A new treatment protocol incorporating telemedicine, a mobile app, and recovery coaching to reduce alcohol use privately from home has been launched by Ria Health. Developed by a group of leading addiction experts, Ria Health’s program aims to remove barriers that often prevent people from seeking help for reducing alcohol use.
Ria Health connects clients to a physician trained in addiction medicine, who typically prescribes naltrexone, a non-addictive drug with few side effects that has been proven effective in controlling cravings and reducing alcohol use. The company’s mobile app is used in conjunction with a breathalyzer to monitor clients’ progress toward their individual goals. Clients are also assigned recovery coaches to help them create strategies, plans and goals.
The breathalyzer is synced to clients’ smartphones via Bluetooth and reports blood alcohol levels twice a day. Because the program is goal-driven, clients can choose to work toward reducing their drinking or toward abstaining altogether. The breathalyzer provides an objective tool for measuring progress. Users can invite anyone, like a family member or friend, into a private social network to help them reach their goal of controlling their drinking.
“There is evidence to show that when a physician is engaged, individuals tackling drinking challenges are more likely to be engaged for a longer period of time than programs without this element,” states Tom Nix, Ria Health Chief Executive Officer. “In practice, we do see that telemedicine sessions are actually very popular since, anecdotally, people are more willing to be clear in their problems and provide more detail about their needs when they feel like they are maintaining their privacy, dignity, and there is no shame or stigma that might be related to more traditional drinking programs.”
The program currently costs $99/month.
The company is also looking to develop partnerships within corporate HR and the physician community. “Ria Health can help employers offer confidential, effective care to their employees with measured outcomes that are positive and affordable and a convenient program that can be used in the comfort and privacy of their own home,” said Nix.
Note: The Peter G. Dodge Foundation is not affiliated with Ria Health and does not endorse any product or service. Information provided should not be construed as medical advice and is for informational purposes only.