Empowered Patient Podcast
May 30th, 2023
Heather Ridenoure, Center of Excellence Segment Leader, and Maeve Ruggieri, the Director of Product at Contigo Health, shine a light on the challenge of employee substance use disorder and the resources available for care. This chronic disease can be caused by adverse childhood events, genetic predisposition, stress, and environmental factors. Contigo addresses any substance that can be abused through their Centers for Excellence program with virtual care and in-person care options where participation is voluntary and can be accessed 24/7.
Heather explains, “As far as how frequently this occurs, the newest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control said one in seven people have a substance use disorder. That’s new data, and that’s been increasing by 30% since the pandemic, which is pretty significant. So, this is one of the reasons we struck out on a journey to try to address some of these issues.”
Maeve elaborates, “As Heather mentioned, substance use disorder being a chronic disease, is something that causes clinically significant impairment. So that may or may not be visible to an employer in the workplace. Their employees may seem like they are high performers or be high performers and not be showing the stereotypical signs of substance use disorder, things that we may see from TV or movies, like erratic behavior, things even down to missing deadlines.”
“But what’s so important is having the member be ready to participate themselves. This program is rooted in shared decision-making between the member and the providers, and our team at Contigo, who’s doing a lot of care and case management and support. And if the member is not ready to participate, to explore recovery and manage their substance use disorder, then it’s not time yet.”