A man talks with his addiction counselor over video chat
Published On: April 28, 2020|Categories: Treatment|

Addiction recovery is a long-term effort that requires outside support. However, it can be hard to find the time to see a counselor or participate in a treatment program. That’s where telehealth can help. It allows you to receive treatment from home over the internet rather than traveling to a treatment center.

How Telehealth Works

Telehealth lets you see a licensed drug and alcohol counselor through a virtual platform. You’ll see and talk to the counselor through video conferencing technology, providing a similar feel to in-person sessions. You may also participate in a virtual therapy group with other people in recovery from substance use disorder. Peer support is an essential component of addiction recovery.

In summary, telehealth works almost the same way as traditional addiction treatment. Your counselors will use the same therapeutic techniques, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and group processing. You’ll still meet with your peers to work on recovery skills together. The main difference is that this will all take place over the internet, on a secure video conferencing platform.

Benefits of Telemedicine for Addiction Treatment

There are a lot of advantages to receiving treatment through telehealth platforms.

Increased Flexibility

Since the sessions can take place from anywhere you have an internet connection, it’s easier for you to find time to attend treatment. You don’t have to worry about taking time off work or school.

Decreased Stigma

Unfortunately, many people hesitate to access treatment because of the stigma that still exists in our culture. Telehealth can help break down some of that stigma because it’s so easily accessible. The privacy of your home can increase your comfort levels during treatment.

Wider Access

Many areas lack addiction treatment services, especially rural areas. With telehealth, your counselor could be located across the state. This makes it much easier to access treatment services. Telehealth is also beneficial for those who cannot drive or leave the house due to illness, injury, disability, or lack of transportation.

During the coronavirus outbreak, telehealth makes it possible to continue treatment while following social distancing guidelines and stay at home orders.

More Frequent Touchpoints

Telehealth also makes it easier to connect with your therapist and support system. You can text, email, or call your counselor to check in between sessions or reach out in a crisis situation. You may also attend sessions more frequently since you can access them from home. These frequent touchpoints will help motivate you to continue on your recovery journey.

Disadvantages of Telehealth

Despite the many benefits, telehealth is not right for everyone. If you have not safely detoxed from drugs or alcohol, you will need to complete a medically-supervised detox first before trying telehealth sessions. Depending on your circumstances and preferences, you may benefit more from in-person therapy and support groups. There is something powerful about gathering in-person to support each other.

Still, telehealth can be useful in many situations, especially right now with the spread of COVID-19.

How Do I Know if Telehealth Is Right for Me?

The best way to determine if you’ll benefit from telehealth is to complete a substance use evaluation. While this normally is done in-person, you may complete the assessment over the phone right now due to coronavirus. Once you have completed the assessment, the results will indicate what level of care is needed to effectively treat your addiction. Generally, telehealth is a good fit for people at the outpatient level of care.

Telehealth Addiction Services in Pennsylvania

Rehab After Work now offers all of our services through telehealth to accommodate the stay at home order in effect in Pennsylvania. No matter where you live in the state, you can participate in any of our addiction treatment programs. Call our admissions team at (610) 644-6464 to schedule an assessment.

Related: Telehealth and Confidentiality

A woman participates in an online therapy session on her tabletOnline Therapy Vs. In-Person Therapy: What Are the Differences?
teenager with her head in her handsHow to Cope with Anxiety Disorders During the COVID-19 Outbreak