Modernizing Benefits

How Employers Can Modernize Substance Use Benefits for the Post COVID-19 Workplace

How employers can modernize substance use benefits for the post-COVID workplace will be the theme of ALAViDA’s presentation at Benefits and Pension Summit

Providing a benefit only when a substance use problem reaches a crisis allows valuable employees to get sicker and increases costs to the employer.”

— Dr. Diane Rothon, Medical Director of ALAViDA

Canada’s first virtual evidence-based substance use treatment provider will share its innovative approach at the annual Benefits & Pension Summit, Tuesday May 18th from 2:45-3:15 PM EST. The Summit provides a forum for Canadian benefits and pension decision-makers to gather valuable insight from industry thought leaders on developments in the design and delivery of group benefits and retirement programs for a changing workforce.

Substance use costs Canadian companies $15.7 billion each year, in absences, lost productivity, increased healthcare costs, and disability claims and that number is likely to rise post-pandemic. One third of Canadians report drinking more during the pandemic and nearly half of those who’ve battled past substance use challenges also report increased consumption. Those with mental health issues revealed both increased substance use and more harmful use. With many employees working from home, it’s easier to hide use and due to the stigma associated with substance use, most don’t seek help until it’s too late.

“Because of the sharp increase in substance use during the pandemic, we see urgency in getting our digital tool in front of as many benefits providers as possible,” says Elliot Stone, CEO and co-founder of ALAViDA. “Our research tells us if confidential, broadly accessible substance use treatment is available to employees straight from their smartphones, it’s effective in preventing an issue from escalating into a crisis.”

ALAViDA’s session, “Treating a Tsunami of Secret Substance Use: How Employers Can Modernize Substance Use Benefits for the Post-COVID Workplace” will be presented by Elliot Stone and Dr. Diane Rothon, Medical Director and co-founder of ALAViDA. “We want employees to access substance use treatment just like they do their physio or dental benefits. The point is no one needs to know if I’m struggling with alcohol or receiving treatment unless my health condition significantly impacts my behaviour or performance at work. Normalizing is key to destigmatizing,” according to Stone. “That shift in perspective is key if we are going to get employees to seek help pre-disability,” adds Dr. Rothon. “Providing a benefit only when a substance use problem reaches a crisis allows valuable employees to get sicker and increases costs to the employer.”

If you missed the Summit, sign up for an information session to learn more about ALAViDA.

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ALAViDA, part of the LifeSpeak Inc. (TSX: LSPK) family of companies, is a leading virtual care provider focused on the science of substance use management. It offers a one-stop-shop approach for any level of substance use disorder – alcohol and drugs – mild, moderate and severe. ALAViDA connects patients with behavioural coaches, therapists and physicians who work as a team to deliver personalized care right to their smartphones. ALAViDA is an employee benefit with varying plans and personalized therapeutic programs, which has proven to minimize time out of the workplace. Traditional rehab often costs $30,000 or more a month. ALAViDA’s program is a mere fraction of that. More than 79 per cent of those signed on reported increased control and 86 per cent reduced substance use. To learn more visit For information on corporate programs or to establish a referral relationship contact [email protected]


Chris Gomes

ALAViDA Health

+1 888-315-4617

email us here


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