Addiction Recovery Model Uses Craving & Anxiety Scales To Reduce Relapse Risk

The percent of alcohol sales growth across the country is up more than 50% since coronavirus hit, but there are treatment and recovery models out in front of the problem, or trying to be. “People are using more substances to cope but we are engaging,” Nzinga Harrison, MD, the co-founder and chief medical officer at Eleanor Health, reported live on our behavioral health forum April 3rd. Eleanor Health, named for first-lady Eleanor Roosevelt, has one of the nation’s few value-based payment structures among addiction treatment providers, which basically means “we can contact people outside a billable visit and not have to worry about how that constrains our resources…it allows us to engage.” And in a crisis, it has allowed Eleanor Health to do more effective outreach using its patient data. “We now have pre-Covid baselines on all our members on PHQ9 (depression screenings), virtual appointments, craving scales and whether it was easier to engage in group before or after Covid.” Harrison, an adult psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist by training, says they track “craving and anxiety scale scores” and use them to help reduce relapse risk. “We know that the [government’s] Covid stimulus represents additional relapse risk, so we have proactively approached everyone to execute a safety plan.” Dr. Harrison’s commentary is highlighted here in our Friday Forum along with perspectives from an autism expert and Mayo Clinic neurologist.

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