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Most People Don't Discuss Their Heavy Drinking With A Care Provider

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.

REFER A PATIENT

The Benefits of Joining ALAVIDA

Patient-centred care

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.

Success in many forms

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?

Compassion and
understanding

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.

It's all about the Science

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.

Taking down walls

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.

Transparency

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.

An Overview of
The Problem, The Program and The Results

The Problem

The Problem

Alcohol was the third leading risk factor for death and disability globally in 20104

  • Heavy drinking is 5+ drinks for men and 4+ drinks for women on 1 occasion at least once a month over a 1-year period — self-reported by 18% of people age 12 and older
  • The economic costs of alcohol-related harm are estimated to have been over $249 Bi (USA, 2010) and $14 Bi(Canada, 2002)
  • In 2015–2016, there were about 77,000 hospitalisations entirely caused by alcohol vs. 75,000 for heart attacks.
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The Program

The Program

Science-based, compassionate care, that combines counselling, modern pharmacologic treatment and technology to help patients achieve success

The Alavida program includes:
  • 6 months of multidisciplinary treatment by physicians and therapists, with up to 18 months of follow-up and continuing care
  • Up-to-date counselling methods, and modern pharmacologic treatment to help patients achieve success
  • Easy-to-use online platform to help patients track cravings, triggers, and consumption and share with the care team in real-time.
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The Results

The Results

The care team helps patients set and work towards their goals, and in under 6 months, be proud of the results3.

Compared to the weeks prior to treatment with Alavida:
  • 82% achieved goals of reduction or abstinence;
  • 87.2% increased control over their drinking;
  • 91.6% moderately severe to severe cases of depression reduced to Mild or None;
  • 86.6% moderately severe to severe cases of anxiety reduced to mild or none.
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The Program

Science Based Treatment

Combined medical and cognitive-behavioural therapy to treat problem drinking with a personal doctor and therapist.

+

Technology

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.

=
82.5%

Regain Control of Drinking3

1

Doctor Appointment

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.

2

Track Your Habits

The client tracks their drinking, triggers and medication use daily, and monitors their progress right from their pocket.

3

Clinical Guidance

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.

4

Continuing Care

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.

Join The Team

Physician

Physician

If you're looking to refer a patient, please click here or call 1-888-315-3634. Apply today to join us.

Apply today
Therapist

Therapist

MI and CBT are some tools we use to replace the pleasure from alcohol with daily experiences. Want to join?

Apply today
Researcher

Researcher

At ALAVIDA, we love science. Please reach out if you're a researcher interested in collaborating with us!.

Apply today

Life-changing Stories From Our Clients

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

The Research

Clinical trials and research studies supporting the Alavida Treatment Method.

  • 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

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References

  1. Alavida client completion data Nov'17 - Apr'18. 82.5% reported feeling more in control of drinking and significantly improved their ability to stop drinking once they started, on average in 6 months.
  2. Sacks, J.J, Gonzales, K.R., Bouchery, E.E., Tomedi, L.E., & Brewer, R.D. (2015). 2010 national and state costs of excessive alcohol consumption. American journal of preventive medicine, 49(5), e73-e79.
  3. National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. (2009). Preventing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders among young people: Progress and possibilities. Washington, DC: National Academies Press
  4. Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.