Teletherapy and Online Substance Abuse Treatment: What You Need to Know

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Teletherapy combines the use of technology with therapy to deliver treatment through video conferencing and web-based tools. In today’s world, it’s increasingly important to provide accessible, safe, and effective treatment options to patients.

For this reason, teletherapy is becoming a more common option for patients seeking addiction treatment. It allows a person to receive effective treatment often without requiring them to leave the comfort of their home. It can be easy to think of teletherapy as only being useful for mental health treatment; however, teletherapy is also just as effective for substance abuse counseling and treatment.

If you or someone you love is searching for help overcoming a substance use disorder, you may have considered online options. We’ll answer some common questions about seeking online addiction treatment to help you better understand what it is, and if it’s right for you.

Is Teletherapy Effective for Substance Abuse Treatment?

You may be concerned about teletherapy’s effectiveness in treating substance use disorders. Most people are familiar with traditional treatment options provided in clinics and other healthcare facilities.

Traditionally, a patient travels to a physical location to participate in one-on-one counseling and group sessions. However, teletherapy offers the same level of interpersonal therapy and communication as traditional methods. The only difference is that patients and therapists work together remotely.

Several studies have shown teletherapy actually resulted in improved treatment outcomes when compared to in-person treatment. A recent study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that patients who received teletherapy treatment for opioid, alcohol, and nicotine use disorders reported high levels of satisfaction. The study also found upon follow-up that teletherapy treatment was effective for these patients.

While the practice of online therapy is still relatively new, researchers and therapists believe it can have many benefits over traditional therapy for some patients.

High Focus Centers now offers teletherapy treatment!

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What Are The Benefits of Online Substance Abuse Treatment?

Teletherapy has a number of benefits for patients seeking help to overcome substance abuse. These benefits range from increased accessibility to higher levels of patient comfort. We’ll highlight some of the most often cited benefits of online treatment for substance use disorders:

1. Increased Accessibility for Patients

Access to addiction treatment can be a challenge for some patients. This can be due to a number of reasons. For some patients, they live in an underserved rural location, which can make finding a treatment provider difficult. For others, physical disabilities make travel difficult. And, as we’ve seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, major events can disrupt face-to-face services.

In any of these cases, online therapy makes substance abuse treatment easily available for patients ensuring that they receive the help that they need. Addressing the needs of patients is one of the main driving factors behind the growth of teletherapy.

2. More Flexibility for Patients and Therapists

Scheduling flexibility is another advantage of online treatment. Even when treatment is accessible, it can be a challenge to fit a recovery program into a work schedule or around other commitments. Because online substance abuse treatment is remote, both patients and therapists are afforded increased flexibility.

By transitioning into a teletherapy format, travel times are reduced, patients can more easily stay connected with their therapists, and patients can receive treatment that is less disruptive to their life.

3. Enhanced Privacy for Patients

Privacy can be a concern for many patients. Unfortunately, social stigmas still surround addiction and substance abuse treatment.

As a result, some patients simply don’t feel comfortable seeking help. They worry about what friends or family might think if they found out. Teletherapy treatment can help address this concern by greatly enhancing a patient’s privacy.

Many traditional recovery programs can require patients to leave work or home and travel to a treatment center for extended periods. Patients with access to treatment from home can more effectively control who knows about their treatment. By giving a patient more control over their privacy, teletherapy can make seeking help for addiction feel safer and more effective.

Is Online Addiction Treatment Safe?

Because teletherapy is conducted online through the use of technology, patients are often concerned about the security of their personal information. It’s a valid concern, and one that is at the forefront for many online treatment providers.

All of your online interactions with your therapists and healthcare providers are encrypted. What this means is the data is scrambled so that any outside party that tries to access it without permission will be unable to do so. This is done in order to protect your privacy.

Whether it’s video, voice, or text/email communications, teletherapy platforms have built-in security features to prevent anyone besides you and your doctors or therapists from accessing your personal information. Always make sure that your treatment program uses a HIPAA-compliant platform for sharing your private information.

Is Teletherapy Right For Me?

A lot of patients wonder if teletherapy is right for them. This is a challenging question to answer. Online substance abuse treatment has a number of benefits – many of which we’ve highlighted. But the fact remains that everybody is different and their treatment needs are unique.

If you’re considering seeking help through an online addiction recovery program, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I comfortable using technology like computers, smart phones, or other devices to access televideo platforms?
  • Do I have access to a private environment, at home or elsewhere, where I’ll feel comfortable?
  • Will I feel comfortable communicating with my therapist and other healthcare professionals over the phone or computer?
  • How important is face-to-face communication to how I’m able to express myself?

Like any type of treatment, a patient can only get out of teletherapy what they put into it. So, if you feel that communicating remotely, through technology, will make it difficult for you to put forth a full effort, then traditional therapy may be an option better suited to your needs. However, if you need the added flexibility or accessibility, and you feel comfortable communicating through technology, then teletherapy can be a safe, effective solution to help you begin your recovery.

Online Substance Abuse Treatment with High Focus Centers

At High Focus Centers, we understand the challenges of addiction. Our team is here to help you throughout the recovery process. We work with every patient to develop a custom treatment plan that meets your needs.

To adapt to our current world and provide treatment access to as many people as possible, we offer online teletherapy programs for substance abuse treatment, allowing you to receive counseling and therapy from the comfort of your own home.

If you’re ready to begin your recovery, the High Focus Centers team is here to help. Learn more about both in-person and online treatment programs.

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