way, so they understand the real challenges that substance use disorder brings.
Many Workit members also find it beneficial to attend moderated recovery group sessions in order to receive support and encouragement from other members in similar situations.
The flat clinic rate includes Weekly online group therapy, but 1:1 weekly therapy is available for a fee. Group and individual sessions last an hour and are held once a week.
What are Workit Health’s online courses?
Source: Workit Health
The Workit app’s library of over 800 online recovery courses is one of its distinguishing features. They worked with experts and advisors to carefully design courses, which combine the most recent research in addiction science with therapy techniques such as motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy. Your personalized recovery curriculum of courses will assist you in better understanding and changing your behaviors and habits.
There are courses available for many aspects of recovery, such as navigating triggers, coping with cravings, and dealing with social pressure. However, because substance abuse is not your entire life, the courses do not end there. Workit courses cover topics such as mental health, personal development, mindfulness, and personal relationships. Your counselor may also send you “Special Delivery” courses tailored to your situation and objectives, resulting in a personalized curriculum. Your counselor will review your in-app responses to your courses to better understand where you are in your recovery.
Taking drug tests via Workit Health
If you are receiving medication-assisted treatment, you will be required to take drug tests (also known as drug screens) on occasion. It is critical for your provider to confirm which substances you are using to provide you with the best treatment. Workit will send you sealed drug test panels in the mail for this purpose.
Like the rest of Workit’s services, drug testing takes place in the Workit app, using your smartphone’s camera. When the time comes for you to take the test, you’ll use the app to enter a private waiting room until a counselor becomes available. You will be admitted to a private and secure video room when a counselor becomes available. On camera, you’ll show your counselor the sealed, new test and then go off-camera to a private area to collect your sample.
You’ll return to the camera to discuss your results with your counselor. This is a nonjudgmental process, and the counselor will respect your privacy and work to make it as easy as possible for you.
Receiving medication from Workit Health
Suboxone, naltrexone, and other medications are subject to governmental and pharmaceutical regulations to ensure that they are prescribed and administered correctly. Workit Health will not ship drugs directly to you unless you go through a pharmacy.
If you and your doctor agree that medication-assisted treatment is the best option for you, your doctor will send an e-prescription to your local pharmacy. Some members who live in remote areas far from a pharmacy can use Mail-order pharmacies. Workit providers and clinic staff will collaborate with you to find a pharmacy that meets your needs.
How much does Workit Health’s addiction treatment cost?
Workit Health’s website does not list the costs and prices because they vary by state, and customers are encouraged to call to find out. However, it does come with a weekly fee and the cost of any medication prescribed as part of the program. There are several methods for paying for the service. Some people may be able to receive treatment for free as a result of grant funding. The service also accepts various types of health insurance, which vary depending on the state. Otherwise, they accept private payment.
One Google reviewer mentioned their cost, although keep in mind that the program fee could be different for you. And another customer reported $24/week (screenshot in customer reviews section below) which is significantly lower than this person.
Workit Health alternatives: How does it compare to other virtual addiction treatment platforms?
Of course, Workit Health is not the only addiction treatment platform to have emerged in recent years. This section will look at some alternatives and compare them to Workit Health’s all-encompassing approach.
Online Addiction Treatment Comparison: Workit Health vs Monument vs Bicycle Health
|Treatments offered for addictions||All types, including opioids, alcohol, stimulants, sedatives, nicotine/tobacco, cannabis, cocaine, gambling, and sex/porn||Alcohol||Opioids|
|Cost||Unspecified weekly fee plus cost of prescriptions
Free access to support groups and online courses
|$249 for either 2 or 4 therapy sessions per month
Free access to support groups
|$199/month plus cost of prescriptions|
|Personalized treatment program?||✅||✅||✅|
|Offers 1:1 therapy?||✅||✅||❌|
|Other care offered?||Hepatitis C, HIV prevention, disordered eating, chronic pain, constipation, mental health, nausea, insomnia||❌||❌|
|Available in?||Online therapy is available nationwide, Medication-assisted treatment is only available in the following states:
Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia Washington
|Online community + education: All 50 statesPersonalized treatment in 18 States:
Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington
Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Workit Health has a lot going for it, as the chart shows. As previously stated, it removes some common barriers to addiction treatment because you can use it conveniently online and it offers treatments for all types of substance as well as non-substance (gambling, sex/porn) addictions when compared to other platforms.
One significant disadvantage is that medication-assisted treatment is not available everywhere, so you can only use it if you live in the chosen 12 states. For this purpose you might want to check out our in-depth review of Monument for alcohol addiction treatment and Bicycle Health for opioids addiction treatment as they extend their services to more states than Workit Health.
Workit Health Reviews: What are customers saying?
You can sort through numerous reviews of Workit Health on Google and elsewhere. There are plenty of positive reviews. After all, in a year-long study of its patients, 78% achieved opioid abstinence after the second month, and 84% remained abstinent after 12 months. However, there are some complaints about the prescriptions not being called in promptly, trouble getting appointments, and a lack of responsiveness.
Source: Google Play Store
The Verdict: Is Workit Health worth it for addiction treatment?
More than 10,000 people have signed up for Workit Health’s rehabilitation platform, which includes group meetings and one-on-one counseling sessions, among other types of treatment and therapy. Workit Health appeals to us since it removes many barriers to people receiving addiction and mental health treatment. The program is convenient due to its virtual setup, and it educates on addiction while also providing various sorts of treatment.
What we don’t like is the lack of pricing transparency. You can’t find information about the program’s price upfront, so you won’t know what to expect until signing up. Understandably, the cost will vary depending on the program’s customization. However, some sense of the charges, such as a range or starting price, should be provided. The only information we could find on pricing was that there is a weekly fee plus the cost of medication and that, depending on the situation, health insurance and/or grant funding may cover some or all of the costs.
According to this Forbes article, the average Workit Health patient pays around $4,200 per year. This may be more expensive than other platforms, but the inclusion of various services such as drug tests, medication, therapies, and doctor consultations may just justify the price.
Because this service takes a personalized approach, it may be worthwhile to go through the signup process to see what your customized care plan would entail and how much it would cost. This is how you’ll find out if the program is right for you and meets your needs/goals. Another advantage is that you can cancel at any time if you are dissatisfied, so you can always try the program and cancel if it does not work as expected.
Finally, we believe that telemedicine addiction treatments are the way of the future, and providers like Workit Health are likely to be at the forefront of this new way for people to regain control of their addictions. We love their mission and are completely blown away by the platform they’ve created to help so many people.
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