From ThinkAnthem.com

Addiction recovery programs are often a good tool for helping patients address drug and alcohol abuse. Those who face addiction know that sobriety is a lifelong journey and getting the right care is critical. National Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery and serves to support evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, as well as the dedication of service providers, families and friends across the nation who make recovery possible.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse rates fall somewhere between 40-60 percent. In an effort to lessen relapse rates, one organization, AWARE Recovery Care, is exploring new and innovative strategies to minimize the likelihood of patients relapsing. Anthem has partnered with AWARE to ensure that consumers who are affected by addiction have access to high quality care that incorporates the latest research on drug abuse and recovery. AWARE’s program is also inclusive of treating opioid use disorder, which 241,900 Blue Cross and Blue Shield members suffer from, according to a recent study.

One of the key features that distinguishes AWARE from many other treatment programs is its in-home approach to long-term recovery. It is often when patients return home from treatment facilities that they relapse. Behavioral scientists and addiction experts have found that a major reason for this trend is the craving that occurs when people are exposed to environmental cues that previously triggered substance abuse. Because substance abuse often occurs in the home, returning to this environment increases the chances of relapse.

Through AWARE’s program, patients undergo home-based treatment for a full year. Their addiction is treated as a chronic condition, rather than as an acute issue that, once overcome, no longer needs to be managed. For the addicted individual, relapses do not indicate failure—rather, they signify that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted, or that alternate treatment is needed.

The program operates at a similar level of intensity as in-patient rehabilitation centers, with random drug and alcohol testing as well as GPS monitoring. It also employs a specialized home model that features a full team of healthcare professionals, so patients have regular exposure to an addiction psychiatrist, nurse and certified recovery adviser.

Early data on AWARE’s program shows promising results and indicates an important advancement in recovery. Since Anthem first partnered with the organization in 2015, there have been approximately 500 members admitted to the program, with a 50 percent completion rate.

Anthem is dedicated to fighting drug and alcohol abuse, including the opioid epidemic, and supporting consumers who are addressing the full range of behavioral health challenges. Ensuring that consumers have access to rehabilitation support that emphasizes long-term health benefits is critical in helping those struggling with substance use issues to turn their lives around. Anthem is proud to partner with AWARE Recovery Care and promote innovative treatment approaches.