Getting Started with Ria Health
For more tips and information for Ria Health members, visit our video resources page, or get in touch with us with any questions.
Welcome to the Ria Health program!
This page will walk you through the basics of setting up your breathalyzer,* connecting to the app, and beginning to track your progress. We’ll also include some common FAQs, information on booking appointments, and other member benefits.
Your breathalyzer should arrive within 2-4 business days of your enrollment in Ria’s program. If you haven’t received your shipment yet, contact us at 866 576 4037 and we’ll be happy to help!
*Some models may differ. If you need further assistance, please contact customer service at 888 881 8377
Table of Contents
What To Expect in Your Ria Health Shipment
Every Ria Member is shipped a Bluetooth breathalyzer when they join the program.
Your kit will include the breathalyzer, mouth pieces, and a triple A battery.*
*Some models may differ. If you need further assistance, please contact customer service at 888 881 8377
How To Download the Ria Health App
Before using your breathalyzer, you’ll first want to make sure you’ve downloaded the Ria Health app.
- Go into the App store or Google Play, search for “Ria Health” and download.
- Once the app downloads, open it up and follow the prompts to the login screen.
- Click login, and use your email address and password associated with your Ria Health account.
How to Assemble Your BreathalyzerOnce you’ve unboxed your breathalyzer, it’s now time to assemble your device.*
- To begin with, you will install the triple A battery into your unit by removing the back cover from the device.
- Be sure to match the positive and negative ends of the battery with what’s marked on the breathalyzer.
- Please note: you will want to replace your first battery after 30 days of use. Then, you can replace each battery after that every 3 months to ensure accurate readings.
- Finally, add the mouth piece to your breathalyzer unit. You’ll see the unit comes with a few extras which you can set aside for future use.
How to Do a Breathalyzer Session in App Mode
Once you’ve downloaded the app and assembled your breathalyzer, you’re now ready to do a breathalyzer session.
- Turn your breathalyzer “ON” to APP MODE using the silver button on the side of the device. Press for 10 seconds, or until it reads APP MODE.
- Your breathalyzer should arrive in APP MODE, which allows it to function with Ria’s app. If for any reason it is in STANDALONE MODE, simply hold down the silver button to switch back to APP MODE.
- iPhone Users only: Make sure your Bluetooth setting is turned ON in your smartphone—this is how the breathalyzer will sync with your app.
- Now you can open the Ria Health app, and from the app’s home screen scroll down and select “breathalyze.”
- From here, click “CONNECT” in the app and the breathalyzer will sync automatically via Bluetooth connection.
- Now you’ll see your countdown in the app – so get ready to breathalyze! Begin when it reads “Start Blowing.”
- Be sure to blow strong steady air into the mouthpiece of the breathalyzer. You can stop blowing air when the device completes beeping.
- In a few seconds, your breathalyzer will come back with your BAC reading. You can click NEXT in the app to complete the prompts to finish your breathalyzer session.
Install “Ria Health Alcohol Reduction” app
Hold button until screen says “APP MODE (7 seconds)
Follow prompts in app and breathe into breathalyzer
Now You’re All Set!Check your numbers twice a day: once in the morning when you wake up and once at night. If you have any trouble downloading the app or getting your breathalyzer set up, contact us at 866 576 4037 or at [email protected] and we’d be glad to assist you.
Ria Health Member FAQsBelow are some commonly asked questions for members of the Ria Health program, topic by topic. We recommend browsing through each of these sections when you first get started, and as you continue with us. If you have any questions not answered below, feel free to get in touch with us, or speak with your care team through the app.
The mobile breathalyzer helps in several ways: First, it keeps you honest with yourself by giving you a graph of how much you’ve been drinking and when. Second, it gives you a ritual that reminds you of your goals. Third, it gives you objective data to look at so you know how much progress you’re making. Finally, it gives Ria’s care team solid data to look at to make informed decisions about your treatment.
Ria Health ships a handheld Bluetooth breathalyzer to every new member at no additional charge. When your breathalyzer arrives, follow the steps listed above. If you have any problems, contact us at 877-627-0369 or [email protected]
It is best to start breathalyzing as soon as you get your breathalyzer, regardless of where you’re at with your drinking goals. This gives your care team some baseline data to look at to help them tailor treatment to your needs. For example, your care team typically needs about three (3) days of this baseline data before dispensing medications.
As for what time of day, it is best to breathalyze in both the morning and the evening throughout your time with the Ria Health program. Remember to wait at least 15 minutes after your last sip of alcohol (including toothpaste, gum, mouthwash, cough syrup, or other liquid medications).
At Ria, we ask all members to use their breathalyzer a minimum of once (1) a day throughout the course of the program. In the beginning, it will be twice (2) a day: once in the morning and once at night, at least 15 minutes after your last sip of alcohol. Your care team will let you know when it is best to step to a lower frequency. Having this kind of consistent data helps us tailor care to your needs as you go through the program.
All breathalyzer data is confidential, and stays between you and your care team. Nobody will judge you for your numbers. The main purpose of the data is to help us ensure that we are giving you the best care possible. If your care team knows that you are drinking more or less over a given period of time, they can adjust treatment accordingly to help you get the maximum benefit from the program.
You can also use your breathalyzer data as a jumping off point in meetings with your coach. All members have access to their breathalyzer data via the app.
The breathalyzer is only meant for gathering health data as part of the Ria Health program. Ria Health encourages members not to attempt to use this device for any other purpose, as this may cause problems with data collection, the device, or it’s syncing with the app.
Also, please be aware that the breathalyzer should not be your only way of measuring your impairment. Signs of intoxication can happen as soon as you’ve had your first drink, and there is no such thing as safe drinking—only lower risk. For further info, please read the manufacturer’s disclaimer here.
A replacement breathalyzer can be purchased from customer service for $100 ($75 plus $25 for shipping). If you purchase a breathalyzer from another source, it is not guaranteed to sync with the Ria Health app. You may therefore not be able to track your progress, or share your results with the Ria Health team.
Watch the above video on how to connect the breathalyzer to your phone.
Start by checking the following:
- Make sure your batteries are fresh.
- Check if the breathalyzer is on. It should show a blue light. You can turn on the breathalyzer by pressing the button on the side for a couple seconds.
- Make sure the breathalyzer is in the app mode. Hold the single button on the breathalyzer for at least 10 seconds to place it in app mode.
- Do you have the latest operating system for your smartphone? (The recommended operating system is iOS 10 or higher, or Android 8.0 or later. The minimum operating system is Android 7.1.)
- Do you have the latest version of the Ria Health app? If you do not, please delete and redownload it.
- Enable Bluetooth and location services on your mobile device.
- If you installed the BACtrack app (in addition to Ria Health), please uninstall the BACtrack application. The breathalyzer can only function with one app at a time.
- Try going to “Profile” in the app menu, and click “Forget Breathalyzer.” Then resync the breathalyzer.
If you’ve tried each of these steps, and the breathalyzer is still not working, contact us at 877-627-0369 or [email protected]
We use the Widmark Formula, which is a standard formula for calculating units to BAC in alcohol treatment. This method factors in a standard alcoholic drink (about 14 grams of pure alcohol) along with gender and weight. As with any measures for alcohol use, there are other variables (e.g., food eaten, health conditions) that can impact the score. Data produced here are for helping to shape health decisions only.
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) refers to the percentage of alcohol (ethyl alcohol or ethanol) in a person’s bloodstream. A BAC of .10% means that an individual’s blood supply contains one part alcohol for every 1000 parts blood.
In the United States, it is illegal to operate a vehicle if one has a BAC of .08% or higher, except for Utah where the BAC limit is .05%.
It is important to note that having a BAC below the legal limit doesn’t mean it is safe to operate a vehicle, or engage in some other activity. Impairment due to alcohol use can occur at levels well below the legal limit.
A person’s BAC level can be affected by the number of standard drinks consumed, an individual’s weight, gender, pattern of drinking, genetics, and food intake.
Effects and impairments resulting from increasing blood alcohol levels may include:
- Slowed reflexes and reaction time
- Slurred speech
- Memory trouble, blackouts, and memory loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of physical coordination
- Passing out
- Heartbeat, breathing, and blood pressure changes
|BAC||Physical and Mental Effects|
|.01 – .03||No apparent effects, slight mood elevation|
|.04 – .06||Feeling of relaxation, sensation of warmth, minor impairment of reasoning and memory. In Utah, you will test as legally impaired at .05% BAC|
|.07 – .09||Mild impairment of balance, speech, vision, and control. In the United States, you will test as legally impaired at .08% BAC and it is illegal to drive at this level|
|.10 – .12||Significant impairment of motor coordination and loss of judgment. Speech may be slurred|
|.13 – .15||Gross impairment of motor control, blurred vision, and major loss of balance. Onset of dysphoria (anxiety, restlessness)|
|.16 – .20||Dysphoria predominates, nausea may appear. Drinker has the appearance of “sloppy drunk”|
|.25 – .30||Severe intoxication, needs assistance walking, mental confusion. Dysphoria with nausea and some vomiting|
|.35 – .40||Loss of consciousness. Brink of coma.|
|.40 and up||Onset of coma. Likelihood of death due to respiratory failure without medical assistance|
Confidentiality and Privacy
Our services are confidential and bound by HIPAA, 42 CFR Part 2 regulations (Part 2) and other state privacy laws. No information is shared with any other entities outside of your care (e.g. care team, pharmacy, labs, case management services, care coordination, and insurance). Please note that pharmacies and/or insurance providers need a diagnosis to start and/or continue treatment, and may need to see some of this information.
If you would like to have an outside provider and/or family member know your care details, a release of information will need to be done. You can request this via your care team, and it will take 1-2 business days to process.
We primarily use the Ria Health app to communicate, and it is best to use the app for all communications. Due to the sensitive nature of what we treat, we only communicate through HIPAA compliant software and methods that ultimately protect your privacy.
If you are unable to contact us due to problems with the app, let us know at 877-627-0369 or [email protected]
We don’t collect location data (nor do we have the capacity to hold this data), But some smartphones (i.e., Androids) require location services to be enabled to use Bluetooth. This is primarily due to Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and a design issue in some smartphones meant to conserve battery life. You can read more about it here.
To comply with HIPAA, 42 CFR Part 2 regulations (Part 2) and other privacy policies, we primarily use the Ria Health app to conduct communications with our members. The majority of online communication tools are not set up to protect privacy and/or are not in compliance with the above regulations.
Due to HIPAA and related privacy laws, we are unable to divulge any information about members without prior authorization. If you’d like family or friends to know your program details, please request a release of information by contacting your care team.
All sessions are by appointment, and based on availability. Our normal operating business hours for the Ria Program are Monday to Friday from 6am PST to 6pm PST. Schedules for the medical and coaching teams are available through the app, and members can set up appointments through the “Schedule Appointment” menu.
Care team sessions are meant to provide support for alcohol treatment and other related issues, and are not meant for medical emergencies and/or crises.
If you are experiencing a crisis or an emergency, please dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. You can also access the free, 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK), or try one of the following referrals:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1- 800-799-7233
- National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433)
- Crisis Text Line: Text “DESERVE” TO 741-741
- Lifeline Crisis Chat (Online live messaging): https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
- Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)
- Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228
- Planned Parenthood Hotline: 1-800-230-PLAN (7526)
- American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222
- GLBT Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
- TREVOR Crisis Hotline: 1-866-488-7386
- TransLifeline: https://www.translifeline.org – 877-565-8860
- Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net
Please note that if you happen to be intoxicated during a session, we will have to end and reschedule. This is to promote your safety and well-being, and make sure you are aware of all decisions regarding your treatment.
Medical and coaching sessions are done via the Ria Health app using the Zoom application. The button to join Zoom will appear on the homescreen of the app when the provider is ready. We will also message you via the care team chat channel if we are unable to reach you.Finally, if you are not ready at the scheduled time, the provider will contact you via the phone number listed and through the chat options.
If you are having any issues with logging in, please get in contact with your team through care team chat, and they will help you troubleshoot the issue.
If you missed your appointment and/or the care team could not get ahold of you, please check the care chat channel first in the upper left-hand corner of the app to see if they are trying to reach you. If a significant amount of time has passed, and you are still missing from your session, please feel free to reschedule through the app.
On some occasions, the medical team has emergencies to deal with and might be late calling you. If they are too late, please make a new appointment or get help at 888-881-8377.
You can reschedule and cancel your appointments anytime through the app, by navigating to the menu bar in the app and selecting “Schedule Appointment.” When possible, please reschedule or cancel 24 hours or more in advance.
Go to the upper left-hand corner of the app and select “Schedule Appointment.” From there, you can see which time slots are available with the medical team and with your coach.
Making additional appointments with the medical team or coaching team is completely FREE for all subscribing members. If you need to speak with a physician or your coach, don’t hesitate schedule an appointment in the app.
You can always set up a session in the app under “Schedule Appointment.” Both the coaching and medical teams’ schedules are visible in the app..
The majority of members, after the initial medical assessment and two (2) months of treatment, have medical appointments as needed, as well as occasional maintenance meetings around continued medications for alcohol use. As for coaching, after the initial 10-12 weeks of the program the sessions are biweekly, monthly, or as-needed.
After the first several months have passed, it is up to the member to schedule as-needed appointments. Unless your care team advises otherwise, feel free to use your own judgement in how often you wish to schedule meetings.
As of this moment the Ria Health app is only supported using a smartphone.
Members can communicate easily with the Ria Health team through the chat function in the app. Use chat to ask questions related to your treatment or request important information. This might include:
- Addressing common side effects from prescribed medications
- Gathering community referrals
- Reviewing medication and/or coaching best practices
- Resolving care coordination issues
It’s important to note that the chat function isn’t set up to serve as a crisis line. While it is possible to send a message 24/7, we typically respond within one (1) business day. For some useful emergency contacts, please see the Scheduling/Sessions section.
Ria has three (3) chat channels, each with a different purpose:
Care Team Chat
Get direct support related to alcohol treatment from your care team, and manage any pharmacy, lab, or care coordination issues.
Customer Service Chat
Talk to our customer service team to address any issues with billings, insurance, shipments, or other related items.
Inner Circle Chat
Add family, friends, and other allies to your “Inner Circle” via the app, and communicate about your progress in the program.
Ria’s Inner Circle allows Ria members to invite others to be involved in their progress throughout the program. You can add friends, family, and other close allies through the app. This is completely optional.
To invite others to be a part of your inner circle:
- Go to the menu bar in the app
- Choose “Inner Circle”
- Click “Invite” and you’ll be able to invite someone using their phone number or email address. Please note, you’ll want to make sure the person you are inviting has downloaded and signed up on the Ria Health app.
Groups are an additional, optional feature of the Ria Program. While members are not required to join these meetings, they can offer additional, helpful support, as well as a chance to connect with others following the same journey.
Ria offers group meetings at several weekly dates and times, with more coming in the near future. These groups are first come, first served, and close out access 5 minutes from start time and/or at a maximum of 10 members.
To protect your privacy, Zoom links are released the morning of the group. When entering the session, you will first be placed in a waiting area, and the moderator will allow you in when ready. You can unmute yourself by pushing *67. Due to the nature of group setting, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, but members are asked to respect each other’s privacy.
Groups are completely optional and voluntary. This is an added feature of the Ria Health program for those who wish to use it, and not mandatory.
All virtual group meetings are led by one of our Ria Health coaches, and generally center around a specific topic chosen for the session. Meetings last up to 45 minutes at most and usually have about 2-10 participants. If only 1 member shows up, group meetings are cancelled.
Available meeting times are typically posted in the Ria Health app by the end of each week. If you haven’t gotten a notification, please let us know via care team chat and we can provide you with the schedule.
Links to groups are released the morning of the scheduled group, in order to protect members’ privacy.
Some smartphones (i.e., Androids) don’t allow for direct links from the smartphone app. In this case, it’s best to copy and paste the link into your smartphone web browser.
Naltrexone, acamprosate, baclofen, topiramate, and gabapentin are all available through the program, and can all help reduce cravings for alcohol. Which medication you are prescribed depends on what you and your medical team decide is the best course of treatment. For more information on these medications visit our medication page.
It often takes some time before the effects of medication are fully apparent. The best way to know if the medication is working is through observation. If you stay consistent in taking your medication, stick with the prescribed dose, and discuss your experiences with your medical team, they can help you determine if the medication is having the desired effect. Tracking your progress through the Ria Health app and using the breathalyzer will also help us measure if your medication is working, and make any needed adjustments.
In general, if the medication is working, members will notice some changes in cravings, thoughts, speed of intake, and consumption in regards to alcohol. It’s best to take medications consistently for 3-6 months to see significant change, and to report your experiences to your care team as you go along.
If you’ve recorded three (3) days of breathalyzer readings, and your medical team feels medication is a good fit, you’ll likely be prescribed medication by your second online medical visit. In some cases, your team may require lab results as well. Once you are prescribed the medication, your pharmacy will generally have it ready within 1 to 2 business days.
Prescriptions are based on what you and your medical team decide is the best course of treatment for your health and personal goals. In some cases, based on your medical information and your team’s expertise in alcohol treatment, you may not get the exact treatment regimen you were expecting.
Our team carefully considers your medical history, goals, drinking patterns, and current symptoms in making treatment decisions. If you end up with a different prescription than you were hoping for, or even none at all, it is because our team feels this will be the healthiest, safest, and most effective path forward. Your well-being is our top priority.
If you experience unpleasant side effects, or other issues with taking the medication, please reach out to your care team through chat, or through an appointment.
You can request a refill through the “Refill Request” function in the app, through your coach or medical provider, or through your care team chat. Note that some pharmacies will take 1-2 business days to have the prescription ready, and it’s best to factor this in when making a request. A good rule of thumb for requesting a refill is to do so when you have less than 7 days left of medication.
In general, it’s best to request a refill when you only have about seven (7) days worth of medication left. Note that, in the Ria program, we rely on members to let us know when they are low on medication.
People who wish to continue drinking moderately generally also need to continue taking medication. If you decide to become abstinent, you may no longer need medication. Any changes in your goals, or desire to stop medication should be discussed with your doctor or medical team.
Medications are outside the cost of the Ria Health program. The majority of medications are covered by insurance at standard dosage. In some cases, your medical team may increase the dosage beyond the standard requirements set forth by insurance. This may result in out of pocket expenses and/or insurance not covering the medication.
Most medication is relatively affordable, but we do recommend using GoodRx to find discounted coupons. If the cost of the medication is posing a challenge, please communicate with your care team before stopping dosage.
There are several reasons why your prescription may not be filled by your pharmacy:
- It hasn’t been reflected in the pharmacy’s database yet. (It normally takes 1 business day to show up.)
- The state you are in considers the medications a schedule V drug (i.e. gabapentin) and needs to send us the proper form to fill out before dispensing it.
- Insurance doesn’t approve the medications, for various reasons, and the pharmacy needs to send us a medical waiver (Even with medical waivers signed, insurance may still not approve medications in some cases. If this happens to be the situation, please get in contact with your care team to help resolve any issues.)
- The pharmacy is not familiar with medications for alcohol use, or using targeted dosage, and needs clarification.
- The pharmacy applies a 30 days/30 pills disbursement protocol across all their medications.
Any of the above reasons can make it take slightly longer to get your prescriptions. For this reason, we recommend asking for refills when you still have 7 days of medication left. We know this can be frustrating at times, and we appreciate your patience.
Major pharmacies normally have a process to transfer prescriptions to another major pharmacy. It’s best to use this process when possible to prevent duplication orders and/or sending conflicting information to insurance providers. Below are some of the more common links for transferring prescriptions to another location/brand:
Lab expenses are outside the cost of the Ria program. Some insurance plans may be able to cover the cost of the labs, but this varies from plan to plan. The majority of labs are done either at Quest or Labcorp.
Labs are to help the medical team make the best decisions around your care. In some cases, labs will be necessary to ensure that the treatment you are getting is right for you, and will not cause any health issues. Not all members will be required to do lab tests, but if your medical team recommends it, it may be necessary for getting the care you need.
No fasting is needed for the labs we request.
A member of our care team will let you know your lab’s location by the first medical session. If they do not, please contact us through chat in the Ria Health app
Lab test results help us determine which medication to start/continue on, and/or understand how alcohol has impacted your overall health.The medical team may order one or more of the following tests while you are in the Ria Health program:
- CBC (complete blood count)
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
- Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase
- Prothrombin time
- Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin
- Phosphatidylethanol (PeTH)
- Ethyl glucuronide (EtG)
The majority of labs requested by Ria Health target alcohol treatment, which normally is not done by standard physical annuals. However, you can submit copies of your recent test results to the medical team if you’d like to help contextualize health decisions.
Lab requests are sent by the first medical appointment. We use e-Prescribe to send these, which is secure, efficient, and industry-trusted. It also shows a timestamp for when the lab receives the requests, so we are able to track whether they have gone through.
In general, the lab will have a digital copy of this information rather than a hard copy. If you need a hard copy to bring, please request one via care team chat and we will email it within 1 business day.
This often means that the technician is unsure of the lab numbers for the specific tests we are conducting. We conduct specialized tests around alcohol use, which many labs are not familiar with. The correct lab numbers are on the original lab requests in the lab’s database. You can also provide the below information if the lab technician needs it:
- Quest – 37850 – https://testdirectory.questdiagnostics.com/test/test-detail/37850/phosphatidylethanol-blood?cc=MASTER
- Labcorp – 791584 – https://www.labcorp.com/tests/791584/phosphatidylethanol-peth
The Ria Health fax number is 415-558-1764, and is also included on the letterhead of the original request.
Labs are generally returned to us when all lab tests are finished. This normally takes a minimum of two (2) weeks. Please note that due to COVID-19 we have been having significant delays.
You can request these via care team chat and we will email you the results within 1 business day.
Members can set appointments with the coaching team through the app, via the “Schedule Appointment” menu. The coaching team schedule will be visible, and members are free to choose any open time slot that also works for them.
Our coaches provide member-centered, non-judgmental 17 minute sessions. In these weekly meetings, members have a chance to discuss their challenges, successes, and concerns as they go through the program, and get expert advice on developing coping strategies and sticking with treatment. This may include discussing breathalyzer data, the member’s experience taking the medication, or managing drinking triggers. Coaches also help in adjusting treatment to match a member’s unique needs.
Members begin with 10-12 consecutive weekly coaching sessions, then switch to either biweekly or once per month for the remainder of the Ria program.
Members can view all of their scheduled coaching sessions on the Ria Health app main page. After your initial coaching session, a sequence of 10 to 12 follow-up sessions are set up. If you don’t see any set up, it may mean you have finished your first group of sessions. Set up another session as needed via the app, under “Schedule Appointment.”
Coaching helps us customize treatment to each individual member, and give them the support they need to establish lasting behavioral change around alcohol. We find that, when combined with medication, this approach tends to give members the strongest, longest-lasting results.
Your coach is there to help you meet your drink goals, stick with medication as prescribed, and adjust treatment as necessary. They also provide weekly structure, give you feedback on your breathalyzer readings, identify any potential barriers, and ensure you are moving along in reducing alcohol.
The short answer is no. Our care team is driven by member’s needs and desires, and ultimately what type of relationship they personally want with alcohol.
Essentially, every decision and action is driven by the member in this program. Our role is to provide the tools, knowledge, and environment to help them make the change they are looking for.
Our coaches are here to provide skills to help with alcohol reduction, taking medications consistently, and related support around those items. This is not the same as therapy,
If you feel like you might benefit from therapy and/or our care team has identified you might, our coaches can help you find a nearby provider who takes your insurance/benefits.