Brightside Health Expands into Substance Use Disorder, Virtual Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Acquisition of Lionrock Recovery extends commitment to deliver mental health care to all who need it

San Francisco, CA – June 12, 2024 – In line with its commitment to providing the highest quality care, Brightside Health now offers virtual intensive outpatient programs (IOP) for substance use disorder (SUD). Brightside Health’s acquisition of Lionrock Recovery launched this new service, enabling the company to provide comprehensive telemental health treatment for a wider range of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, alcohol use disorder, and SUD. 

Founded in 2010, Lionrock Recovery was an early pioneer in virtual substance abuse counseling. Similar to Brightside Health, Lionrock Recovery takes a personalized approach to care and leverages technology to break down barriers for those struggling with alcohol and other substance use. With this acquisition, Brightside Health advances its mission of delivering life-saving mental health care to everyone who needs it.

According to a survey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 17% of people ages 12 or older reported an SUD in 2022. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2018 and 2021, the emergency department (ED) – already a significant source of overcrowding and overspending – was flooded with 39% more SUD cases. Brightside Health has long partnered with payers and health systems to offer high-touch, tech-enabled services for acute patients discharged from the ED. With this new service, the company can offer timely, quality treatment to countless individuals struggling to find help for SUD.

“Substance use has been catastrophic to families, communities, payers, and health systems,” said Brad Kittredge, Co-Founder and CEO of Brightside Health. “In order to fully achieve our mission, fulfill our role in the healthcare industry, and be the best partner we can be, it’s important we apply the same rigor and high-quality standards to conditions like substance use disorder as we have with mental health. With our acquisition of Lionrock Recovery, we look forward to expanding into SUD and beyond.”

Brightside Health’s solutions encompass personalized psychiatry, clinically proven therapy, Crisis Care for patients with elevated suicide risk, and now, IOP services for SUD. IOP services provide time intensive, structured treatment for higher severity mental health conditions and/or SUD, and can be less disruptive and more cost effective than inpatient or residential treatment programs. Participants in an IOP attend individual and group therapy sessions, engage in evidence-based lessons, obtain psychiatric treatment and medication as needed, and have access to lab testing and additional peer support communities. 

“At Brightside Health, we’ve always focused on the hard-to-treat cases. By offering substance use disorder programs, we are now treating more patients with modalities designed to address specific and complex conditions, including addiction and dual diagnosis,” said Dr. Mimi Winsberg, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Brightside Health. “I’m proud of our team of clinicians and the tools and expert care they are providing to people on the road to recovery, supporting patients and family members alike.”

This latest news from Brightside Health is part of a string of growth announcements, including a Series C funding round; new and expanded payer partnerships with Medicaid and Medicare; and notable results published on its award-winning Crisis Care program designed for individuals at elevated risk of suicide. The expansion into IOP for SUD enables Brightside Health to serve an even larger segment of mental health patients. 

IOP for SUD is currently offered through Lionrock Recovery and will be officially integrated with Brightside Health in the coming quarters. For more information on Brightside Health, visit  

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