Hired Power Case Study: Empowering Clients with Alcohol Use Disorder Through Telehealth
Founded in 2002, Hired Power is a dynamic group of recovery professionals who provide an empowering range of services in a compassionate and healing environment. Their founder, Nanette Zumwalt, is an interventionist who works all over the country, supporting clients and families struggling with addiction and mental health-related issues for over 25 years. Seeking to promote independence and empower their clients who suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), Hired Power turned to Telehealth with Soberlink Alcohol Monitoring.
When supporting clients with AUD, Hired Power found it difficult to intervene as necessary because drinking events often went undetected. Laura Crossett, who oversees the sober monitoring program at Hired Power, discusses the difficulties in knowing when a client may need support: “A drinking event could take place, but we may not know that for a couple days because we’re waiting for lab results to come back.” For Laura, random lab tests for AUD “do not always detect a drinking event” and it would be “inconvenient and costly to conduct urine screenings multiple times a week.” Laura understands the importance of staying connected with clients, especially those in early-recovery, because “it can be challenging to stay in recovery when [alcohol] is so readily available.” Hired Power needed a solution that would allow their treatment professionals to stay connected with clients without interfering with their freedom and independence.
Telehealth is the use of technology to support long-distance clinical health care. For Hired Power, Telehealth empowered their clients to take an active role in their own recovery. One of the Telehealth technologies that Hired Power chose was Soberlink, the leading remote alcohol monitoring system for Addiction Recovery, Workplace Compliance and Family Law. With Soberlink, “People don’t have to go through a lot of steps to submit a test. It can be done while you’re doing other things.” Laura highlights Soberlink’s effective use of technology, including “facial recognition software which has been incredibly useful with clients.” Along with facial recognition, Soberlink’s other features include Tamper Detection, Real-Time alerts, and Advanced Reporting, which all give clients the power to confidently document their sobriety for their treatment professional and loved ones. With Soberlink, clients no longer “have to constantly defend his/her self, saying ‘I’m sober, I’m sober, I’m sober.’”
When exploring Telehealth options, many treatment professionals are wary of alcohol monitoring as it may be too invasive for their counseling style. However, the alternative of random lab testing to identify alcohol use is ineffective and can actually be more invasive and stressful for the client. On the other hand, no monitoring altogether can be very difficult for a successful recovery early on.
For Laura at Hired Power, alcohol monitoring is not invasive as long as the client is willing to participate. “Someone may think that 2-3 tests might be too much for them, but once they get into the swing of things, and for clients who are willing and really want to do this for themselves and their loved ones, employment, or child custody status, there’s really no push back.”
Other Soberlink clients have also found Soberlink to be the non-invasive answer. One client says that Soberlink “became their daily savior.” For this client, “The only other alternative was expensive and cumbersome devices through county social services.” Another client believes Soberlink actually gave them more independence. “[My wife and I] both have a greater sense of freedom. I love this product and highly recommend it!”
For Hired Power, Soberlink helped them to connect with clients “all across the country.” Soberlink “helps clients stay more engaged with their recovery,” says Laura. “It really helps families let go a little bit because they have something in place that’s monitoring their loved ones.” It is recommended that Soberlink be used in conjunction with recovery plan that ties in treatment professionals, such as Hired Power, who have taken advantage of new health technology with great success. “Because of the accountability and ongoing support of Case Management using Soberlink, so many clients are able to walk through life events sober, reuniting families and repairing relationships.”
Soberlink has allowed clients to get the help and support they need during recovery, while retaining their independence and empowering them to advocate for their own health.