Goodbye, 2019: Workit Health’s Year in Review

Happy New Year! 2019 was another milestone year for Workit Health. Here’s a look back.

Welcome to the 20’s! Before we get too far into Dry January, we wanted to take a minute to recap the highs of 2019 we’ve had at Workit Health.

2019 was a big year for us, and the members of Workit Health’s digital addiction care programs stayed at the center of everything. Each story of taking a life back from addiction affirmed the mission that our CEO’s Robin and Lisa envisioned when starting Workit in 2015.

Here’s a few of our favorite Workit Health reviews from 2019:

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There is Hope

I’m a 65 yr old functioning opioid addict. Been on and off drugs all my life. The last three years have been heavy usage. I’ve been to 12 steps and cold turkey that I couldn’t succeed at. Workit was my last chance. Great support from medical and counselors. The meds really work. Been on them for seven months while my heath (including my brain) improves big time. I’m still working at my job (miracle) and learning to deal with life in a good way. This is not some one month program and they send you away to meetings. Look at their success rate! Just give it a chance. It’s worth it. It’s working for me who was looking at death as my only option. Make a decision and just do it.

— Workit Member, 2019

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Workit help saved my life

I am forever grateful for workit health they have pulled me out of a very tough addiction and helped me in more ways than I can explain. I appreciate everything you guys for everything and I truly try my hardest too be the teachers pet here at workit lol. For me that’s my way of showing I take it very serious and appreciate u guys.

— Workit Member, 2019

Nothing can top our members getting their lives, families, and jobs back! Thank you to everyone who has been a part of the Workit Health community. Here are some of the big highlights and celebrations Workit had in 2019.

Workit Health Highlights for Spring 2019:

In January, Workit Health announced Series A funding, led by Blue Cross Blue Shield Venture Partners.

In March, we joined industry leaders of addiction care in becoming LegitScript certified. LegitScript’s rigorous review process verified Workit’s Health’s legality, transparency, and compliance.

In April our growing team gathered at our Ann Arbor headquarters for a Summit filled with food and fun.

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Summer 2019: Hello, Bako!

In July, we received MAT Access Points grant funding to expand our tele-MAT buprenorphine program in California.

Expanding MAT access points is a critical step forward in California’s effort to address the opioid epidemic taking place across our great state. A critical component of our effort is building the capacity of partners like Workit Health, who have the commitment and relationships required to reach people and families in communities that are experiencing poor access to MAT substance use disorder treatment and high opioid-related mortality rates.”

— Chet P Hewitt, President & CEO of The Center at Sierra Health Foundation

Committed to expanding access to medication for opioid addiction to Central California, in August Workit Health opened our second California brick-and-mortar location in Bakersfield, California.

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Workit Health Fall 2019 Moments: Social Innovation and New Jersey Launch

The Journal of the American Medical Association featured Workit Health’s digital buprenorphine care as solution for the opioid epidemic in September.

Also in September, Workit’s CEO’s Lisa McLaughlin and Robin McIntosh were named in a list of 40 social entrepreneurs of 2019.

“The 2019 Schwab Foundation awardees represent a new ecosystem of leaders who are driving change and shifting organizations and systems towards a more just, inclusive, sustainable future.”

—François Bonnici, Head of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

In October, we proudly announced receipt of a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) contract leveraging Workit’s solutions to solve for social determinants of health in addiction care.

With the help of a NIDA SBIR contract, a startup called WorkIt Health is making medication for OUD more accessible by providing online therapy and both buprenorphine and naltrexone via telehealth. Users in Michigan and California can now visit a physician just a single time for their buprenorphine or naltrexone prescription and thereafter receive medication management remotely via smartphone.

Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of NIDA

In October, Workit Health expanded into a third state: New Jersey. Adding on to the two California locations and our Michigan flagship, New Jerseyans in need of buprenorphine for opioid addiction attend a single visit at Workit’s brick-and-mortar clinic in Hamilton before continuing care digitally.

Thanks to Hamilton’s Mayor, Kelly A. Yaede for attending our ribbon cutting celebration!

 

In November we made access to our programs easier than ever with online scheduling for new members, making it possible to get help for addiction without ever having to pick up the phone.

We proudly joined the Aetna network in November, offering digital addiction care solutions to fully-insured Aetna members in Michigan and California. Members seeking medication for opioid or alcohol addiction, or just looking for online support for any type of addiction, are eligible.

“Workit Health allows us to continue to expand the digital solutions we provide to our members, which remove barriers to care and help members receive high-quality care more conveniently.”

—Cara McNulty, DPA, President, Aetna Behavioral Health

Also in November, Workit Health was named as a finalist in the BlueCross BlueShield Data Innovation Challenge, utilizing data from health claims to measure success of current interventions and improve access to real-time interventions.

Workit Health Winter 2020: Expanding Access to Medication for Alcohol Addiction

In December, we expanded our clinic program at Workit Health, which offers medication for addiction via telemedicine, to include naltrexone treatment for alcohol addiction. Those ready to moderate drinking or quit entirely can receive clinical care, online recovery groups, and coaching support via telemedicine.

It’s been a big year at Workit, but milestones wouldn’t be worth it without our members. In 2019, Workit Health members completed an average of 1,700 courses per month, our care navigators answered over 5,000 incoming requests for help from people struggling with addiction, and our team more than doubled in size (while expanding into two new locations!). Thanks to everyone who has joined us this year. And if you’re not sure you can make a change? You can — and at Workit Health, we’re ready to help.

Workit Health can help you moderate or quit.

Online, affordable, and evidence-based treatment for addiction.

 

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As Workit Health’s Head of Marketing, Kali Lux leans in to the culture gap between addiction, recovery, and medicine. She’s interested in finding solutions that work for substance users better than drinking or drugging does, and believes Workit is one of them. She’s written extensively on her own experience through addiction into long-term recovery. Connect with her on Twitter: @kalireadsbooks.

7 Things To Do On New Year’s Eve That Aren’t Drugs

New Year’s Eve is the ultimate excuse to party hard.

For once the rest of society seems as excited about partying as you are every other day of the year. Call it amateur hour, but New Year’s makes drug users everywhere, reformed and not, pause and remember crazy years past. So what can you do on New Year’s, if you aren’t planning to get high?

I won’t be drinking or using drugs this New Year’s. I haven’t for eight years. I know that no matter how good the party started, with music or friends, the party always ended with me looking for more more more. Usually alone. Usually sick.

So what can you do on New Year’s, if you aren’t planning to get high?

1. Accept that you might feel weird.

Changing habits takes time. Drug use is a habit. Being stoked about partying on holidays? That’s a habit. Changing it will feel uncomfortable.

2. Think about what you enjoy.

This can be hard to do when you quit drugs. I used to think I wouldn’t love anything as much as I loved drugs. Now I know I love reading, writing, jogging very slowly, and incredibly dark movies. It took me awhile to find all that out, after I quit.

3. Give up cool.

I had a big attachment to my lifestyle and my scene as cool when I was drinking and using heavily. I had to redefine what was cool in my eyes, because I was glamorizing my lifestyle. Being dopesick or running to the bathroom constantly from shitty coke cut with baby laxative isn’t cool.

4. If you need to do something, do something safe.

If you’ve decided not to do drugs, don’t go out with your using buddies. Hit up those kids from high school you ditched because they felt too square, or ask your family if they’d like to have a New Year’s Eve dinner. That way, you won’t freak out about spending the night at home alone.

5. Search for a sober activity.

Don’t know of anyone who doesn’t drink or use? There’s an entire world of sober activities out there, from 12-step programs, to church activities, to recovery advocacy groups. Search for sober events in your area and check one out, or just join a sober Facebook group to test the waters.

6. Block out your time.

If you do decide to spend the evening at home, pick activities you love and fill your night with them. This stuff doesn’t have to be complicated:

  • Choose a favorite Netflix show to binge (new season of Black Mirror, anyone?) and give yourself permission to watch it all the way through.

  • Hit up a coffee shop and get buzzed on caffeine.

  • Deep clean like you didn’t in 2018, decluttering and making your home comfortable for 2019.

  • Need more ideas? Check out this Buzzfeed list of other activities to fill your time with that don’t involve drinking/drugging.

7. Reach out to a few people.

Have you lost touch with anyone in your life? The New Year is the perfect time to rekindle positive relationships. Give them a call.

You know when drugs have stopped working for you. If you’re tired of the struggle of needing drugs and never getting enough, getting off drugs is possible. I once couldn’t imagine spending a New Year’s without drugs, and now I’m grateful for the freedom I have each day without needing them. If you’re ready for a new way of life, it’s here for you.


Get support in recovery with Workit Health.


As Workit Health’s Head of Marketing, Kali Lux leans in to the culture gap between addiction, recovery, and medicine. She’s interested in finding solutions that work for substance users better than drinking or drugging does, and believes Workit is one of them. She’s written extensively on her own experience through addiction into long-term recovery. Connect with her on Twitter: @kalireadsbooks.

PRESS RELEASE: Workit Health’s Digital Addiction Care Joins the Aetna Network

Aetna, a CVS Health company, partners with leading digital addiction care provider Workit Health to provide services for its members in select states.

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (PRWEB) NOVEMBER 12, 2019

Workit Health, the nation’s leading provider of digital addiction care, including telemedicine for opioid use disorder, is now an in-network provider with Aetna Behavioral Health. Workit Health’s online addiction care program offers therapy and medication management from licensed clinicians in California and Michigan.

On a pilot basis, fully insured Aetna members in California and Michigan can now receive treatment from Workit Health’s web and phone apps, including therapy from licensed counselors and a personalized curriculum of evidence-based interactive courses, without a referral. For example, Aetna members who are struggling with addiction such as opioid use disorder can sign up by phone or the app, subject to standard cost sharing, to have access to Workit Health’s Clinic program, which offers low-barrier buprenorphine via telemedicine after a single in-person visit to a Workit clinic or a clinic recommended by Workit. Recovery groups, video clinician visits and drug testing are all completed in Workit Health’s apps.

”The Workit Health team looks forward to delivering results for Aetna members,” says Workit Health’s Co-CEO, Lisa McLaughlin. “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,” says 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.”

“We are committed to easy access to evidence-based care for our members suffering from addiction,” said Cara McNulty, DPA, President, Aetna Behavioral Health. “Workit Health allows us to continue to expand the digital solutions we provide to our members, which remove barriers to care and help members receive high-quality care more conveniently. We look forward to working with Workit Health on this pilot.”

Overdose is a leading cause of accidental death in the United States, but many high-cost treatment programs don’t use evidence-based therapy or medication to treat addiction. Workit Health has been the industry leader in expanding access to quality addiction care via telemedicine since 2015. The company was founded by two experienced founders in long-term recovery, and has been working with national clinical experts and organizations since its foundation, including Itai Danovitch, MD, the Commissioner of California’s Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. Both the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have awarded Workit Health grants.

Workit Health’s Clinic program launched as a direct response to the opioid crisis, and offers two of the three FDA-approved medications to treat opioid addiction via telehealth. After a single in-person visit, members continue buprenorphine care via video visits with a clinician and a licensed care team. After success in Michigan and Northern California, Workit Health launched an additional clinic in Bakersfield, California. Workit Health partners with a diverse group of large self-insured employers, providers, and payers to bring quality addiction care to those who need it most.

About Workit Health

Workit Health is a Joint Commission-accredited B-Corporation offering online, on-demand evidence-based addiction treatment including telemedicine medication for opioid use disorder. We partner with healthcare organizations to deliver an innovative digital health solution that blends the best of human-centered design, technology, and science. Through our mobile and web apps, members meet with clinicians and counselors, join recovery groups, and complete self-set recovery goals. Our interactive curriculum of online courses keep members on track in the comfort of home. We offer 24/7 recovery that fits into daily life, designed by experts. For more information, visit http://www.workithealth.com.

4 Ways To Make Daylight Saving Time Work For Your Recovery Like A Boss

A Guide to Using Daylight Savings to Help Your Recovery

It’s that time of year again. We’re falling back. Oh no – not on old habits that don’t serve us. We’re done with those. We’re shedding old thoughts and behaviors like leaves falling crisply from the trees. But we are falling back an hour, as Daylight Saving Time ends.

Fall is a time of transformation. It’s a movement from heat to cool, from bright summer days to cold winter nights. So how can we embrace the change, rather than fight it? Let’s take it from the top:

1. Use the hour shift as a sleep check-in.

This morning you gained an hour. Thank goodness! How’d your body take it? Did you sleep through that extra hour, or wake up alert at your normal time? Take a hint from your reaction to the time change, and consider going to sleep an hour earlier tonite if your body needs it.

Need a deep sleep redo? Check out our quick fixes.

2. Knock stuff out in the early morning daylight.

Setting your clock back means more morning sunlight as the days get shorter. Sunrise and sunset will both be an hour earlier. Until you adapt to the change, it will feel later at night than it actually is. So switch up your routine and get one thing done for your recovery in the morning that you’d normally do at night. Whether it’s a sunrise jog, hitting a morning meeting, or completing a Workit exercise while you drink your coffee, knocking stuff out in the AM will let you snuggle up in bed earlier in the evening if your body demands it.

Not up for early AM activity? Listen to Kristin’s share her story of addiction, recovery, and motivation with each new sunrise.

3. If your regular routines are working, stick to them.

The time change is a speed bump to your biological clock, which runs with the light-dark cycle of the world. It’s not as big of a biological hit as springing forward, when we lose an hour. But any change is a shock to our physical systems. Recognize the self-care routines that work for you, and stick to them. We’re creatures of habit, and routines and rituals bring comfort and consistency to our lives. But don’t be afraid to ditch routines that don’t serve you, and build new ones that work better.

Need a new routine to fall in love with? Check out Nuria Reed’s beloved morning ritual.

4. Use the opportunity to grab onto some gratitude.

We’re small cogs in a huge, complicated, natural machine. Our society (most of it, anyways) is agreeing to a collective time shift with the hopes of catching a few more of the sun’s wonderful, warm rays. How cool is that? If you feel lonely or overwhelmed by your own problems, remember that your body is clicking and ticking along with a whole world of people, everyone else rising and resting along with the sun. It might be science, but to me it feels like magic.

Not feeling the gratitude? Take this quick gratitude exercise from the Workit program, unlocked just for you!

Quick action points: Getting an extra hour of sleep is awesome. Complete recovery goals in the morning, because sunset is coming for you an hour earlier. Love the routines that work for you, but ditch the ones that don’t. And get your gratitude on. It isn’t every day we all salute the sun.

As Workit Health’s Head of Marketing, Kali Lux leans in to the culture gap between addiction, recovery, and medicine. She’s interested in finding solutions that work for substance users better than drinking or drugging does, and believes Workit is one of them. She’s written extensively on her own experience through addiction into long-term recovery. You can connect with her on Twitter @kalireadsbooks

PRESS RELEASE: Workit Health Expands Telehealth Addiction Care Program to New Jersey

Workit Health’s digital opioid and substance use disorder programs promote health equity in Mercer County and beyond with low-barrier access to medication assisted treatment and evidence-based online therapy.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (PRWEB) OCTOBER 28, 2019

Today, Workit Health announced the expansion of its virtual, on-demand individualized services for addiction care to New Jersey. The telehealth substance use and opioid use disorder B-corporation will open an outpatient clinic in Hamilton, near Trenton in Mercer County in order to provide teleMAT alongside its coaching and counseling programs. Workit Health’s easy-to-use web and phone apps and robust EMR synthesize machine learning with patient-led design to enable smarter interventions and more personalized care. The company’s outcomes prove their commitment to disrupting the cycle of high-cost, inefficient addiction services, with a higher adherence and retention rate than traditional treatment types at 1/10th of the cost.

Annual opioid-related overdose deaths in New Jersey are nearly five times those both from car crashes and firearms. In 2018, the state experienced record drug deaths for the fourth straight year, with the overwhelming number of deaths being opioid-related. It’s estimated that even in the face of this crisis only one quarter of addiction treatment providers offer medication like buprenorphine — recognized as the gold standard of care for opioid-use disorder by SAMHSA.

“New Jersey has taken the lead on expanding access to buprenorphine by allowing paramedics to offer treatment,” says Lisa McLaughlin, Workit Health’s Co-CEO. “We’re excited to join the communities and organizations in New Jersey impacting the overdose crisis, and leverage our technology and care teams to provide long-term recovery for New Jerseyans.”

“We know that 90% of addiction care costs in New Jersey are utilized by people who have already received treatment but found it ineffective – Workit Health is something different and more accessible for this population,” says Robin McIntosh, Workit Health’s Co-CEO. “Members in our Michigan and California programs are thriving, and we’re ready to bring these same outcomes to the entire state of New Jersey.”

Workit Health removes barriers while solving for social determinants of health by allowing home-based, digital access to clinicians and counselors. Following an initial in-person visit for the teleMAT program, members access all follow-up care via web and phone apps, including video visits with clinicians, online recovery groups, messaging with a care team, personalized therapy-based courses, and at-home drug testing.

About Workit Health: Workit Health is an addiction healthcare B-corporation offering online, on-demand evidence-based addiction treatment including telehealth medication for opioid use disorder. Workit Health partners with healthcare organizations to deliver an innovative digital health solution that blends the best of human-centered design, technology, and science. Through mobile and web apps, members meet with clinicians and Master’s level coaches and complete self-set recovery goals. Workit Health offers 24/7 recovery that fits into daily life, designed by experts. Learn more at workithealth.com.

PRESS RELEASE: Workit Health Awarded Social Determinants NIDA Contract to Expand Development of Data-Driven Digital Addiction Treatment Program

The National Institute on Drug Abuse contract advances Workit Health’s industry leading telemedicine addiction recovery program, promoting health equity through individualized support that solves for social determinants of health.

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (PRWEB) OCTOBER 14, 2019

Workit Health, the nation’s leading provider of evidence-based telemedicine addiction care, today announced the receipt of a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) contract to leverage health IT solutions to solve for social determinants of health in addiction care.

This Phase I contract expands the predictive analytics within Workit Health’s addiction-specific electronic medical record platform. Clinicians will access an all-in-one resource for roadmapping social determinants of health, non-medical considerations, and barriers, as well as traditional medical histories and diagnoses. Workit’s proprietary algorithms will provide clinicians a clearer 360 degree view of each patient, improving medication adherence and decreasing frequency of crisis events.

“NIDA’s support of Workit Health solidifies digital care as an alternative to traditional, outdated treatment models,” said Lisa McLaughlin, Workit Health’s Co-CEO. “This allows us to focus on our ability to provide real support for stable housing and transportation through collaborative care teams via telemedicine — we’re able to be there when no one else can.”

“Over 20 million Americans will face addiction in their lifetimes,” said Robin McIntosh, Workit Health’s Co-CEO. “Thousands of Workit members trust our technology to access expert addiction care when they need it, and the NIDA contract allows us to offer intervention before high-risk, high-cost events through machine learning.”

This year, Workit Health was also named a finalist in the BlueCross BlueShield Data Innovation Challenge, receiving access to a subset of Blue Health Intelligence’s national dataset in order to uncover more holistic and comprehensive ways to measure the success of addiction treatments to support the identification, prediction, and prioritization of members and providers for real-time interventions. In 2017, Workit was awarded a grant by the National Science Foundation to develop a “thrive-meter” which assists individuals in identifying success in addiction recovery.

About Workit Health: Workit Health is an addiction healthcare B-corporation offering online, on-demand evidence-based addiction treatment including telehealth medication for opioid use disorder. Workit Health partners with healthcare organizations to deliver an innovative digital health solution that blends the best of human-centered design, technology, and science. Through mobile and web apps, members meet with clinicians and Master’s level coaches and complete self-set recovery goals. Workit Health offers 24/7 recovery that fits into daily life, designed by experts. Learn more at workithealth.com.

Addiction and Suicide: Take a Minute, Save a Life

On World Mental Health Day, Understand That Addiction and Suicide Are Undeniably Linked.

October 10th is World Mental Health Day. 2019’s theme is Working together to prevent suicide. The idea here being if you know someone you’re concerned about, speaking up could save their life. We’re often hesitant to get involved, acting as meddlers in others’ affairs, or implying someone is struggling with an often stigmatized illness (leaving them offended). This makes us act as silent witnesses to others’ personal struggles. Those we aren’t intimate with, those that make late night posts for help across social media or behave erratically at work. We give them their space. World Mental Health Day is asking us to lean in, instead of leaning back.

All this applies to depression and suicidal ideation, and it applies to addiction as well. Often, the two struggles are inextricably linked. You can, of course, commit suicide without drinking or using drugs. But suicide is a leading cause of death among people with substance use disorders, and alcohol is present in 30 to 40% of suicide attempts. Statistics say over half of all suicides are associated with alcohol and drug use, and 25% of those struggling from substance use disorder commit suicide. This is especially ominous in the midst of the opioid crisis, when the potency of fentanyl is that of a loaded gun, and a bad day puts death quite literally at your fingertips. We don’t know how many opiate overdose deaths are actually suicides.

“Over half of all suicides are associated with alcohol and drug use, and 25% of those struggling from substance use disorder commit suicide.”

I made countless suicide attempts while drinking and drugging, desperate in a way I haven’t known when sober. The darkness reached at the bottom of a glass or the last line, when the sun is rising and the rest of the sane world is sleeping, when you haven’t eaten and haven’t slept, walking that tightrope of mania desperate to avoid a crash, that’s a danger zone for suicidal thoughts that many addicts know well.

There could be a number of reasons for this commingling of struggles between substance use disorders and suicide. People might have a genetic predisposition towards both mental illness and substance use disorder. Drugs and alcohol themselves can induce a feeling of hopelessness conducive to suicide, and cause isolation that exacerbates these feelings. Social factors can place someone at a higher risk for both addiction and mental illness, such as lack of social support.

Substance abuse, mental illness, and suicide are also all wrapped up in a shroud of stigma together. Unlike a sprained wrist or broken leg, about which friends and strangers alike are all too curious, bandages on wrists create a different sort of awkward silence. This is the same awkward silence those with track marks, or the loved ones of those struggling with addiction and all the inappropriate behaviors and appearances it causes, know all too well. What do you say? When do you say it?

Today, we’re asking that you say something. Reach out to someone that you know needs help. Ask if they’re okay. Talk about your own struggles. Share a post on social media about how you’re really doing. Talk about your own experience with mental illness and addiction. Or don’t talk act all. Just act as a safe space for those who need to talk. Put away your judgements. And then listen. A life could depend on it.

If you or someone you know is struggling, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

As Workit Health’s Head of Marketing, Kali Lux leans in to the culture gap between addiction, recovery, and medicine. She’s interested in finding solutions that work for substance users better than drinking or drugging does, and believes Workit is one of them. She’s written extensively on her own experience through addiction into long-term recovery. You can connect with her on Twitter @kalireadsbooks

Meet Sam K, a Workit Recovery Coach

Workit Health offers accessible, on-demand online care for opioid addiction in Michigan and California. We recently caught up with Samantha Keeler, a recovery coach in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to get to know her better.

What got you interested in the field of social work, and addiction care specifically?

I have always had a passion for helping people and encouraging people to do what is right for them. I love setting goals and coming up with ways for people to help achieve those goals. Addiction and behaviors that lead people to be at risk for addiction is something that I have learned I am very interested in. Our brains are trained to seek out things that feel good-even when the long term impacts are not great. By working with people to push towards long term goals-we get to rewire the way our brains function and I think the science of this is FASCINATING!

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about addiction since working in the field?

How resilient our bodies are physically and mentally. I also love to see when we work on things outside of just addictive behaviors how it has an impact on overall health which leads to less addictive behaviors. It is a great cycle!

“I have always had a passion for helping people and encouraging people to do what is right for them. I love setting goals and coming up with ways for people to help achieve those goals. ”

Programs like Workit Health are changing the options getting help by offering web and phone-based digital addiction care. What should people know when preparing for virtual counseling?

This is a great question! A lot of people express concern that it might not feel personal. Here at Workit, we have real people surrounding and supporting each client! For our programs that have counseling sessions available, you get to choose your platform: phone, video, or chat messages. Some people find video to be helpful while others appreciate the anonymity of the chat messages. Understand that because your coach is a real human being-sometimes responses may be delayed if it is after hours. With Workit you are able to access courses and messaging 24/7. This is a great way to learn skills and process things at the moment of discomfort. From there-your coach will ALWAYS respond to you. You and your coach can talk about what worked and what did not work for you when coping through a difficult time and set goals for next time. Life has a great way of throwing us curve balls and your coach can help you set up your toolbox to be ready for a home run!

As someone in recovery, I know it was really hard for me to feel comfortable talking to my counselors. What advice do you have for people who feel shame around their issues or find it hard to open up to a stranger?

Kali, you are not alone in this struggle. Unfortunately our society can be very unforgiving and many people have been hurt by people that they have trusted-including other healthcare professionals. My first “step” to offer would be to start small. It is okay to feel out and introduce yourself to your care teams first before diving right in if you are not quite ready. A good professional should be understanding of this and want to get to know the real, whole, you as well as the things you struggle with. The second thing you can do is to ensure your privacy. Knowing your rights when seeking medical and mental health care is so important to be actively involved in your care. At Workit, we take confidentiality very seriously-as you should be able to decide when/if you involve others in your recovery journey. This is where HIPPA laws are there to protect you. Finally, with Workit, you have the option to engage in whatever way you are most comfortable. If you want to start out with a chat session over text and see how it goes-that is okay! If you want to do a video or phone call to meet your coach, that works too. Our program is here to help you with whatever you need. We also choose our coaches carefully. Many coaches at Workit have struggled with addictive behavior or have supported someone close to them that has. Not only are we here with you to help you reach your individual goals, our Workit coaches are invested in the communities we work with to break down barriers that promote shame and stigma.

You and I are both big readers. Are there any books you recommend to your clients or suggest that people read on recovery or meeting their goals in life? 

Oh, for sure! We are actually in the middle of a reading challenge right now! I will often recommend books to our members. Sometimes, I will even do a couple of chapter summaries as I learn right along with everyone! The book we are reading is called: “Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life” by John B. Arden. The first chapter plays to my nerdy side and talks a lot about the brain chemistry. In the following chapters, he helps us understand how our behaviors can adjust these chemicals and how we can influence them. He gives us real life examples and concrete steps to take to rewire our brains.

You spend a lot of time supporting other people. What are your favorite ways to take care of yourself?

I try to practice the same advice I give our members. I take time away from communication through tech at times. I turn off my phone (including notifications from social media) and spend time with my partner, friends, or alone. I enjoy reading, doing art, and playing games. I also love a good Netflix session! My partner and I take time each evening to check in with each other over dinner. We find the daily tasks to do together as a way to spend time together while also being productive. This helps me to stay motivated as well as fosters our relationship. Lastly, I try my best to make sure I am setting my body up for success by eating healthy (most of the time) and being active.

As Workit Health’s Head of Marketing, Kali Lux leans in to the culture gap between addiction, recovery, and medicine. She’s interested in finding solutions that work for substance users better than drinking or drugging does, and believes Workit is one of them. She’s written extensively on her own experience through addiction into long-term recovery. You can connect with her on Twitter @kalireadsbooks

Addiction Recovery Resources in Kern County, California

If you’re struggling with drugs or alcohol in Kern County, California, you aren’t alone. Here are resources in your area.

Support Groups in Kern County if You’re Struggling with Drugs or Alcohol

Kern County Alcoholics Anonymous: 661-322-4025

AA is a 12-step support group focused on supporting those with a desire to quit drinking.

 Kern County Narcotics Anonymous: 877-629-6759

NA is a 12-step support group focused on supporting those with a desire to quit using drugs.

 Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery is a Christian-based 12-step fellowship for those struggling with hurt, pain, or addiction of any kind.

Online Recovery Meetings

If you can’t make it to a meeting (or aren’t sure you want to go in person) you can check one out online.

 In the Rooms

In the Rooms offers many types of online meetings for different addictive behaviors.

 Recovery Dharma

Recovery Dharma is a support group which uses Buddhist principles to heal from the suffering of addiction.

 Refuge Recovery

Refuge Recovery is a support group utilizing a Buddhist-inspired path to recover from addiction.

 Online Intergroup

Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meetings. Offers confidential and comforting conferences and meetings.

XA Speakers

Online 12-step speakers about their experiences with addiction. Includes videos and live conferences.

NA Voices

Online Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Includes information about process.

Addiction Treatment Resources in Kern County

Kern County Access & Assessment Center: 661-868-8080

 Workit Health: 855-659-7734

Workit Health offers free Suboxone treatment for qualifying residents of Kern County, including medication & online therapy done virtually after a single in-person visit to our downtown Bakersfield clinic.

Harm Reduction

Needle Exchange Resources

 Naloxone in California

If you’re court-mandated to complete a drug or alcohol program in Kern County:

Drug and Alcohol Assessments: 855-659-7734

Workit Health offers drug and alcohol assessments by licensed counselors at our downtown Bakersfield clinic.

 STEPS, Inc.

Provides DUI services in several locations in Bakersfield.

T.A.A.S.K.

Traffic and alcohol awareness school with locations throughout Kern County.

Smoking Cessation

California Smokers Helpline: 1-800-662-8887

 Tobacco Helpline: 1-800-844-2439

 Workit Smoking

An online program + coaching to help you quit.

Other Resources

Aunt Bertha

Connects people and programs across the U.S. Put in your address, and find services.

 Kern County Assistance Programs

Find assistance programs in Kern County.

2-1-1 Kern

Find information and services in Kern County.

As Workit Health’s Head of Marketing, Kali Lux leans in to the culture gap between addiction, recovery, and medicine. She’s interested in finding solutions that work for substance users better than drinking or drugging does, and believes Workit is one of them. She’s written extensively on her own experience through addiction into long-term recovery. You can connect with her on Twitter @kalireadsbooks

PRESS RELEASE: Workit Health’s Telemedicine Addiction Care a Solution for the Opioid Epidemic, According to JAMA

In new JAMA article, telemedicine for opioid use disorder such as Workit Health offers promising solution for rural counties hit hardest by the overdose crisis.

ANN ARBOR, MICH. (PRWEB) SEPTEMBER 06, 2019

Workit Health, a telehealth addiction treatment company bringing affordable, evidence-based care to individuals, healthcare organizations, and employers, is featured in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) as a promising solution to fight the opioid crisis.

Over 70% of rural counties disproportionately affected by the overdose crisis lack an opioid use disorder (OUD) medication prescriber – Workit Health is filling this gap in care via telehealth. Rita Ruben’s JAMA article published on August 28th, “Using Telemedicine to Treat Opioid Use Disorder in Rural Areas,” highlights the issues in rural counties where health care professionals aren’t able to treat addiction, and suggests telemedicine as a solution to meet the growing demand.

The JAMA article notes Workit Health as the single company currently connecting prescribers to patients via smartphone app. Programs like Workit Health’s, offering telehealth video visits and online therapy, meet the need for both behavioral health support and medication management required for OUD care, and stand as an underutilized solution for addressing the current crisis. A recent analysis of claims data found relatively low rates of Tele-SUD (substance use disorder) treatment claims, which the authors of the study noted, “Given the severity of the opioid epidemic, low rates of tele-SUD use represent a missed opportunity.”

JAMA talked with Workit Health’s Clinical Advisor Dr. Melody Glenn, who explained the basics of Workit Health’s program: members meet with a clinician in-person, then move to online care via web and phone-apps. Drug testing, online recovery groups, messaging with an expert team, and a personalized set of addiction courses are also included in the program. All follow-up video visits with prescribing clinicians are done via the apps, as well: “It’s a lot like FaceTime,” Glenn explained.

“We’re proud to have our telemedicine work featured in JAMA,” Lisa McLaughlin, Workit Health’s Co-CEO, says. “The studies now show that opioid use disorder treatment with buprenorphine has positive outcomes regardless of visits being in-person or telehealth. We’ve also found this to be the case with our own high rate of patient success.”

“Low-barrier care means helping more people, and saving more lives, so the team is really excited to have JAMA highlight the work we’ve been doing.” Robin McIntosh, Workit Health’s Co-CEO, says. “Lisa, myself, and other Workit staff have lost loved ones to the opioid crisis. We’re connecting experts to those who don’t have rides to treatment, or can’t find childcare.”

Workit Health was founded in 2015 by Robin McIntosh and Lisa McLaughlin, two award-winning entrepreneurs and technologists in long-term addiction recovery themselves, and has since received Joint Commission accreditation for it’s telemedicine addiction therapy program. Workit Health has followed a cohort of it’s telemedicine for OUD program for over a year, with outstanding outcomes: 93% reached abstinence from opioids after the first month in the program, with 84% of them remaining abstinent from opioids after 12 months. It has partnered with the National Science Foundation on a proprietary algorithm to track wellness in recovery, and last year received B Corporation status, solidifying its mission to do social good.

About Workit Health: Workit Health is an addiction healthcare company offering online, on-demand evidence-based addiction treatment including telehealth medication for opioid use disorder. Workit Health partners with healthcare organizations to deliver an innovative digital health solution that blends the best of human-centered design, technology, and science. Through mobile and web apps, members meet with clinicians and Master’s level coaches and complete self-set recovery goals. Workit Health offers 24/7 recovery that fits into daily life, designed by experts. Learn more at workithealth.com.

About JAMA: JAMA, published continuously since 1883, is an international peer-reviewed general medical journal. JAMA is a member of the JAMA Network family of journals, which includes 11 specialty journals and JAMA Network Open.