The Role of Telehealth in Addiction and Recovery

Addiction has killed and destroyed the lives of millions of Americans. Drug Abuse Statistics show that over 20 million Americans aged 12 and over have substance abuse disorder. During the pandemic, many healthcare professionals who treated those with addiction issues had to reduce or stop completely physical in-person treatment plans.

Enter telehealth. People battling their addictions and those recovering from addiction could connect to their therapists or doctors online. Although it was a learning curve for both patients and medical practitioners, telehealth has shown to be beneficial when used to combat addiction and help support recovery. Here’s why telehealth is important your addiction treatment and recovery.

It enables you to continue your recovery program

During the pandemic, a lot of people who were in facilities or enrolled in programs experienced disruptions to their treatments. Thankfully telemedicine meant they could continue on their recovery journey with less interference. It is vital that individuals undergoing recovery continue their programs to maintain their sobriety. As James Mackay explains in his study on the Impact of Continuing Care on Recovery From Substance Use Disorder, having a constant recovery process can monitor treatment gains or relapses. If you have found that your recovery program is being disrupted, then choosing a telehealth program will help ensure that you always have a point of contact.

It provides unique therapeutic strategies

Another bonus of using telehealth for addiction and recovery is that it can offer new unique ways of doing therapy. Telehealth network Wheel explains that most therapists treated patients in-person using traditional methods before they transitioned to teletherapy. Through Online Addiction Counseling patients can start to use virtual mental health therapy tools and testing materials that they otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. This includes computer-assisted therapy, such as computerized assessments and online homework assignments, or even treatment through mobile apps.

It keeps you connected with your therapist or doctor

During a time when people need to quarantine, telehealth allows you access to your doctors and therapists. Even though a traditional office setting is what you’re used to, you can still talk to them via your smartphone or your internet-connected devices. Seeing you, even on a screen, will help your therapist keep you healthy and safe. Similarly, they can also discern if you are having a hard time and figure out a treatment plan that will get you back on track.

It allows you to remain at home with loved ones

Treatment programs can be more effective if you can stay in a place that is comfortable and familiar – like your home. Telehealth allows you to do just that throughout what may be a challenging recovery process. At home, you could also receive the support of loved ones. In our past blog ‘Heavy Drinking and Its Effect on Relationships’, we emphasized that addiction can have drastic effects on relationships and that having a strong support system is incredibly important. By using telehealth, your loved ones can get more involved in your recovery program with much less disruption to their lives.

It lets you create your own schedule

Some patients do not have a great recovery process due to the schedules enforced in a rehabilitation facility. But with telehealth, you can take control of your own schedule and potentially create your own recovery routine. This will give you a sense of purpose and control over your life that addiction may have stripped away. With the extra time you can pursue newfound hobbies.

Although the move to telehealth was in many enforced due to the pandemic, more and more recovering addicts are seeing the benefits of this new form of healthcare. If you have been struggling in the past two years we recommend you give telehealth a try.