Alcohol use disorder affects at least 15 million adults in the United States.
On average, less than 7 percent will receive treatment each year.

Ria Health’s mission is simple: to make alcohol treatment easier and more accessible, so that more people get the help they need.

How do we do this?

We use telemedicine, medications for alcoholism, recovery coaching, medical counseling, support groups, and even digital tools—including an app and a mobile breathalyzer. It’s an all-of-the-above approach, and it’s customizable to each individual. 

Best of all, everything is done from the comfort of home. No doctor’s office visits required.

Why do we do things this way?

Because with so many people struggling with alcohol abuse, and so few getting help, we know new solutions are needed. And because, though great strides have been made in alcohol addiction treatment, surprisingly few people know about them.

Our goal is to make this knowledge accessible, and give people new ways to make use of it—without having to put their lives on hold.

In short, we are working to revolutionize treatment for alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder.

beer and wine bottle, crossed out

On this page, you can learn about our philosophy on treating alcohol addiction, why we do things the way we do, and why it’s proven to be an effective solution for many people. Even if you decide that our approach isn’t right for you, you may find new perspectives here that suggest a different path forward.

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Part of the reason so few people are getting help for alcohol addiction is that the process seems intimidating.

Although great strides have been made in evidence-based alcohol treatment, many people still believe that the options are limited. Below are some common assumptions about fighting alcohol addiction, which have actually been disproven by recent research:

1. You need to go to rehab

If you’ve heard this before, you may have assumed it was based on scientific evidence. But it turns out there are many treatments more effective than those offered in rehabilitation facilities, at a fraction of the cost. You don’t need to turn your life upside down or empty your wallet to quit drinking alcohol.

2. You need to believe in a higher power

While finding a good spiritual or mindfulness practice can be of great assistance, it shouldn’t be a requirement to get help. Many of the affordable alternatives to rehab encourage a faith-based approach. If that isn’t your world view, you should know that there are other options.

3. Abstinence is the only choice

It turns out that moderation is possible for many people with the right tools and support system. Approaches like the Sinclair Method have proven that, with the aid of medication, it’s possible to reset your brain chemistry around alcohol. The occasional beer may still be an option.

4. Addiction is a moral failing

It’s not. There are many reasons that people become dependent on substances. At the end of the day, addiction should be seen as a health problem to fix, not a flaw in a person’s character. The less shame and stigma are attached to it, the more easily people can ask for help, and recover.

Ria Health believes that help for alcohol addiction should be easy to access, and based in scientific research. The fewer barriers that exist, and the more flexible the solutions are, the more people will get the assistance they need.

Treatment should be evidence-based, and customized to the individual.

Below are six elements of an up-to-date approach to alcohol use disorder that can be mixed and matched for each person’s needs. Each is supported by the evidence. When combined, we believe they offer a stronger support system for those who want to reduce or stop drinking.

1. Medication for Alcoholism

There are several medications that can help reduce alcohol cravings:

  • Naltrexone, which works by blocking the pleasurable effects of alcohol. Over time, many people find that this reduces or eliminates their desire to drink.
  • Acamprosate, which helps correct the chemical imbalance that motivates a person to drink. This can be especially helpful in maintaining long-term abstinence.
  • Gabapentin, Baclofen, and Topiramate. All three were originally approved to treat other conditions, and have been found safe and effective for treating alcohol use disorder.

One, or even several of these can help you overcome the symptoms of physical addiction, giving you a major head start.

2. Recovery Coaching

Access to personal support can be key in overcoming alcohol dependency. Recovery coaches can help you set goals, change old behaviors, and start new habits. They can also support you when you experience setbacks.

Recovery coaching is a relatively new profession, but it’s expanding rapidly and already showing promising results. In our program, we’ve seen strong evidence that this kind of one-on-one support is crucial. Having an experienced ally to help you through the process can keep you on track in the most pivotal moments.

3. Digital Tracking Tools

When people have objective tools to measure their progress it can help boost their motivation. One way Ria Health does this is by giving a digital Bluetooth breathalyzer to all members. This lets them record their blood alcohol content every day, and send it to their phones in our secure App. This helps in several ways:

  • First, it gives members a graph of how much they’ve been drinking, which helps them stay objective about their progress.
  • Second, it serves as a daily ritual that reminds them of their goals.
  • Finally, it gives our coaches and doctors something to look at, to see if they need to adjust treatment.

We’ve found that this, and other app-based tools, have a positive impact on members’ long-term progress.

4. Online Support Groups

One major strength of programs like Alcoholics Anonymous is that they offer the chance to meet and empathize with like-minded others. This kind of mutual support can be essential for some people. Unfortunately, meetings can be hard to fit into some people’s schedules. And not everyone agrees with 12 step philosophy.

Online meetings can be a good alternative. You can join from anywhere, on a schedule that works for you. Having access to community support that is both secular and flexible can be game changing, and an important part of quitting alcohol.

5. Telemedicine

This is the innovation that connects all of the above together. New technology is making it possible to access healthcare from the comfort of home.

In this case, it means you can chat with a doctor, get prescriptions, meet with a coach, attend support groups, and even track your blood alcohol content—all from your phone.

The big advantage of telemedicine is that it allows people who are too busy or too far from treatment centers to get help for alcohol addiction. It also makes the process more convenient in general. And this is great news, because the easier it is to stop drinking, the more people will succeed at it.

6. Moderation

Not everyone wants to stop drinking completely. Others may want to quit, but be intimidated by the idea of never drinking again. Having moderation as an option can make getting started much easier.

The medication naltrexone has a proven track record at helping people achieve moderation. So does the Sinclair Method, which makes use of this medication. So despite widespread beliefs that abstinence is the only way, moderation really is possible.

Ria Health supports this option, as well as abstinence. Whatever is going to work best for you is what you should be able to accomplish.

Any of these approaches can help you stop drinking alcohol, or reduce your alcohol consumption. Which ones you choose are up to you.

Ria’s mission is to remove the stigma from alcohol addiction, and make treatment more accessible. If any of these approaches sould like a good fit for you, get in touch with us to learn more about what we do, with no obligation. And if you are just looking for more information, check out our other resources.

New approaches to treating alcohol use disorder are not only possible, they are becoming more accessible every day. Our program is already available in many states, and our success rate so far has been strong. It is our hope that alcohol addiction will soon be seen as just another treatable illness, and that everyone who needs assistance will be able to get it.

Read some real-life Ria Health success stories here.

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