5 Ways to Enjoy Valentine’s Day Sober & Single

Are you sober and single on Valentine’s Day this year? Tired of ads that equate wine with romance, or not sure what to do to celebrate sober? You can enjoy Valentine’s Day without alcohol (and without a partner, even). Celebrate the day with your friends, neighbors, or use the day to celebrate yourself.

Check out these 5 different ideas for Valentine’s day full of fun, without booze:

1. Pick a recipe and whip up a relaxing evening at home

Everyone has recipes we see online and want to try but never do, right? Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to give that pasta dish a shot! Cooking together is often a great way to bond with your family or friends or even by yourself, and you don’t have to deal with crowded restaurants. If you want something fancy to drink try one of our delicious mocktail recipes. Being sober doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bubbly drink! 

2. Check out a local event in your area

Check your local paper or look online and see what events are going on — many areas have events like food festivals or fairs. Most have outings that you can attend, and some even for free! Some areas are having anti-Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day celebrations.

3. Go see a movie.  

Take this opportunity to have a night out and indulge in a bag of theatre popcorn. It might be wise to buy your tickets ahead to avoid the crowds at the box office or the chance of your movie of choice selling out. Single? Seeing a movie alone is fun! Give it a shot.

4. Watch movies or have a game night with your friends

There are a lot of cute movies you can watch. The movie Valentine’s Day is a fan favorite. Other picks are: He’s Just Not That Into You, Bridget Jones Diary, Pretty Woman and My Best Friend’s Wedding. If lovey-dovey movies aren’t your thing, get a group together to play board games or cards.

5. Forget Valentine’s — this year, celebrate your friend with Galentine’s Day.

This holiday, celebrate who you really love: your closest friends. Mix up some mocktails and do face masks at home. Or plan a hike or mini-golf outing. Catch up with the people in your life that have fallen off your radar. 

Valentine’s Day is generally known by most as a day of love to spend with your significant other but instead, we think it should be a day to celebrate all of the relationships in your life, including the one you have with yourself!  Enjoy being sober and single on Valentine’s Day! 

 

Does Aetna Cover Suboxone?

Finding Suboxone treatment that is covered by your insurance company can be time-consuming and frustrating. But we have good news! Suboxone treatment is covered for fully-insured Aetna members in Michigan and California.

What is Suboxone film and what is it used for?

The medication buprenorphine/naloxone is often referred to by its most popular brand name, Suboxone. Suboxone comes as a film that dissolves under your tongue. Buprenorphine is one of the three medications FDA-approved to treat opioid addiction. The combination of buprenorphine and naloxone is what is commonly known as Suboxone. The small amount of naloxone, an opioid antagonist best known for its ability to save lives in the event of an overdose, isn’t absorbed by your body when the medication is taken correctly but prevents misuse.

For those with addictions to opioids, finding treatment can be difficult, with relapse waiting just around the corner. About 2.1 million Americans struggle with opioid use disorder and 5% of those people will try heroin. Many of the people struggling with opioid addiction are addicted to painkillers. Many people begin taking pain medications prescribed by a doctor and over time, the body gets used to the drug and higher and more frequent amounts are needed to obtain the same feeling. 

But Suboxone is an opioid medication with unique properties that allow it to actually help people with opioid addiction and leads to successful, long term recovery for many.

How does Suboxone help treat opioid addiction? 

Buprenorphine is an opioid that attaches to opioid receptors. It has strong binding ability, replacing and blocking other opioids so that they become ineffective. It is a partial agonist instead of a full agonist, meaning that it causes limited pleasurable effects, just enough to stop withdrawal symptoms. People report feeling “normal” rather than high when on a regimen of buprenorphine. In addition, there is a lower propensity for tolerance because buprenorphine takes longer to dissipate, creating a steadier effect on the receptors.

Learn more about how Suboxone works in the brain.

Does Aetna cover Suboxone?

So to answer your question, does Aetna cover Suboxone? Yes, they do. The amount they contribute to paying for Suboxone will vary according to your specific insurance policy or plan. There are commonly co-payments for each prescription. Some health plans may cover different types of Suboxone, like the generic instead of the brand name.

Read more about the difference between generic Suboxone and the specific brand name. 

To find out how much your Aetna plan will cover you can contact the number on the back of your insurance card. You can also refer to your Summary of Benefits and Coverage to see how much is covered and what exactly you’ll owe. The Summary of Benefits should be available to you when you choose a health plan and once you’re enrolled in coverage. 

Does Aetna cover opioid addiction treatment as well as the medication?

The answer to this is trickier, as finding quality addiction care that is in-network with Aetna or another health insurance provider can feel daunting. The cost of the medication at the pharmacy is just one cost — what about going to the doctor, receiving counseling, and your prescription? This is a separate cost and coverage will vary based on provider. The good news is that Aetna is now covering Suboxone treatment for fully-insured members in Michigan and California through Workit Health. If you aren’t in Michigan or California, call the number on the back of your insurance card to find an in-network provider, or use your insurance navigation portal.

There are limits on the number of patients a Suboxone provider can prescribe to at a certain time due to DEA regulations. This means that some clinics or providers may not be accepting new patients when you reach out to them. Don’t get discouraged and keep calling. Remember you deserve the gold standard of treatment and the best chance at recovery.

How can you make Suboxone more affordable?

If you’re concerned about having to pay out of pocket for medication, there are ways to make medications like Suboxone more affordable at the pharmacy. Remember that drug prices can vary from pharmacy to pharmacy and from brand name to generic. Your insurance can also cover one type of medication and not to the other, or ask for a pre-authorization to ensure that the medication is really needed. Following the instructions set out by Aetna or any health insurance plan can ensure you get the most coverage for treatment.

To compare the prices of medications from pharmacy to pharmacy, you can also use a service like Good Rx, which tracks prescription drug prices and offers coupons for medication.

In Michigan and California, Workit Health’s opioid addiction therapy program is covered for Aetna’s fully-insured members. This program includes medication, video visits with your clinician and online recovery groups helping you meet your recovery goals, and live your best life!

 

Workit Health Is Now In-Network with Aetna In Michigan and California

Digital addiction care is now in-network for Aetna fully-insured members in Michigan and California.

Addiction is hard. Finding treatment shouldn’t be. At Workit Health, our goal is to make opioid addiction treatment engaging, affordable, and as easy as possible.

Workit is offering fully-Insured Aetna members in Michigan and California access to online therapy for all addictions and medication like Suboxone and Vivitrol for opioid addiction.

If you’re a fully-insured Aetna member seeking medication like Suboxone to help you quit pain pills or heroin, our program is here for you.

Workit Clinic offers:

  • Online Suboxone treatment after a single in-person visit.
    After a single in-person visit to one of our locations, all follow-up care can be done online from the privacy of your home, with a smartphone or computer.

  • Your Suboxone prescription will be sent via e-script to your local pharmacy.
    After a single in-person visit, all follow up visits with your doctor or nurse practitioner will be done via confidential video messaging through Workit Health’s online program.

    Skip the waiting room and access your in-network Suboxone doctor via your phone.

  • Stay on track with 24/7 messaging with your own recovery coach.
    They’ll be there for you when cravings hit, to motivate you to reach your goals, and to offer advice in sticky situations.

  • Join online recovery groups to meet people in the program.
    Connect with people all in different stages of opioid addiction recovery, in groups guided by a licensed counselor. Learn from each other, and grow together.

  • Grow and learn with a personalized curriculum of science-backed courses.
    The Workit Health courses teach you practical skills for recovery, like how to manage cravings, heal relationships in recovery, and recognize negative thinking patterns.

If you’re a fully-insured Aetna member looking for in-network online therapy for addiction, check out our Workit Core program.

Workit Core offers:

  • Therapy to help you with other drugs, alcohol, smoking, or behaviors like gambling.

  • 1:1 counseling with a licensed therapist via phone, text, or video.

  • Personalized, interactive curriculum of engaging science-backed courses.

  • With this program you are able to moderate or quit, it’s up to you!

In a press release about the partnership, Workit Health’s Co-CEO, Lisa McLaughlin said, ”The Workit Health team looks forward to delivering results for Aetna members. We’re proud that Aetna has recognized our commitment to providing better outcomes at lower costs for its members.”

“More than 130 people die of opioid overdose per day, so time is of the essence in expanding access to clinically-proven digital addiction care like Workit Health,” said Robin McIntosh, Workit Health’s Co-CEO. “Health plans play a vital role in improving access to quality addiction care via telehealth, and we’re proud Aetna is giving their members more options at their moment of readiness to get help.”

Workit Health’s opioid addiction treatment program and online therapy for other addictions is now in-network with Aetna in Michigan and California. If you’re ready to quit pain pills or heroin but not sure where to start, or ready to switch from your current provider to a more convenient, effective, and evidence-based model of care, give us a call today.

Supporting Someone You Love Through Their Opioid Addiction

Dealing with an addicted loved one is one of the most emotionally painful experiences you will encounter.

You think that by doing things for them like giving them a place to live and making sure they have food, you’re helping them. You think that as long as you help, someday they will get better. Well I have learned that just isn’t the case. When someone is in active drug use, their only focus is on getting their drug, using their drug, and figuring out how they can get their next fix before they start to withdraw.

When you find out your loved one is struggling with an addiction, you start on a journey.

You begin by thinking, “How can I fix that person? How can I talk sense into them? How do I make them see they are ruining their life?” I believe that this only works for a very small percentage of that population of drug users —if it was that easy to just stop, they would.

The majority of us, after getting hung up on the first part of the journey, realize you can love a person with addiction, but you must not enable their sickness.

How can you love someone without enabling their sickness?

You give them information about local rehabs, shelters they can go to when they find themselves without a place to live, resources to keep them alive like going to Health and Human Services for food stamps. It is important to remember that giving them this information does not mean making the phone calls for them. This means they have to figure out how to do it themselves. Dealing with what their life has become without help is really eye opening for most people struggling with addiction.

“You love them through it. Let them know you will always love them, but you need to set certain boundaries so that you are not being taken advantage of by the disease. ”

It is one of the most difficult things you can do, but it is necessary. If you do everything for them, they can just take their drugs, eat, sleep, and let you handle the rest.

Navigating what kind of relationship you can have with your loved one is also tough.

Whether it be your sibling, child, or friend who has addiction, you have to have boundaries. Giving money to someone struggling with addiction is the last thing you want to do. Depending on your relationship with that person, you may want to invite them over for dinner to see how they are or maybe let them take a shower, but you have to stand strong and keep the boundaries alive at all times.

I have attended support groups with my mom throughout the years, and a phrase I have heard over the years is, “You love them through it.” Let them know you will always love them, but you need to set certain boundaries so that you are not being taken advantage of by the disease.

The journey is a tough one for you and your loved one, and it is important to remember that loving someone will not take away their addiction. Seeking support in your community is a great way to learn how to better navigate addiction. You’ll be surprised how much support is out there!

How to Survive the 4th of July Without Alcohol

For the 15.1 Million American’s struggling with alcohol use disorders, summer social events like the 4th of July can be a challenge.

Whether you are going to a party with friends or attending a family BBQ, we encourage everyone to utilize these 6 helpful tips and tricks that allow you to be the life of the party while avoiding alcohol (or other substances).

1. Go to the event prepared. Before going to the party do some mocktail research. You can find tons of delicious recipes for mocktails online so you can enjoy your drink, without the buzz! Not sure where to start? Workit has 17 mocktails to enjoy on any occasion.

2. Bring your own cup and cooler. Workit members in recovery have found that bringing their own fun cup and favorite beverage in a personal-sized cooler makes things go smoother. That way nobody will know that you aren’t drinking a beer. You’re also prepared so you won’t end up drinking something you shouldn’t.

3. Make yourself comfortable by surrounding yourself with the right people. If you are newly sober, or feeling nervous about attending get togethers where people will be drinking, bring a sober friend with you. That way you can hang out together and support each other through what may be a triggering situation.

4. If you don’t have a sober buddy that can join you, keep yourself busy! Help the host put out the food or clean up, engage in non-drinking games, get to know someone you haven’t talked to before, or go for a swim.

5. Go to the gathering with a plan. Stop by early in the evening that way people are just starting to party and you are not encountering a group of intoxicated people. It’s easy to have good conversation this way and you can leave the party having made an appearance while still avoiding the hard partying.

6. Most of all, enjoy yourself. Social gatherings are meant to be fun so don’t let the fact that you can’t have a drink ruin that.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol use disorder and would like to receive help — Workit Health is here for you. If you have questions about how to get started, email us at hello@workithealth.com.

 

Podcasts to Inspire You in Recovery

Having resources to help keep you inspired during your recovery is a key part of the recovery process.

Check out these great podcasts while you’re working, cleaning the house, or even working out!

The Sober Guy Podcast

The sober guy podcast is full of inspiration and is here to show you that life can still be enjoyed clean and sober.

The Bubble Hour

The bubble hour podcast is hosted by Jean, a woman in recovery from alcoholism who is striving to break down the walls and negativity surrounding alcoholism.

Recovery Radio

Recovery radio is an information packed radio program focusing on discussing what addiction is and will help answer questions you may have about addiction. This is a great resource for loved ones seeking information.

Clean and Sober Radio

Clean and sober radio is a radio program that premiers a new show every Friday at 3p.m. The program has guests each month to help discuss the effects addiction has on families, friends, society as a whole, and helps focus on recovery. This is also a great show for families seeking information and support.

Real Sobriety Podcast

The real sobriety podcast focuses on the different stages of recovery with a different topic every episode.

Breaking Free

This brand new podcast is hosted by Olivia Penelle who has written for Workit’s blog and her CO-Host Tiffany Thoen, RN talk about what being in recovery means and how to begin an independent life while in recovery.

 

The amount of addiction recovery podcast resources seems to be endless! Here are some other great podcasts to check out:

Courtney’s Story: Let’s Make Every Month Mental Health Awareness Month

Courtney Todd, a member of the Workit Health team wants to share her story to remind everyone during Mental Health Awareness month that you are not alone on your journey.

In November of 2017 I went down to see a specialist in Columbus, Ohio for a second opinion on a lump in the side of my neck. After biopsies and a series of tests I found out that it was Soft Cell Sarcoma, a soft tissue cancer that was not only in my neck but down into the tissue surrounding my collar bone and in the tissue around my left kidney.

A lot goes through your mind when you’re just 25 years old and learn that you now have cancer. My first thought was what’s the treatment like and how long until life is “normal” again? I was told I would need to start with 3 months of radiation, 3 days a week, for 2 weeks in a row and then surgery may be required after. I got a lot of information that day but my focus was on the 3 months. Just 3 short months and I would be able to resume my life. I had no idea the journey I was about to go on and am still on over 2 years later.

After the new year, it was time to start my treatment. The plan was for me to be down in Ohio for my 2 weeks of treatment and then drive back up to Michigan to be with my family for my 2 off weeks a month. January was a tough month. It was cold and I was constantly tired. All I wanted to do was sleep because I thought, “What else am I going to do?” I was away from my family in Columbus staying with my boyfriend who was at work all day, so I only had myself and our dog, Bear. Bear would come over and nudge me with his nose to make sure I was ok while napping on the couch, but that was the extent of my interaction from the time of my appointment in the morning until Steve came home at the end of the day. My family members back in Michigan would call, text, and Facetime with me to make sure I was doing ok, and to give me an update about what was going on with them back at home. During these phone calls, I would put a smile on because I didn’t want anybody to worry anymore than they already were.

“I refused to let him be defined by his addiction just as I refused to let myself be defined by my cancer.”

Shortly after beginning treatment, I got the news that my little brother wasn’t doing very well. He relapsed for what seemed like the dozenth time and was living in his car again. My mom asked if I could reach out to him and see how he was doing because my brother always felt comfortable opening up to me. When I finally got ahold of him I could tell that he was struggling emotionally with his relapse and physically because of how much harm he was doing to his body. He broke down on our call and all he could really tell me was that he was scared. Scared of everything and that is when I realized I felt the same way. We connected for the first time in years over the fact that we were both in fear of where our lives were taking us. We had a good conversation where we both promised each other that we were going to take better care of ourselves but we all know that’s easier said than done. After our call, I spent the rest of the week going to the doctors and sleeping on the couch like I did every other day.

One day I woke up and realized that I needed to do something. I told my brother how important it is to take care of himself and to figure out what his next step was in getting clean so it was time for me to practice what I preach. I was in a major slump and feeling unmotivated but I knew that in order to make it through the next 3 months I was going to have to make some changes. From that moment on I started making an effort to walk the dog, get myself ready for the day, do laundry, sit up and read a good book while drinking a new tea I found at Whole Foods. I set a goal for myself to make dinner for Steve and I a few times a week and made sure to ask him about his day just like he always asked me about mine. On the weekends we made a point to do fun things together, like go pick out plants to have around the apartment or go see a new movie. When the weather got warmer we would go on nature walks, take the dog for walks through new neighborhoods to check out the beautiful houses, and we made a point to try new breakfast places since we both love a good brunch.

“Life is a journey that we all navigate at our own pace, obstacles may get in the way at times but always remember that you are not alone.

After my brother saw how much happier I was he made a commitment to getting clean once again and entered into a rehab program only to decide it wasn’t for him. My family was discouraged but I knew that he needed support and positivity, so instead of trying to help him with his addiction, I decided I was going to make it my mission to help him stay positive. I called him every single day and talked to him about movies, the weather, and whatever else we could think of. I refused to let him be defined by his addiction just as I refused to let myself be defined by my cancer.

The positivity and support paid off. Fast forward to over 2 years later, my brother has been clean for 8 months and I am cancer free for the 3rd time. We talk weekly about how we are feeling now that life is supposed to be easier because we are “free” of our diseases but that’s not reality. When you have a clear mind or a clean bill of health it’s normal to feel lost. You begin to doubt your ability to live a “normal” life because you don’t even know where to begin.

Don’t expect life to change in one day, one week, or one month. Understand that “normal” isn’t the same for everyone and over time your puzzle pieces, even the broken ones, will mend themselves, as long as you do the work to take care of your mental health every single day. Life is a journey that we all navigate at our own pace, obstacles may get in the way at times but always remember that you are not alone.