BURLINGTON, Mass., Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Groups Recover Together, an outpatient treatment provider serving individuals with opioid use disorder, announced today that it has officially begun serving members across the state of Virginia. Groups offers a differentiated clinical model that leverages the benefits of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), as well as high quality group counseling - with the goal of building a supportive community that helps members solve underlying issues associated with opioid addiction. By removing a variety of barriers, including social, behavioral and economic factors, their model helps members find and maintain long-term recovery.
Groups enters the state of Virginia with a virtual treatment model that is available to all Virginians, plus the initial opening of six physical locations in Manassas, Martinsville, Newport News, Petersburg, Warrenton and Winchester.
Improving access to effective opioid use disorder treatment comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an uptick in opioid addiction, resulting in more overdoses. In fact, in the months since the pandemic started spreading in the US, more than 40 states - including Virginia - have seen an increase in overdoses, according to the American Medical Association. This comes on the heels of 2019, which was the worst year on record for overdose deaths in the U.S., with 72,000 Americans succumbing to their drug use.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring our model to Virginia," said Ashleigh Bowman, Virginia Regional Director of Groups Recover Together. "At Groups, we believe opioid addiction is a chronic condition that no one should have to face alone. By moving into traditionally underserved areas of Virginia that have been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, we believe we can really make an impact."
In March, after the pandemic took hold, Groups transitioned to a fully virtual model in order to safely maintain continuity of care for members. While the isolating effects of the pandemic have compounded on the challenges faced by individuals with opioid use disorder, Groups' members have adjusted well to virtual treatment through their telehealth platform. Through that telehealth platform where all 6,000 members engage with their counselors and physicians each week, Groups has seen outcomes remain consistent with face-to-face therapy.
In studying the difference between virtual and face-to-face care, Groups measured the first five months of virtual care against the prior period, where members received their treatment in an in-person setting. The results are as follows:
- Attendance - Groups saw no change in attendance rates, maintaining an industry-leading 83% attendance rate (members attending their weekly counseling sessions).
- Drug screens - 95% of urine drug screen tests were negative for illicit opioids, compared with 97% during in-person treatment.
- Member retention - Groups saw no discernible difference in the percentage of members who continue treatment after 1 month, 2 months and 3 months.
- Member experience - 87% of members felt as or more supported by clinicians in all-virtual treatment, though a majority of members wanted options for both in-person and virtual.
- Use of devices - Technology did not appear to be a barrier to receiving care in an all-virtual setting with 87% joining via their smartphone.
"The circumstances around COVID-19 means we have to be more flexible with our treatment options and work harder to meet individuals where they are," said Dr. Jacob "Gus" Crothers, National Medical Director at Groups. "This data shows that we can effectively deliver our care model, while keeping our members safe."
Groups Recover Together is currently accepting new members in Virginia and accepts insurance including Medicaid. If you or someone you know is struggling from opioid use disorder, call Groups' 24/7 hotline at 1-800-683-8313. Groups supports new members with rapid intake - most receiving treatment within 48 hours.
About Groups Recover Together:
Groups Recover Together delivers opioid addiction recovery services that are proven to help individuals get their lives back on track. We provide fast, easy access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT), using Suboxone (buprenorphine), as well as a program designed to build a sense of community and accountability. In addition, members gain access to services through Groups' holistic care model, which is backed by the belief that long-term recovery from opioids is tied to social, behavioral and economic factors that aren't typically addressed in a traditional treatment model. Learn more at joingroups.com or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.
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