Despite the efficacy of psychotherapies, close to 90% of people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) do not receive care. Individuals with AUD are often referred to specialty addiction treatment programs, which have many barriers to accessibility and are often stigmatized. Further, there are serious disparities in care for women, Black/African American individuals, and people from other under-represented groups.
Virtual approaches to AUD care are promising for reaching and engaging those who otherwise would not receive treatment. These approaches could potentially improve treatment accessibility and reduce stigma.
To address this unmet need - Dr. Allison Lin and Dr. Erin Bonar received $3.4 million in funding from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to conduct a 5-year study on virtually-delivered AUD care.
“This work is important because we are using proactive approaches to engage people who might not otherwise receive any care at all for alcohol use disorders. We are excited to increase options for care that can help individuals improve quality of life and overall health.” – Erin Bonar, Ph.D.
"What's really unique about this new model of care is - we are trying to reach the 90% that are not getting care by meeting them wherever they are and partnering with them to identify goals and gain key skills to reduce their drinking and help with overall health." – Allison Lin, M.D.
This study will use multiple technology-driven approaches to virtually engage patients in AUD treatment outside of clinics and in their preferred locations. Once tested, this innovative treatment model can potentially be integrated into healthcare systems to substantially improve utilization and outcomes and reduce disparities in care for this chronic condition.