The Scoop: Alcohol consumption can become an issue in a relationship if couples are not careful, and sometimes an intervention is needed to get back on a healthier track. That’s where Monument comes in with evidence-based treatment plans that combine therapy and FDA-approved medicine to address the condition of alcohol use disorder (AUD). Monument is an affordable program that is designed to help people follow proven treatment to limit or eliminate alcohol from their life.

Monument offers online alcohol treatment programs where couples can individually enroll in a plan and make progress simultaneously. Its evidence-based treatment has proven invaluable to people feeling isolated and trapped with their worst habits and temptations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stress of the pandemic has taken a significant toll on mental health, and many couples and families have developed problematic behaviors or formed dependent relationships as a result. In March 2020, alcohol sales spiked 54% in the U.S. in comparison with the previous year. The Journal of the American Medical Association found that most American adults were drinking more frequently during the pandemic than they were in the past.

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Monument has created a holistic and online treatment plan to help people reduce or cease drinking alcohol.

Some of these adults were simply engaging in harmless fun — at-home happy hours celebrating relationship milestones or boozy date nights. But others may have used alcohol to cope in unhealthy ways and developed alcohol use disorder (AUD), a medical condition characterized by a dependence on alcohol.

Monument CEO Mike Russell said the post-COVID era is a good time for people to assess their drinking habits and make sure they haven’t slipped into irresponsible or potentially dangerous territory.

“Monument’s evidence-based treatment can support the vast majority of people who would like to change their drinking habits,” said Mike. “However, some people with more severe signs of AUD require in-patient detox to safely reduce their alcohol consumption. If that’s the case, a Monument-network physician can recommend next steps, and they can return to Monument for continued care after detox.”

Couples can improve their health and strengthen their relationship by taking Monument’s advisories to heart. The treatment programs teach people how to reduce or eliminate their alcohol consumption and embark on a stable, sober lifestyle.

Monument helps people get the support they need as they overcome addiction and other personal challenges.

A Recovery Program That Began With a Personal Struggle

Mike said he started Monument after struggling with alcoholism and finding his own path to recovery. He tried to manage his drinking on his own, and that didn’t work. He tried traditional treatment options such as support groups and interventions. Finally, a friend recommended medication to help curb his drinking habits.

By combining therapy with medication, Mike was able to stay sober. “I did the research and found that this approach worked for many others and was supported by leading experts in the field,” he said. “Now, I’m on a mission to make the evidence-based treatment that changed (and maybe saved) my life affordable and accessible for everyone.”

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Mike Russell founded Monument to provide meaningful support for people with alcohol use disorder.

Mike leads a passionate team of experts who are committed to helping people regain control over their lives. It’s a monumental task, but one that can be accomplished with the right tools and support. Monument has partnered with dozens of physicians and therapists who specialize in treating substance use disorders.

Monument stands apart from other treatment centers because of its focus on science and medicine as a solution. The team treats alcohol use disorder as a medical condition that ranges from mild to severe. Plus, it’s available entirely online.

Some of its clients may not be diagnosed with AUD but still desire assistance and guidance with drinking responsibly.

“Monument supports goals for moderation and sobriety,” Mike explained. “Members can work with their Care Team to set goals based on their aspirations, medical history, and needs.”

Some participants have said Monument’s anonymous and science-driven forum helped them come to terms with their alcohol consumption and get where they want to be in terms of sobriety, health, and interpersonal relationships.

“Can’t recommend Monument enough,” one participant wrote. “ The Moderation in the Time of Coronavirus is an excellent support group. This group has opened up a whole new world to the possibility of a life where the individual is in control of alcohol — and not the other way around.”

Therapists and Support Groups Create a Network for Sobriety

Gaining control over your drinking habits is the ultimate act of self-care, and it isn’t always easy. In addition to co-occurring mental health conditions, factors such as stigma, trauma, and unequal access to care all shape our drinking habits. That’s why Monument aims to make support affordable, convenient, and inclusive — both through their personalized care plans and range of support groups including those for BIPOC, women, and the LGBTQIA+ community.

Monument offers therapist-led support groups for any person who wants to change their relationship with alcohol.

“Monument takes a holistic, evidence-based approach to treatment, which includes specialized therapy, medication options, and community support,” Mike said. “Our free community includes an anonymous forum and therapist-moderated support groups.”

The Monument treatment plan offers a multiple-pronged approach to address AUD. Participants can receive specialized therapy that’s customized for their needs and goals. If needed, their physician can also prescribe medication that supports their goal for total sobriety or alcohol moderation.

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The Monument community can motivate people to reach their sobriety goals.

Throughout their journey, Monument members can get direct support and encouragement from the anonymous community forum. This peer-to-peer channel gives people an outlet where they can express themselves without judgment and meet online friends who have been through or are going through similar struggles.

Monument offers community plans that range in price from $0 to $249/month. The Total Care package includes weekly therapy sessions, unlimited physician appointments, unlimited messaging with a therapist or physician. Prescription management of Naltrexone, a synthetic compound that blocks opiate receptors in the nervous system, or Disulfiram, a synthetic compound used to make drinking alcohol produce unpleasant aftereffects, can also be part of the deal, if necessary.

Many individuals enter the Monument treatment program on their own, but the team has seen some couples sign up together to tackle their sobriety goals. The website has groups that specifically address relationship challenges and how to navigate the shifts that come in family dynamics when people change their alcohol habits.

“Like any change in behavior, you are more likely to remain consistent with implementing the skills and tools you learn when you have a partner in accountability,” Mike said.

Monument: Treatment Options for Individuals and Couples

Monument has empowered people from all walks of life and of every relationship status to take control of their lives by managing their drinking habits. Sometimes its programs inspire complete sobriety, and other times it simply encourages moderation and restraint.

This team of experts has worked hard to change the conversation about alcohol issues so more people understand the medical aspects at play.

“By treating AUD like the medical condition it is, we reduce the stigma and increase the likelihood of success,” Mike said. “We’re also leading the industry by breaking down barriers to support.”

Monument can support couples as they work their way back to health and happiness during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Currently, Monument is available in 17 states in the United States, but the team is working to expand its coverage in the upcoming year. Monument is also prepared to increase its insurance coverage in addition to its affordable out-of-pocket pricing.

Monument’s goal is to make support available to everyone who needs it. The online community is free to access and can provide vital information about alcohol use disorder and its treatment options.

“I want people to know that the choice to change their relationship with alcohol is something to be proud of,” Mike said. “While our platform is 100% anonymous, we view changing your drinking as a point of pride, and our programming and content reflect that.”

Important Safety Information

Naltrexone has the capacity to cause hepatocellular injury (liver injury) when given in excessive doses. Naltrexone is contraindicated in acute hepatitis or liver failure, and its use in patients with active liver disease must be carefully considered in light of its hepatotoxic effects. In the treatment of alcohol dependence, common adverse reactions include difficulty sleeping, anxiety, nervousness, abdominal pain/cramps, nausea and/or vomiting, low energy, joint and muscle pain, headache, dizziness and somnolence. This is not a complete list of potential adverse events associated with naltrexone hydrochloride. Please see Full Prescribing Information for a complete list of potential adverse events associated with this prescription medication.

The most common side effects of Disulfiram may include drowsiness, tiredness, headache, acne, and metallic-like taste in the mouth. Call your doctor if you have signs of serious side effects such as decreased sexual ability, vision changes, numbness of arms or legs, muscle weakness, mood changes, seizures, or confusion. Do not take Disulfiram if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. If you begin to have signs of an allergic reaction, then seek immediate medical attention. Avoid consumption of alcohol while taking this medication, as it may lead to adverse side effects. Talk to your doctor about the history of your medical conditions including if you have or have had diabetes, underactive thyroid, brain disorders, liver or kidney disease, personal or family history of regular use/abuse of drugs. Certain drug interactions may lead to serious adverse side effects. Let your doctor know about any other medications you are taking. This is not a complete list of potential adverse events associated with Disulfiram. Please see Full Prescribing Information for a complete list.*Monument Inc. provides administrative and business support services to independent medical and clinical practices and providers. Monument Inc. does not provide medical or clinical services and does not own medical or other clinical practices. All medical services are provided by Live Life Now Health Group, PA d/b/a Live Life Now Medical Group. All counseling and therapy services are provided by independent licensed practitioners including licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) and licensed mental health counselors (LMHC). Individuals should contact their physician or therapist with any questions about their treatment.