It’s been nearly a decade since we founded Lionrock. Nearly a decade since my sister lost her battle with drugs and alcohol. Lionrock is my “revenge” against substance use disorders. Addiction took my sister and almost took one of my daughters. In co-founding Lionrock, I joined the fight. At Lionrock, we’ve made it our mission to be addiction’s worst enemy and recovery’s steadfast friend.

When my sister was in rehab for what turned out to be the last time, every week I drove three hours roundtrip for a one-hour family group session. I wondered why driving was necessary. For months, I’d been using video conferencing to work with Lionrock co-founder Iain Crabb (we were working on something else). One day when I was at the treatment center, I told them about how Iain and I were working, and asked whether family therapy might be done the same way. The answer was, “You can’t do that, and it won’t work anyway.” Music to an entrepreneur’s ears:  it means competition will be slow in coming.

Fast forward to 2020 and what Lionrock does feels pretty mainstream. We provide best practices treatment for substance use disorders at intensive outpatient and outpatient levels of care. We’re accredited by the prestigious Joint Commission, licensed in many states, and in-network with health plans in several  states. We helped over 1,000 people last year through all of our programs, workshops, and support groups.

Importantly, our outcomes are much better than averages in the field. We’re really good at what we do, but that’s not the only reason our outcomes are strong. Half of the people who come to Lionrock for treatment tell us that if there were no online option, they wouldn’t get help. Why? Shame, stigma, family, and work commitments. Eighty-five percent of our clients are employed, and many are parents. They’re willing to work with Lionrock because they can get help from the privacy of home, and because we fit into their lives instead of the other way around. 

On any given day, nearly 400 Lionrock clients work in therapy sessions with over 50 master-level psychotherapists. They meet in over 30 different schedule tracks. In 2019, Lionrock clients participated in over 20,000 therapy visits. The first sessions of the day start at six in the morning and the last end at nearly midnight. Lionrock’s HIPAA-compliant information systems manage the flow of information, making sure that the right clients and counselors get to the right group and individual therapy sessions. In their therapy sessions, Lionrock counselors and clients communicate by securely-encrypted video conference in which everyone can see and hear everyone else.

At Lionrock, we offer levels of care across the continuum of care. When medically-supervised stabilization (detox) is required, we coordinate care with physicians and, when necessary, facilities where in-patient detox is provided. Only about 2% of people admitting to treatment programs need medically-supervised care, and most of them require only ambulatory care.

While we do not offer residential care, but we partner with quality providers of care at that level. At Lionrock, we provide care at the Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and Outpatient levels of care. We offer a program for moderation management, for those who do not wish to be abstinent, and a family program just for the loved ones of people struggling with an SUD.

The protocol for Intensive Outpatient treatment calls for three 3-hour sessions each week. Outpatient level sessions are 90 minutes, twice weekly. For both levels of care, these are group therapy sessions. All programs include a weekly individual session in addition to group sessions.

Our programs are based on three main components. First and foremost, every client has a primary therapist who performs a deep assessment that forms the basis for a diagnosis. The diagnosis leads to the development of a treatment plan, tailored to the client’s individual needs. A treatment plan is a set of goals, and throughout treatment, the therapist and client track progress toward achieving those goals. 

The second component is a long-term recovery skills program which takes clients through a series of written and verbal exercises and discussions. Doing the work brings to light the forces that will work against a client and arms her with the skills she’ll need to build her recovery post-treatment. This component is broken down into five phases that start with self-knowledge, covers relapse prevention skills, and ends with discharge planning 

The third program component is a rich and varied psychoeducation program with over sixty topics (and growing) ranging across the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of staying sober and building a life in recovery.

We partner with physicians who provide anti-craving medications. For some clients, the use of medication is very helpful in maintaining sobriety while working at a deeper understanding of the roots of their addiction.

Ultimately, our commitment is to our clients. Each week that they’re in treatment, we gather feedback from the clients. Using a simple quiz app, our clients complete “best practices” clinical surveys to measure current condition, progress, and client satisfaction with Lionrock’s program. We make improvements continuously based on this client feedback. With our focus on our clients, a set of core values we call the Lionrock Creed guides our interactions with our clients. You can read it here:

– Peter Loeb