Unique Benefits of Virtual Therapy for Addiction
Treatment for substance use disorders doesn’t have to mean intensive inpatient therapy far away from home. With advances in technology and more accessibility, people seeking addiction treatment can receive quality care from the comfort of their own home with telehealth offerings for mental health, trauma, and addiction.
At-home individual and group therapy are now available either as a standalone treatment or as part of a continuum of care following a residential program. Virtual therapy for addiction is continually evolving to meet the needs of clients as they move to prioritize treatment and wellness in our increasingly digital world.
Is Telehealth an Effective Treatment Option?
Perhaps the most important question regarding virtual therapy is whether it effectively treats substance use disorders. Thankfully, the answer is a resounding yes.
A recent study from Yale¹ shows that virtual therapy for addiction was more effective than traditional outpatient treatment programs, with 67% of the participants in the virtual therapy program achieving remission from substance use disorder. In comparison, only 43% of people who attended in-person outpatient treatment achieved remission.
The study attributes the ease of access as the primary driver of virtual therapy’s effectiveness. Those receiving virtual therapy were more likely to attend and continue treatment, with only one quarter dropping out over the study’s duration; about half of the individuals attending outpatient services discontinued treatment before the end of the study.
Treatment from Home
One of the greatest benefits of virtual therapy for addiction is being able to meet with professional therapists and peers in recovery from the comfort of your own home.
For some people, virtual treatment can be an excellent opportunity to get support without having to take a leave of absence from work, leave your friends and family, or distance yourself from social events and gatherings in your city. Virtual therapy offers the distinct advantage of conforming to your schedule and fitting where you need it most.
A comfortable treatment setting goes a long way towards your recovery and healing. When you meet with a therapist or group in person, you’re often thrust into an entirely new situation, which can put you on guard and keep you from opening up.
Meeting with others from the security of your home can help you avoid these barriers since you’re able to start from a place where you’re most comfortable.
Staying Safe During COVID
Many people are rightly concerned about traveling and visiting an inpatient facility during a global pandemic.
Public health authorities have touted the protective benefits of social distancing, which is not always possible in a residential treatment program. That being said, this doesn’t need to be a barrier to seeking help.
At All Points North Lodge, we work to keep our clients and staff safe with a mandatory quarantine period. During that time, you are able to stay in our assessment wing and receive virtual therapy through a tablet so you can get a head start on making progress.
Virtual therapy provides the safest means of meeting with others to get addiction care without putting you or your family members at risk of contracting COVID.
Support When You Need It Most
Residential treatment is an excellent choice to get away from the triggers and stressors of everyday life, but that doesn’t mean that these stressors stop after getting home. With virtual therapy for addictions, you can work with a therapist to deal with crises as they happen.
Mounting stressors and triggers can lead to relapse. Working with a virtual therapist can address the root causes of these stressors, offering relief and security before relapse occurs. This is why we offer virtual outpatient therapy as part of our continuum of care.
A Recovery Community Wherever You Go
Virtual therapy for addictions is more than individual counseling – you can participate in peer support groups, engage with recovery communities, or utilize a variety of apps and resources to help you through difficult times.
Twelve-step groups like AA or NA offer thousands of virtual meetings. SMART Recovery and LifeRing offer secular self-support groups online as well. The wide range of options available, no matter your geographic location, is one of the most vital benefits of virtual therapy.
We have developed our own app to keep telehealth clients, APN alumni, and friends and family connected. The APN Connection app allows clients to attend virtual therapy sessions from anywhere with a wifi or data internet connection, whether it’s the office, the car, the beach, or the couch. Clients can get notified when an appointment is coming up, create an event, join communities with other clients and alumni based on interests, check in on treatment plan progress, message their treatment team, and get peer-to-peer support in chat.
Family support groups also run through the APN Connection app, with optional push notifications before the group begins.
Continuity of Care
Too often, when people seek addiction treatment, they are made to believe that the work is done after they’ve completed their stay. But those who seek continuing care following a residential stay are much less likely to relapse and are in a better position to get back on track if they have a slip.
Rather than seeking outpatient treatment at a new facility, virtual therapy is an excellent way to have a continuity of care from your same treatment team and peers.
At All Points North, clients seeking virtual therapy for addiction as a first-line treatment can stick with the same therapist and group for the full duration of treatment. There’s no need to enter multiple treatment facilities, work to establish trust with several counselors, or adjust to different cultures and people.
A Variety of Treatment Options
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating addiction. Virtual therapy opens you to a variety of treatment modalities to help you through your recovery process, including:
- Individual virtual therapy
- Family counseling
- DBT and process groups
- Intensive outpatient services
Getting treatment virtually or through an app also helps you track your schedule and send messages to your providers at any time.
Treatment on Your Time
Making your own schedule is one of the many benefits of virtual therapy. Whether you prefer to attend first thing in the morning or after your day is through, virtual therapy programs can mold themselves to a schedule that works for you.
With virtual therapy options, addiction treatment becomes a part of your established routine.
Why We Offer Virtual Therapy
The many benefits of virtual therapy make it an excellent first-choice treatment for substance use disorders or as continuing care for those who’ve already attended inpatient treatment.
Virtual therapy makes receiving treatment for addictions easy, accessible, and comfortable. It conforms to your schedule and offers a variety of different treatment modalities to fit your particular needs.
If you’re concerned about attending a treatment center far from home, or can’t make the commitment to a residential program because of personal responsibilities, you can still get the professional support you deserve. Virtual therapy is an effective means of treating addiction from the comfort of your own home.
If you’d like to learn more about the virtual therapy options provided at All Points North, you can download our telehealth brochure or use our LiveChat function to talk with an addiction treatment expert today. We’re here to help guide you toward your next step in recovery.
- Hathaway, Bill. “Online Program Outperforms Standard Addiction Treatment.” YaleNews, Yale, 29 May 2018, https://news.yale.edu/2018/05/29/online-program-outperforms-standard-addiction-treatment.
- Virtual Recovery Resources: Finding Online Support
- How to Find a Treatment Center
- 50 Quotes for Treatment and Recovery
- Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19
- Understanding Addiction: Dual Diagnosis
- Trauma-Informed Care: What It Is and Why It Matters
- 5 Must-Watch TED Talks for People in Recovery
- How to Support Recovery Using Food as Medicine
- APN Speaker Series
- APN Connection App