Online Substance Abuse Treatment
Various online methods now exist to help those who suffer from substance abuse to receive the support and counseling that they need for recovery even if they cannot attend a face-to-face session in person. With the advent of the internet, great gains in technology and improvements in connection speeds, many find that it’s just as easy and equally as effective to get help online as it is to attend a counseling session in person. Online substance abuse treatment, though not prominent in ever treatment facility, is becoming increasingly popular for its ease of use, convenience and privacy.
Who Benefits from Online Treatment?
Online treatments provide patients the opportunity to receive quality care from trained counselors without even leaving their home or office. This type of substance abuse treatment is ideal for workers and business people who otherwise may not have the time to attend an in-person meeting but who are interested in, and committed to, getting sober. Such programs bring treatment to individuals on the go too. Online treatment is perfect for someone who travels away from home for work and would otherwise be unable to attend treatment any other way.
When access to a traditional program of care is unavailable or inconvenient, online substance abuse treatment can provide effective access to qualified help which can aid in recovery. This type of treatment may also be helpful for an individual who is wheelchair bound or homebound due to a handicap. Similarly, those who do not have adequate transportation to and from treatment can also find great benefits in online counseling and support.
Why Online Treatment?
Why should you choose online treatment? There is no definitive answer to this question, but there are some potential benefits that can be distinctly outlined making online substance abuse treatment an ideal choice:
- No need to leave the home or office which means you save valuable time.
- There are no roadblocks or transportation barriers so there are no excuses not to attend an online session.
- Groups and meetings often take place at your convenience, afterhours or during a time that is more accessible to your needs.
- You can enjoy absolute privacy and nobody will know that you are seeking help for a substance use disorder.
- Support is available at all hours—not only during regular business hours.
- Counseling takes place when you are in your realm, at your home or office; two places where stress can be powerful and where you may need the most help.
- Sessions are often lower cost than traditional counseling methods.
Types of Online Substance Abuse Treatment
Various methods of treatment exist to make your online experience both comforting and effective. Many programs base the entire foundation of their recovery model on support while others provide individual, one-on-one counseling through live chats and other means. Much like traditional treatment for substance abuse, online programs offer the following services:
- Individual counseling
- Group counseling
- Peer support
- Educational tools
Where Online Programs Lack Service
Unfortunately, you can’t get everything you need from an online program of treatment. These programs are unable to provide drug or alcohol screenings which often play a pivotal role in the accountability that comes with remaining abstinent and sober. Some online programs will require patients to attend regular appointments still in a brick-and-mortar type facility such as a rehab center where drug or alcohols screening and personal assessment can take place. Those that do require such action are generally more effective for patients but also create an inconvenience when compared to a completely online program. Timely attendance is not always an option for some patients and this can add challenges to the program that otherwise would not have been foreseen.
Barriers to Receive Help
Unfortunately, some people cannot feasibly receive online substance abuse treatment. In rural areas where there is no internet connection or for the some 60 million adult Americans who do not use the internet, this type of treatment is likely not going to be helpful. In fact, online treatment is inaccessible in many areas of the world due to constraints in internet availability or to a lack of strong or suitable internet connection in certain areas. Lack of computer knowledge, inability to focus or perform tasks without supervision, or a lack of commitment could also make receiving appropriate help online a difficult task.
According to SAMHSA, if you a suffering from a substance use disorder, the appropriate method of treatment will generally include a variation of in person meetings, counseling sessions and support. As such, even if you choose online substance abuse treatment, it is recommended that you also seek help in an in-person setting to ensure your continued accountability and sobriety. Combined, the online support that you receive as well as the in-person treatment can provide an effective means at helping you to achieve your sobriety goals and to remain sober.