Is Teletherapy Effective for Opioid Addiction?

teletherapy for opioid addiction

If you’re seeking qualified opioid addiction help for yourself or a loved one, you may be researching various options to discover the right fit. Traditional treatment involves face-to-face individual and group therapy to address the underlying causes of substance misuse, as well as any co-occurring mental health disorders. However, many people have also discovered the benefits of online treatment, or teletherapy, for treating their addiction.

What Is Teletherapy?

Teletherapy is a branch of counseling that gives clients access to professional help using HIPAA-compliant technologies such as videoconferencing and text messaging. It’s a valuable tool for anyone who is unable or unwilling to travel to in-person appointments, such as people who live in remote areas.

Though telemedicine may seem like a relatively recent innovation, the concept dates back to the early 1970s. However, modern technology has made teletherapy more accessible and affordable than ever. Benefits of teletherapy include the following.

  • Flexibility: Teletherapy allows clients and licensed therapists to meet whenever it is most convenient, instead of adhering to traditional office hours. People with unconventional work hours can still fit much-needed counseling into their busy schedules. Sessions can take place either in real time or asynchronously.
  • Approachability: Many people are hesitant to seek counseling because they find the idea intimidating. They may worry about running into someone they know, or they feel anxious about the stigma associated with face-to-face therapy. Teletherapy removes many of these concerns, because the sessions take place on your terms in the comfort of your home. You can get the help you need while remaining in familiar surroundings.
  • Convenience: When access to therapy is as simple as logging into an app on your phone or laptop, there are no risks of getting stuck in traffic, dealing with inclement weather or having to stop for gas on the way to your appointment. Taking away these barriers makes it easier for clients and therapists to meet.
  • Safety: Unlike in-person meetings, teletherapy is safer for both counselors and their clients because there is no danger of contagion. You can participate in counseling while observing social distancing and staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses.

Can Teletherapy Work for You?

Most people considering telehealth want to know if it can be successful for them, especially when compared to more familiar traditional treatment options. The good news is that teletherapy for opioid addiction can be just as effective as participating in in-person individual and group counseling. Under the care of a licensed therapist, you will be able to achieve the same level of personalized support and connection via teletherapy as you would in face-to-face meetings. The only difference is that you are meeting entirely online.

A growing body of research has shown teletherapy can result in better treatment outcomes than in-person treatment. For example, one study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that clients who received teletherapy treatment for substance abuse disorders reported high levels of satisfaction. Upon follow-up, researchers also learned that teletherapy treatment was helpful for these people over the long term.

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need for those suffering with substance abuse to get the help that can save their lives. It has also exposed the inadequacies of our nationwide response to the opioid epidemic, which has claimed the lives of a tragic number of people. Don’t become part of these statistics. Get the help you need at New Found Life. We remain open and committed to your safety during COVID-19. Contact us today to ask about our teletherapy addiction treatment options.