General Health

Helpful resources for living with substance use disorder

Sep 15, 2021 | 5 min

Addiction is hard to talk about and often misunderstood, but here at Premera, we want to change the narrative. This is National Recovery Month, so we wanted to take the time to put together a guide of resources that you can call upon if you think you or a loved one may be struggling with substance use disorder (SUD).

What is substance use disorder?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), is a clinical tool published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) that defines and gives treatment recommendations for mental health conditions. It defines substance use disorder (SUD) as the use of alcohol and/or drugs in a way that negatively affects health, responsibilities, and everyday functions. SUD can be mild, moderate, or severe. A diagnosis must be based on evidence of impaired control, social impairment, risky decisions, and general misuse of alcohol and/or pharmaceuticals. SUD can damage relationships between family members, significant others, and peers. This makes coping with it challenging for everyone in its path. Addictions must be fed to prevent withdrawal. As a result, it overrides all emotions and responsibilities of those struggling to escape its grasp.

How can you tell if someone has SUD?

There are several telltale signs that can help you spot potential substance use disorder in yourself or a loved one. Refer to our guide about how to spot substance use disorder to learn what to be on the lookout for.

How can you be there for someone with SUD?

When someone admits that they’ve been abusing substances, you may feel awkward and unsure what to say. Talking about addiction is often seen as taboo, which can make it difficult to navigate conversations. Educating yourself on the disease is one of the best things you can do to prepare for conversations with someone who has confided in you about their SUD. Learn more about what to do when you check out our guide how to talk about SUD.

What options does Premera offer to members struggling with SUD?

Premera has all sorts of virtual and in-person behavioral healthcare options for those suffering from substance use disorder and other mental health conditions.

Virtual care

Here are the virtual mental health care options that we offer:

Boulder Care

Receive virtual addiction treatment focused on empathy, kindness, respect, and unconditional support. Boulder Care customizes your treatment to your needs and schedule, tailoring it to your unique circumstances. If you have an alcohol or substance use disorder (SUD), Boulder Care provides you with your own personal care team that is available any time you need it. Boulder Care is for SUD treatment and support.

Workit Health

Enroll in virtual addiction treatment for SUD from the security of your own home. Workit Health provides extensive support and treatment options for you or a loved one struggling with substance abuse. These include digital rehab and virtual check-ins with your own clinician.


Chat with mental health professionals via text or video at any time of day, anywhere you are. Talkspace provides a secure, virtual care experience in the palm of your hand with an easy-to-use app, making therapy and mental health support only a click away. Talkspace is for non-urgent mental health care. While Talkspace does not provide SUD treatment, it does offer care for underlying conditions and mental illnesses that can lead to SUD or make it worse.

Doctor On Demand

Therapy with Doctor On Demand is as easy as taking a video call on your phone, tablet, or laptop in between work or errands. Doctor On Demand is for conditions that may worsen, or set the stage for, SUD, such as: trauma, abuse, mental illness, and stress. While Doctor On Demand does not provide SUD treatment, it does offer care for underlying conditions and mental illnesses that can lead to SUD or make it worse.

In-person care

While we do offer virtual care, we also offer in-person behavioral health care. Use the Find Care option on your Premera app to locate providers near you. We cover many forms of in-person care such as therapy, in and out-patient care, rehabilitation, and medication-assisted treatment. Many still prefer face-to-face health care where you’re in the same room as another human. All our providers adhere to COVID safety recommendations so you can be sure that your health and safety is a priority when visiting their office or facilities. You can learn more about Premera’s COVID response here.

Premera-Designated Centers of Excellence

Some member groups have access to our Premera-Designated Centers of Excellence (PDCOEs). With this program, we connect members with the right benefits and providers for their needs to ensure their care is affordable, effective, and above all, high-quality. PDCOEs removes the guesswork from finding a quality provider for high-cost procedures. This can be especially helpful for those looking into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, rehabilitation, medicated treatment, or out-patient SUD care. Call the number on the back of your card to ask about PDCOEs in your area.

Take the next step

If you’re worried about your own substance use or that of a loved one, most Premera plans include benefits to facilitate health and recovery. To find out what your plan includes, sign into your account on and look at Behavioral health & chemical dependency treatment.

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