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Online Recovery: What Does Addiction Therapy Look Like From a Remote Perspective?

So much of daily life was inching its way toward being virtual when, in March 2020, things escalated rather quickly. Due to the worldwide lockdowns, work, school, and more went remote. Needless to say, this shift changed health care in dramatic ways. A check-up with your primary care physician, for example, no longer requires an in-person visit. Psychotherapy via phone or video chat saw an exponential rise. This even includes treatment for substance use disorder (SUD).

Yes, individuals dealing with drug or alcohol addiction are now going through rehab online. Even after the mitigation tactics subsided. As many as 7 of out 10 those seeking recovery are doing so remotely.

What Is Online Recovery?

It is exactly what it sounds like. People seeking to recover from a substance addiction meet with certified practitioners via telehealth. In other words, besides the sessions taking place using video conferencing of some kind, the concept uses the same blueprint as face-to-face rehab. This goes for both alcohol and drugs.

  • Alcohol: In many cases, intensive outpatient programs can be as effective as residential rehab. Thus, virtual rehab is not nearly as counterintuitive as it first sounds. In fact, the privacy element of online recovery is crucial when it comes to managing the stigma. 
  • Drugs: There are instances when medication is necessary, e.g. heroin and opioids. But otherwise, online therapy is essentially the same as the traditional, face-to-face approach.

3 Reasons Why Someone May Choose Online Recovery

1. Busy Schedule

Residential rehab typically requires a long time away from your everyday life. As important as it is to kick the habit, it can be unrealistic to make it happen within the scope of your busy schedule. Whether it’s school or work, there may be no practical way to disengage with caring more problems.

2. Illness or Disability

Not everyone is able-bodied enough to consistently attend in-person treatment. Meanwhile, someone with a physical disability can be at a higher risk of becoming addicted to painkillers. Online recovery removes barriers to getting the help you need and deserve.

3. Geography

Not everyone lives near a treatment center. Thanks to remote rehab, folks in rural or remote areas are not compelled to travel long distances to get treatment. The same goes for people without a driver’s license.

photo of a laptop sitting on a desk with a coffee mug near by3 Reasons Why Online Recovery Could Be Right For You

1. Privacy

Substance use disorder is something most people would prefer to not share widely. Online recovery facilitates that kind of privacy. You don’t have to explain where you’re going or worry about running into someone you know — even at the treatment center.

2. Online Comfort

As ensuing generations are raised with the internet as a given, an increasing number of people joke about living online. To them, the option of online rehab can feel comforting and normal.

3. Convenience

Think about it. There are no traffic or weather concerns. You don’t have to pick out an outfit. Without lengthy prep time or a tricky commute, less time must be allocated. In addition, many folks feel more relaxed dealing with such a thorny issue from the comfort of their own home. This also allows the therapists to see a more authentic version of their clients.

But Does It Work?

As with all rehab, the answer to this question depends on many factors. Therefore, when assessing the efficacy of online recovery, it helps to speak with a professional. Learn as much as you can about the process and empower yourself with the knowledge you need to make the best decision. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, don’t hesitate to reach out to schedule a free and confidential consultation.