14

Apr

Home-Based Drug Treatment Yields Promising Results

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The state of New Hampshire has suffered considerable losses in its war against opioid addiction, with statistics showing that more than 1,600 individuals have died from drug overdose since 2012. But a host of policy initiatives, from the expansion of drug courts to tougher prescription laws, have chipped away at the free-falling overdose statistics—admissions for opioid treatment and opioid-related emergency room visits both dropped 5% between January and February 2017. This has given hope to state residents and legislators alike that treatment may help save more lives.

One such treatment that has shown a remarkably high percentage of successful recovery is Aware Recovery Care, a Connecticut-based company that began treating patients in New Hampshire earlier in 2017. Aware’s approach is centered around year-long, home-based treatment, allowing patients to recover in a familiar environment while connecting them with medical professionals and medication-assisted treatment—as well as additional support from therapists, case managers and 12-step meetings. If necessary, clients may also benefit from urine screenings and GPS tracking.

“99% of the industry really treats addiction as an acute problem—like a rash on your arm that you rub lotion on and you’re done,” Matt Eacott, vice president of Aware Recovery Care, told NPR.

The insurance-based, at-home treatment program costs $38,000 for a full year and is currently only available to private-pay clients and Anthem subscribers in New Hampshire and Connecticut. Anthem Blue Cross reports that 72% of its patients are sober after the end of one year, or remain in active treatment—about twice the sobriety rate of people who check into a rehab facility for a month and then receive no follow-up care.

That figure is key to reason why clients like Hannah Berkowitz, a 20-year-old Connecticut resident, signed up with Aware to treat a long history of drug use and relapse. Her mother, Lois, said that the level of program involvement and support was intensive at first, but as Hannah developed the tools to maintain her sobriety, Aware’s professionals allowed her to take greater control.

“It’s not like they’re doing the work for the addict,” said Lois. “They’re basically taking them by the hand and saying, ‘Here are the places you need to go that will help you. And I’m going to go with you to start, so it doesn’t feel that uncomfortable. And then we’re going to let you fly.”