At Confidential Recovery, our San Diego based addiction treatment program, we faced a challenge during the pandemic – how do we treat our patients when we can’t meet with them in person? Fortunately, technology bridged the gap as we were able to stay connected via telehealth meetings (which function like a ZOOM video conference).
This ‘silver lining’ of the pandemic has actually turned into a very helpful medium for us to keep recovering individuals involved in our treatment program.
Is Telehealth Effective for the Treatment of Addiction?
The core process of substance use disorder (SUD) counseling is a verbal exchange between the counselor and the patient. There have been studies conducted about the efficacy of telehealth treatment (like this one conducted by the American Psychological Association), and the results have been surprisingly positive. In fact, telehealth has been shown to be just as effective as ‘in-person’ care, and possibly even better, due to retention rates being higher.
Utilizing a Hybrid Telehealth/’In Person’ Model
While we have been pleasantly surprised by the results of these studies and also the participation of the clients in our telehealth program, we still prefer to have the patient ‘in the room’ whenever we can. “Even though the studies have shown that telehealth is as effective as ‘in person’ counseling, we strongly encourage our clients to attend our counseling and support group meetings on-site, at least part of the time, ”says Jay Wylie, Operations Manager at Confidential Recovery.
Our treatment program services many Veterans, a population that struggles with addiction at a higher rate than civilians. Veterans in our program have found that the camaraderie of meeting ‘in person’ is very
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