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.
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, pers