Help for Managing Alcohol Use

From sporting events to restaurants and celebrations, many adults enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage during social gatherings. Some people, however, can develop an unhealthy relationship with alcohol for temporary relief from mental health issues, like anxiety and depression.

Research shows that alcohol usage has been on the rise in the past few years, with one survey from 2020 reporting that an alarming 41% of participants had engaged in binge drinking or extreme binge drinking in the previous 30 days (1). When alcohol use becomes excessive or a form of self-medication, there is a risk of developing a dangerous substance use disorder. It’s important to know the warning signs, which may include:

  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts
  • Lack of motivation

Help for improving mental wellness and managing alcohol use is available. Sutter Health Plus members have access to mental health and substance use disorder services, including for alcohol addiction, through U.S. Behavioral Health Plan, California (USBHPC). When medically necessary, services may include, but are not limited to, the following: in-person or virtual individual and group visits with participating behavioral health providers, inpatient or outpatient medical treatment for withdrawal symptoms, and prescription drugs.

Finding a Behavioral Health Provider
For some, the first step toward treatment of a mental health issue or substance use disorder may be reaching out for help. Members can schedule a confidential in-person or virtual visit with a participating behavioral health provider without a referral through USBHPC. Call USBHPC at (855) 202-0984 or use this provider locator tool to get started. The USBHPC Substance Use Disorder Helpline is also available 24/7 at (855) 780-5955.

Online Tools and Resources
Members can find detailed behavioral health articles, self-assessment tools, informational videos, and tips for improving mental wellness anytime by visiting liveandworkwell.com. The site also provides helpful information for exploring care options and finding an appropriate behavioral health provider.

Additionally, members have premium access to Sanvello—a top-rated app to help manage stress, anxiety, and depression 24/7—at no extra cost through USBHPC. Download free from the App Store or Google Play.

Inpatient/Outpatient Services
Inpatient and outpatient substance use disorder services are available to members through USBHPC. Programs typically include individual and group counseling by doctors, therapists, and others who have extensive training in addiction issues. Members may receive medications and care for alcohol or other substance use safely and comfortably under medical supervision. Outpatient programs may allow some members to continue to live at home during care. To learn more, members may refer to the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services section of their Evidence of Coverage and Disclosure Form.

Members seeking mental health and substance use disorder services should talk to their doctor or a behavioral health provider about what is best for them.

  1. Alcohol Consumption during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Survey of US Adults

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