Which Addiction Treatments Are Available Online?

September 28, 2020

3 min read

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, access to online treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and disorders has expanded. Online addiction treatment is no exception. In fact, telemedicine is quickly becoming a standard expectation.

Now that the genie is out of the bottle, the availability of online addiction treatment could very well be a deciding factor for people choosing a detox or rehab center. 

What’s the Deal With Online Addiction Treatment?

Even before COVID-19, we were beginning to see certain types of addiction treatment being made available online. The reason for this was because these online support services were easier for patients to schedule, keep, and show up on time for while being less likely to interfere with work, family obligations, and other activities.

Because of the convenience of online treatment, many patients were more likely to continue participating in these treatments, which, by extension, made many of these patients more receptive to the benefits of these types of care.

In theory, making certain types of addiction treatment available and accessible remotely could reduce the risk of relapse.

Also, there is still a negative stigma surrounding addiction. When you seek treatment online, nobody has to know you’re seeking help or in recovery until you tell them. The three most common barriers to treatment – cost, time, and shame – are less of an issue with online treatment.

Therapist-Led Treatment

One-on-one counseling, group therapy, family therapy, and support group meetings can be held online with video conferencing software. Advances in security make it possible to maintain privacy and confidentiality with minimal risk when using HIPAA-compliant tools.

Online support group meetings make it easier for patients to attend regardless of location while staying in a comfortable, familiar environment. If someone suffering from addiction feels awkward or self-conscious when sitting in a room with a bunch of strangers, online therapy can help alleviate that anxiety.

Thanks to online addiction treatment, family members can take a more active role in a loved one’s recovery. They can work together to repair damaged relationships, even if they’re separated by long distances.

Connecting with a support system, whether online or in person, is critical to recovery.

Stethoscope on laptop keyboard

Technology-Supplemented Treatment

Many therapists will recommend online resources to a patient when appropriate to supplement their treatment and support their recovery. Online assessments, games, videos, podcasts, educational materials, online chat, mobile apps, and other tools can be used in conjunction with traditional addiction treatment to deliver better results.

Types of Addiction Treatment That Are Not Available Online

A physical evaluation is typically required prior to treatment so doctors can fully understand the extent of addiction and how much of a substance is in the patient’s body.
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For patients who need detox and especially medically-supervised detox, a stay in a medical detox center for observation over roughly a week is necessary. Obviously, physical evaluations and detox cannot be performed online.

If a person dealing with addiction is having suicidal thoughts or there is a risk of self-harm or violent behavior, online addiction treatment may not be appropriate. However, having immediate access to support and counseling in times of crisis could prove beneficial. 

It’s best to speak with your therapist to find out what addiction treatments available online make the most sense and how those treatments should be used.

DetoxLA is Your Guide to Recovery, Online & In-Person

At DetoxLA, our mission is to help prepare those suffering from addiction for lasting success in recovery. At our co-ed medical detox center in Los Angeles, we offer a number of medical detox and recovery support options for those in need.

If you or someone you love would like to learn more about medical detoxification or the types of addiction treatments that are available online, don’t wait — contact DetoxLA today.

MEET THE AUTHOR

Dane is the Director of Brand Strategy for Never Alone Recovery, where he helps brands in the mental health, addiction, and recovery industries connect with their audiences. Dane’s interests include technology, the film industry, travel, marketing, music, and coffee.

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