Avenues NYC Uses Soberlink to Remotely Stay Connected with Clients Outside of Sober Living Facility

March 5, 2020
Case Study Avenues NYC

Introduction

Avenues NYC is a transitional sober living facility that offers support for those recovering from substance use disorders and mental health concerns. Their facilities are specifically designed to ensure the health and safety of the residents, offering both privacy and supervision without sacrificing the comforts of home. Staff members are on-site and available 24/7 to provide support and guidance when it’s needed most. By living in a safe, supportive, sober environment, Avenues NYC residents gain confidence and self-esteem as they learn to live each day sober.

The Challenge

When a person leaves addiction treatment, the lack of a stable, alcohol-free environment can cause major negative impact on sustained abstinence. Post treatment aftercare is associated with significantly lower rates of relapse. As a transitional living facility, Avenues NYC sought out to provide this aftercare by providing a safe and supportive alcohol-free setting to its clients. However, as Jesse Harlan, Chief Operating Officer of Avenues NYC explains, the facility ran into the challenge of not being able to “monitor clients and their possible alcohol use while outside of Avenues NYC.”

Many transitional sober living homes, like Avenues NYC, allow for a short-term pass or leave of absence to clients during their stay. For example, a facility may allow for one 48-overnight pass on a monthly basis. This type of absence can be reserved ahead of time for things like weddings, important birthdays, or planned vacations. These passes can be important for clients to be able to have the freedom to attend events that are important to them. Unfortunately, the alcohol tests that were taken upon clients’ return could not detect whether the clients had a slip or return use to alcohol during the time in which they were gone. Granting a pass to a client “often disrupted the routine our clients have of breathalyzing nightly at our facility,” says Jesse Harlan.

The nightly breathalyzer tests were not enough for Avenues NYC. They needed a solution that would allow clients to stay connected to their support group even when they were not physically at the facility, without compromising client freedom.

The Solution

To solve their problems, Avenues NYC introduced Soberlink Alcohol Monitoring. As the experts in alcohol monitoring, Soberlink provided a surefire and convenient way for the Avenues NYC team to stay connected with their clients even when they were on leave. “We began using Soberlink for our clients in 2017 and we chose it because it felt like the best option to support our clients during travel or transition periods,” says Jesse Harlan. The Soberlink system consists of a discreet, easy to use, hand-held breathalyzer with facial recognition that connects to a healthcare portal, sending out real-time notifications to clients’ support groups. For clients, Soberlink provides a convenient, trusted way to send their alcohol test results and provide accountability while away from the facility. For the team at Avenues NYC, Soberlink provides real-time, accurate results in an easy to read format.

Soberlink allows the Avenues NYC team to see when their clients are doing well, and to intervene as necessary they notice any slips. “Since we began using Soberlink in 2017,” says Jesse, “we have had multiple incidents where a client’s sent BAC report has been the catalyst for added support. With Soberlink, we are able to see when a slip happens in real-time and then collaborate with a client’s treatment team to quickly and safely stabilize a client. Soberlink has afforded us many opportunities to support our clients in new and effective ways.”

Together with Soberlink, the Avenues NYC teams has been able to assist many clients even in the absence of a controlled, alcohol-free environment and other treatment resources. In one particular case that Jesse remembers, “a client was traveling out of the country and was unable to utilize their normal supports such as 12 step meetings and consistent check in calls with their clinical team and support network. While away, the client relied heavily on their Soberlink as a way to hold themselves accountable.”

Soberlink has also helped Avenues NYC to stay connected with clients outside of just short team passes and even post-discharge. Soberlink continues to allow the Avenues NYC team to stay connected with and ensure lasting recovery for their clients. “My team will reach out to the client if they are struggling and discuss triggers and a game plan moving forward,” says Jesse

Results

The addition of Soberlink as a resource to the Avenues NYC team has greatly improved their ability to help their clients. Supporting the Avenues NYC team’s goal of helping those who are in recovery from substance abuse disorders, Soberlink provides that extra layer of accountability through a robust and reliable piece technology. No other monitoring tool on the market can deliver the type of professional monitoring that a transitional living facility like Avenues NYC can trust for their clients.

“Clients and families have greatly enjoyed using Soberlink as it often feels as an extra layer of support and protection for clients in early recovery,” says Jesse. “Soberlink has been an invaluable resource that has provided comfort and support to both our clients and their families. We have seen Soberlink help support countless clients.””

“We just had a client hit 13 months and has been living on his own and using Soberlink daily for about 8 months.” Avenues NYC and Soberlink hope to continue to help clients achieve their goals of lasting recovery.

About the Author

Soberlink supports accountability for sobriety through a comprehensive alcohol monitoring system. Combining a breathalyzer with wireless connectivity, the portable design and technology includes facial recognition, tamper detection and real-time reporting. Soberlink proves sobriety with reliability to foster trust and peace of mind.

Learn More About Soberlink

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