How Is Telemedicine Changing Addiction Treatment?
Millions of people enter addiction treatment each year. With the rise of telemedicine, addiction treatment is changing drastically as more and more individuals can seek help.
Typically, those suffering from addiction first enter a detoxification program, then moves into an inpatient facility for at least a month. Once discharged successfully from inpatient programs, recovery treatment can continue with sober living housing, intensive outpatient counseling, and support groups. If medication has been prescribed to assist recovery, maintaining appointments with a psychiatrist is necessary.
All these steps were typically done in-person and face-to-face with treatment professionals. For many, traditional treatment options can feel overwhelming and create anxiety over issues like withdrawal symptoms, sharing their stories, leaving their families, and even losing their jobs.
Barriers like these are dropping, however.
Change Can Be A Good Thing
When COVID hit the nation, traditional addiction treatment needed to adapt to how services are provided. While online treatment services, like support groups, have been available for a while, full online outpatient services were not.
COVID prompted immediate changes, with telemedicine emerging as a favorable option in the treatment of addiction.
What is Telemedicine?
How cool would it be to schedule an appointment with an addiction specialist, sit down on your sofa, and answer your smartphone’s video call? We agree, very cool!
Telemedicine makes this possible. Telemedicine consists of receiving medical treatment via technology, including phone calls, video conferencing, virtual support groups and therapy sessions, and online medical checkups for prescription purposes.
There is a wide range of tele-treatment models and the goal of providers, like the ones at The Lakehouse, is to individualize your treatment based on your needs only.
The Lakehouse uses specialized technology created for addiction treatment facilities. It is HIPAA compliant to keep your information confidential. It has impressive broadband strength, so your virtual sessions are not interrupted. Additionally, our program gives you access to your files and your treatment plan 24/7.
Your treatment plan will be carried out via the devices on which you are most comfortable to enjoy the benefits of the program.
Benefits of Telemedicine for Addiction Treatment
Patients are ready for telemedicine. You can do almost anything online these days, so it makes sense for patients to be treated for addiction online.
Reports state that when COVID hit, the number of people ready for virtual appointments was high. The number of those accessing virtual appointments rose quickly. Even better, people that generally skipped treatment because they didn’t want to attend in-person were now accessing addiction treatment online.
Telemedicine gives access to those who have disabilities that make it difficult to attend appointments. You no longer must worry about acquiring transportation to a meeting or the fees and time associated with trips to an office. You don’t have to worry about childcare or missing work to attend an appointment.
Also, you don’t have to worry about someone seeing you enter the treatment facility. Your privacy is always a top priority, even online. Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting sick, whether from COVID or any other contagious illness.
You will feel more comfortable talking to your therapist online from the most comfortable spot in your home.
You may even see lower costs of services provided since the agency does not have to pay rent or overhead expenses required to maintain a building staffed with experts.
Telemedicine Addiction Treatment Services at The Lakehouse
If you choose The Lakehouse Online Addiction Treatment services, you will notice right away that you are our priority, including your safety and confidentiality. You will work with people just like you. Meaning they are in recovery. They know what it’s like to suffer from addiction. They know what it’s like to detox and work the program to maintain long-term recovery success.
You can receive tele-treatment in programs like the virtual intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, and help for any mental health disorders you may be dealing with at the same time as your addiction. These are often called co-occurring disorders and commonly include anxiety and depression. We also help you improve areas like life skills, communication, and anger management.
All you need is a device, even just a smartphone, on which you can connect to our staff. Once you reach out to us online, we can meet you wherever you are in your addiction – whether you are just beginning or trying to maintain sobriety. We will walk by your side throughout your journey.
Can Telehealth Outlast COVID-19 Pandemic?
According to experts, telemedicine will not only outlast the COVID-19 pandemic, but it will also continue to grow. In a recent study of healthcare organization conference attendees, some surprising statistics were discovered. For example, 68% of healthcare representatives stated they plan to grow their telehealth services for patients. When asked if telehealth services had grown since the pandemic started, 91% claimed it had in their companies.
Zero percent of the attendees thought telehealth services would decrease in the future. Instead, 4% thought it would stay the same, and 96% thought it would grow. Because insurance companies are adapting and paying for telehealth services and seeing lower costs for some services, they may likely encourage telemedicine for addiction treatment.
Some reports go as far as to claim COVID-19 has streamlined addiction medicine.
More changes will need to take place soon. Laws and regulations will adapt over time to benefit both treatment providers and patients. Treatment plans will need to be adjusted for everyone that includes both virtual and in-person options. Training for psychiatrists, therapists, and all facility staff must consist of telemedicine topics.
At The Lakehouse, we are excited to see where telemedicine leads us in treating addiction. We strive to think outside the box and allow creativity in how we deliver services to those in need of help. Our goal is to keep you as our priority, and if that means adapting our methods, we are happy to do so.