Benefits of Online Substance Abuse Counseling
Substance abuse counseling is a wonderful treatment for almost any type of substance abuse or addiction syndrome. While some individuals do choose a treatment regimen of just medication or of medication and therapy together, the NIDA states, “Counseling––individual and/or group––and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of drug abuse treatment.” While most substance abuse counseling takes place in a treatment facility or doctor’s office, some patients may choose another type entirely.
Online substance abuse counseling has gained much popularity as of late, and it can actually be very beneficial under certain circumstances. While traditional, face-to-face counseling is still an option of which many patients take advantage, online counseling is extremely helpful by providing another alternative and avenue for successful addiction treatment.
Benefits of Online Substance Abuse Counseling
Below are listed the benefits of online substance abuse counseling, but it is important to remember that “no single treatment is appropriate for everyone.” If another type of counseling or treatment has or has not worked for you, there is a possibility that online substance abuse counseling could be more successful. However, if you try the treatment and find that it is not, there are many more options available as well.
24-hour Access to Treatment
In many cases, websites that provide online substance abuse counseling promise 24-hour access to their services. This means that, if you are struggling with withdrawal symptoms, cravings, or some other issue that is making you consider relapse or other unwanted actions, you have access to someone who will help talk you through your feelings at whatever time you need. Drug addiction can often cause irregular sleep patterns, insomnia, and other issues, so having this kind of 24-hour treatment access is very beneficial to those individuals who need it (especially if they are already attending treatment and need help getting through a particularly difficult time when their regular treatment is not available).
In many instances, group chat and online therapy situations allow a person the ability to receive group counseling, which can be highly successful, without the need to show their faces or give their names. This can be wonderful, especially for individuals with jobs that they fear losing if they were recognized in substance abuse counseling or another reason to prefer to be anonymous.
Online substance abuse counseling, especially in a group situation, provides the kind of anonymity that groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous also promise without the individual needing to actually be physically present at a therapy session with others. It can take some of the fear of treatment away.
Shares Benefits with Individualized Counseling
When a person decides to attend individualized counseling online, they get all the benefits of this treatment type as well. The NIDA states, “Individualized drug counseling not only focuses on reducing or stopping illicit drug or alcohol use; it also addresses”
- Employment status
- Illegal activity
- Family/social relations
- “The content and structure of the patient’s recovery plan”
Especially if a patient attends multiple sessions with the same counselor, they will be able to further discuss these other issues which can become intertwined with their substance abuse problem. This kind of counseling can be found online just as it can in a doctor’s office and can often even be much cheaper.
The accessibility of online counseling is wonderful for those who cannot leave their homes because of a disability or another issue. And, in many cases, people live too far away from helpful care centers so they are able to get the treatment they need right in their homes.
A person who is also constantly working or going to school may choose online substance abuse counseling for the flexibility it provides. They will not have to schedule work around therapy sessions, but may be able to attend treatment at night, on weekends, or whenever else it is most convenient.
Teens and Online Counseling
According to the NIDA, 35.1% of 12th graders smoked marijuana in the past year. 6.8% admitted to abusing Adderall, and 4.8% admitted to abusing Vicodin. While these trends are troubling even 11.7% and 5.3% of 8th graders admitted to abusing marijuana and inhalants respectively in the past year.
Even though teen drug abuse does seem to be lessening somewhat, there are still many teenagers, adolescents, and young adults who need substance abuse counseling, treatment, and education. Most teens now are more comfortable and familiar with the Internet than adults, and the possibility for them to receive treatment in this way is very beneficial.
Online substance abuse counseling for teens helps by
- Providing teens a place to go for help before they may be comfortable telling anyone about what they are dealing with
- Allowing teens to remain anonymous while also receiving help
- Giving teens an opportunity to receive treatment in a way that they feel comfortable with
- Providing what is very often free substance abuse counseling options to teens
Many young adults and adolescents may decide to attend substance abuse counseling online because of their comfort with the format and their assurance that it won’t cause more issues in their life. This kind of treatment could be ideal for many teenagers too afraid to seek treatment in other ways.
No Time Limit
In many cases, treatment can seem limited to the amount of time a person’s insurance allots or for some other reason. With online substance abuse counseling, an individual can continue attending treatment for as long as they need. Someone may even decide to use online substance abuse counseling as a supplemental treatment after or during their formal addiction treatment in a facility.
According to the NIDA, “Research indicates that most addicted individuals need at least 3 months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop their drug use.” Online substance abuse counseling may also keep more patients in treatment because of how easy it is to attend and use as opposed to some other treatment types.
Online substance abuse counseling can be incredibly helpful to certain individuals. If these benefits appeal to you, search for an online substance abuse counselor or counseling service that best fits your needs for the most helpful experience possible.