Only 25% of males and 22% of females reported having talked about alcohol use with a health care provider in the past 2 years1.
Screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT)2 has been shown to be effective in reducing harmful levels of drinking and alcohol-related harm in primary care and emergency care settings.
We believe patient-centred care is relevant to all patients. As such, we work collaboratively with patients to set goals: some patients work towards abstinence, while others aim to reduce their consumption and regain control of their drinking.
While many of our patients achieve abstinence, others reduce the impact of alcohol on their health, relationships, and careers. If harm reduction makes sense for those who struggle with opiate use (and it clearly does!) why not for the substantially larger number of patients who struggle with alcohol?
We believe that shame and judgment have no place in the treatment for those who struggle with addiction, so we've replaced them with an approach grounded in compassion and understanding.
We believe in science. We combine cognitive-behavioural therapy, evidence-based medicine, and technology to support patients in meeting their goals. Think less 12 step, more RCTs. We base our approach on research regarding what works for patients with AUD, and we support our patients with evidence-based medications, such as those recommended in the 2018 American Psychiatric Association guidelines.
We believe in reducing barriers to care and, as such, see patients by secure video conferencing from their homes or workplaces. We believe that cost shouldn’t be a barrier to care. We do, however, need to keep the lights on. Our two year program isn't free, but it's a fraction of the cost of residential care, with significantly better outcomes. We’re working daily with insurers and employers to help make our program accessible to everyone who needs it.
We believe in transparency and openness. We publish our success rate online, and update our statistics regularly. Since starting in North America in 2016, we’ve had an 82% success rate3 in helping patients either regain control of their alcohol use or achieve abstinence.
Alcohol was the third leading risk factor for death and disability globally in 20104
Science-based, compassionate care, that combines counselling, modern pharmacologic treatment and technology to help patients achieve success
The care team helps patients set and work towards their goals, and in under 6 months, be proud of the results3.
Combined medical and cognitive-behavioural therapy to treat problem drinking with a personal doctor and therapist.
Walk-in-the-park, secure and HIPAA compliant platform to track the individual's progress and share with their care team, for a real-time custom treatment.
Regain Control of Drinking3
A doctor assesses the individual's drinking habits and customizes the ALAVIDA program: physical health is assessed and medication prescription is tailored to their needs, whether the goal is to drink less, or quit drinking.
The client tracks their drinking, triggers and medication use daily, and monitors their progress right from their pocket.
Their personal team of therapist + physician works with them to guide through treatment for 6 months, with in-depth sessions and weekly check-ins to help the reach their goals. The medication helps with the cravings, while therapy helps to replace the pleasure with everyday experiences.
Once the goals are reached, we continue supporting the person up to 18 months with additional tailored program components to keep them on-track and reinforce success.
MI and CBT are some tools we use to replace the pleasure from alcohol with daily experiences. Want to join?Apply today
At ALAVIDA, we love science. Please reach out if you're a researcher interested in collaborating with us!.Apply today
Learn about stories from actual clients that have been through the Alavida Program.
I used this program and it changed my life. If you want to be able to drink with your friends and be able to control overdoing it, this program works. It took away my constant urge to drink while still being able to drink socially. Other programs ask you to change your friends, hangouts and abstain.
There was no judgement at all. They were kind. It was said over and over again that this was a medical issue, not a moral issue. I had no idea that the program could be so simple. Even though it wasn’t easy. I’ve got my self-respect back, I didn’t even notice a craving. I took the pill when I first started ...and within six weeks the change has been phenomenal. I don’t have to worry about being hungover and I don’t take the pills all the time anymore.
Thank you Alavida for being an integral part of my reclamation of my life!!! I am truly amazed and dumbfounded by how the science based method has truly helped restore my brain and the thought process.... They say 'once an addict always an addict'..... I don't think I believe that anymore
1: Our therapeutic approach is evidence-based and scientific. We apply the best available research evidence in the development of our treatment protocols. Many treatment programs use techniques that have no evidence of effectiveness; approaches that are often developed by people who formerly were heavy drinkers and are employing methods that worked for them. The importance of using evidence-based treatment is supported by research: Chambless, D. L., & Hollon, S. D. (1998). Defining empirically supported therapies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66(1), 7.Abstract
Spring, B. (2007). Evidence‐based practice in clinical psychology: what it is, why it matters; what you need to know. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 63(7), 611-631.Abstract
2: We use the combination of pharmacological and psychological treatment to provide the most advanced, comprehensive treatment approach. - Combining medical and psychological approaches is best practice for treating many mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety and the best approach for treating heavy drinking. - Medication combined with psychotherapy has been shown to increase the abstinence rate, decrease the relapse rate, and reduce alcohol intake (number of drinks per drinking day and total number of drinks). Supporting research: Jarosz, J., Miernik, K., Wąchal, M., Walczak, J., & Krumpl, G. (2013). Naltrexone (50 mg) plus psychotherapy in alcohol-dependent patients: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 39(3), 144-160.Abstract
3: Our physicians use Naltrexone as a first line medication to help people decrease alcohol consumption. Naltrexone has decades of research support in helping people decrease alcohol consumption and has relatively few side effects compared to other medications being used to treat Heavy Drinking. Research Support: Carmen, B., Angeles, M., Ana, M., & María, A. J. (2004). Efficacy and safety of naltrexone and acamprosate in the treatment of alcohol dependence: a systematic review. Addiction, 99(7), 811-828.Abstract
Srisurapanont, M., & Jarusuraisin, N. (2005). Naltrexone for the treatment of alcoholism: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 8(02), 267-280.Abstract
Jonas, D. E., Amick, H. R., Feltner, C., Bobashev, G., Thomas, K., Wines, R., ... & Garbutt, J. C. (2014). Pharmacotherapy for adults with alcohol use disorders in outpatient settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis.Jama, 311(18), 1889-1900.Abstract
Rösner, S., Leucht, S., Lehert, P., & Soyka, M. (2008). Acamprosate supports abstinence, naltrexone prevents excessive drinking: evidence from a meta-analysis with unreported outcomes. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 22(1), 11-23.Abstract
Donoghue, K., Elzerbi, C., Saunders, R., Whittington, C., Pilling, S., & Drummond, C. (2015). The efficacy of acamprosate and naltrexone in the treatment of alcohol dependence, Europe versus the rest of the world: a meta‐analysis. Addiction, 110(6), 920-930.Abstract
Reus VI, et al. The American Psychiatric Association Practice Guideline for the Pharmacological Treatment of Patients With Alcohol Use Disorder. Amer J Psychiatry. 2018.Abstract
Streeton, C., & Whelan, G. (2001). Naltrexone, a relapse prevention maintenance treatment of alcohol dependence: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 36(6), 544-552.Abstract
4: Our physicians use gabapentin as an additional or alternate medication for some of their patients. Gabapentin has been shown to help reduce heavy drinking, decrease cravings, and increase rates of abstinence. Research Support: Anton RF, Myrick H, Wright TM, et al. Gabapentin combined with naltrexone for the treatment of alcohol dependence. Am J Psychiatry. 2011 Jul;168(7):709–17.Abstract
Hammond, C. J., Niciu, M. J., Drew, S., & Arias, A. J. (2015). Anticonvulsants for the Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome and Alcohol Use Disorders. CNS Drugs, 29(4), 293–311.Abstract
Mason, BJ, Quello, S, Goodell, V, Shadan, F, Kyle, M, Begovic, A. Gabapentin treatment for alcohol dependence: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174:70-77.Abstract
5: We use Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) to “meet people where they are”. MET works by helping people increase their own internal motivation for change. Research has shown that MET has strong research evidence of effectiveness in helping people decrease alcohol consumption. Research Support: Burke, B. L., Arkowitz, H., & Menchola, M. (2003). The efficacy of motivational interviewing: a meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71(5), 843.Abstract
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Surgeon General, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. Washington, DC: HHS, November 2016.Abstract
Vasilaki, E. I., Hosier, S. G., & Cox, W. M. (2006). The efficacy of motivational interviewing as a brief intervention for excessive drinking: a meta-analytic review. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 41(3), 328-335.Abstract
6: We use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which is shown to increase the effectiveness of pharmacological treatments for Heavy Drinking and improve overall health and well-being. CBT helps people recognize relationships between triggers to drink and drinking behaviour. CBT also helps people recognize and manage unhelpful thinking styles that often lead to increased alcohol consumption. Research Support: Balldin, J., Berglund, M., Borg, S., Månsson, M., Bendtsen, P., Franck, J., ... & Willander, A. (2003). A 6‐Month Controlled Naltrexone Study: Combined Effect With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Outpatient Treatment of Alcohol Dependence. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 27(7), 1142-1149.Abstract
Laaksonen, E., Vuoristo-Myllys, S., Koski-Jannes, A., & Alho, H. (2013). Combining medical treatment and CBT in treating alcohol-dependent patients: effects on life quality and general well-being. Alcohol and alcoholism, 48(6), 687-693.Abstract
7: We evaluate the effectiveness of our program and incorporate findings into our treatment protocol through a process of knowledge translation. Academic researchers and program staff work in collaboration to create a cycle of bringing research to practice, and having practice inform research. The Mental Health Commission of Canada has highlighted the importance of knowledge translation in informing treatment and policy. Research Support: Goldner, E. M., Jeffries, V., Bilsker, D., Jenkins, E., Menear, M., & Petermann, L. (2011). Knowledge translation in mental health: A scoping review. Healthcare Policy, 7(2), 83.Abstract
8: We use technology assisted applications to help people monitor and track their drinking behaviour. Tracking allows clients to develop more awareness around their level of consumption and allows for recognition of risk and protective factors for drinking. Tracking is a primary treatment tool recommended by the most pre-eminent treatment providers in the field. Research support: Miller, W. R., & Muñoz, R. F. (2013). Controlling your drinking: Tools to make moderation work for you. Guilford Press.Abstract
9: No waitlist or barriers to treatment: Heavy Drinking individuals experience multiple barriers to treatment in the public system such as long wait lists. Being placed on a waiting list raises questions for individuals about the capacity of treatment facilities to provide the support they need. Research has found that up to 50% of substance abusers will drop off a waiting list between the initial assessment and starting treatment. Longer wait times increase the chances of attrition. Research Support: Redko, C., Rapp, R. C., & Carlson, R. G. (2006). Waiting time as a barrier to treatment entry: Perceptions of substance users. Journal of Drug Issues, 36(4), 831-852.Abstract
10: Treatment can be provided via secure video conference services to reach rural areas and to provide convenient access to clients. Research has shown that therapeutic outcomes for mental health delivered via secure video conferencing technology are comparable in effectiveness to in person care. Research has also shown client satisfaction is comparable to traditional face-to-face interactions in videoconferencing psychotherapy. Research Support: Backhaus, A., Agha, Z., Maglione, M. L., Repp, A., Ross, B., Zuest, D., ... & Thorp, S. R. (2012). Videoconferencing psychotherapy: A systematic review. Psychological services, 9(2), 111.Abstract
Hilty, D. M., Ferrer, D. C., Parish, M. B., Johnston, B., Callahan, E. J., & Yellowlees, P. M. (2013). The effectiveness of telemental health: a 2013 review. Telemedicine and e-Health, 19(6), 444-454.Abstract