Substance abuse disorder treatment, in contrast to other sectors in healthcare, lacks a strong technological component even in 2022. Telehealth technology has yet to be widely adopted in addiction treatment programs. However, research indicates that telehealth has the potential to alter and improve the way we treat substance misuse patients, as well as to assist reduce the number of people affected by the opioid crisis in the United States. Let’s discuss how Telemedicine can help in addiction treatment.
Amid a deadly, widespread pandemic, healthcare providers have faced the challenge of continuing to give quality treatment to their patients. Going to the doctor’s office, a therapy session, or even picking up a prescription at the drugstore can all expose people to COVID-19.
As a result, almost everything linked to maintaining excellent physical and mental health, including in-person appointments and meetings related to addiction treatment, has been altered to operate around COVID-19.
- 1 What is Telemedicine?
- 2 Benefits of Telemedicine
- 3 Telemedicine Can Help in Addiction Treatment
- 4 Telemedicine & Addiction Recovery
- 5 Telemedicine: The Future of the Healthcare Industry
- 6 In a Nutshell
What is Telemedicine?
For quite some time now, the approach has evolved dramatically, and it is now an important essential component of the American healthcare system. Addiction treatment facilities are all now shifting their attention to how to improve healthcare access through Telemedicine. Addiction treatment centers are now turning their heads and focusing on how to improve healthcare access using Telemedicine.
Initially, telemedicine was largely utilized to connect clinicians working with a patient in one area with specialists in another. Telemedicine was especially proven useful for remote and those hard-to-reach populations where doctors were very few. The equipment required to conduct remote visits was expensive and difficult over the next several decades, so the adoption of Telemedicine while increasing availability, remained limited.
The development of the internet age brought about significant changes in the practice of telemedicine, in a good way too. The growth of smart gadgets capable of high-quality video transmission enabled the delivery of remote healthcare to patients in their homes, workplaces, or assisted living facilities as an alternative to in-person visits for both primary and specialist care.
Benefits of Telemedicine
Telemedicine has made addiction treatment and overall treatment much easier, here are some benefits of Telemedicine:
Patients who use telemedicine spend less time in the hospital, which saves money. Additionally, less travel time may imply fewer extra expenses such as childcare and gas.
Increased access to care
Telemedicine facilitates access to care for disabled persons. It may also increase access for other populations, such as the elderly, the geographically isolated, and the detained.
Easier to get preventive care
Telemedicine may make it easier for people to get preventive care, which improves their long-term health. This is especially true for those who face financial or geographic challenges in receiving adequate care.
Telemedicine allows people to get care in the solace of their own homes. This may imply that an individual does not need to take time off from work or arrange childcare. This is the best part of telemedicine as it eliminates the need to travel and wait on the roads or be stuck in traffic.
Additional revenue source
Telemedicine has also made things easier for doctors. Doctors may discover that telemedicine supplements their income by allowing them to care for more patients.
Less risk of illness and infection
There is always a risk of getting infected from the hospital. But with Telemedicine, there is no need to be physically present in the doctor’s room. Simply connect using any video enabled device and get treatment. When doctors see patients remotely, they are not exposed to any germs the patient may carry.
A patient may be happier with their physician if they do not have to go to the office or wait for care.
Telemedicine Can Help in Addiction Treatment
Despite Telemedicine enormous potential and usefulness in dealing with addiction issues, telemedicine was extensively neglected in substance misuse and recovery clinics. Substance abuse patients who use telemedicine services feel more in charge of their lives. This feeling is beneficial to their recovery because most people who suffer from such disorders tend to feel as if they no longer have any control.
Patients are more likely to open up when questioned and asked about what they find valuable when they are in a familiar and comfortable place, such as their own home.
Patients can keep their doctors up to date on their daily progress with telehealth services by simply logging into the app or platform where the recommended method is. This is simple and efficient, and patients are more likely to receive rapid assistance when they require it.
Alcoholism is a result of underlying medical or mental health issues in certain patients. Telemedicine makes it relatively simple to receive treatment for a variety of serious illnesses. Mental health specialists can target mental health concerns, and a physician can seek any physical issues that may have increased the addiction.
Substance abuse patients can establish good behavioral patterns and begin their journey to sobriety by regularly using telemedicine in recovery and addiction treatment programs. Overall, improved habits, frequent connections with healthcare specialists, and consistent encouragement will aid persons in recovery from addiction.
Those who were already receiving addiction treatment before the emergence of COVID-19 have been compelled to alter their treatment plan in terms of human-to-human contact. Furthermore, individuals who were on the verge of receiving assistance or who are currently in need of it are embarking on a very personal and difficult path at a time when everyone is learning how to adapt to the new environment around us.
Telemedicine & Addiction Recovery
Waiting for a long time at the doctor’s office is still one of the most common issues that patients experience today. Some people will travel miles of distances to see specialized doctors and service providers. As a result, delays in seeking critical care and treatment frequently result in serious physical and mental health repercussions, particularly for people suffering from chronic diseases such as addiction and mental illness.
Finding strategies to stay healthy during the epidemic is one of the most pressing concerns for all Americans today. Telehealth addiction treatment alleviates this problem by allowing patients to participate in therapy sessions, process groups, or even AA or NA meetings online or over the phone.
As a result, people can not only get the help they require, but they can also do it in a way that does not expose them to the risk of catching the coronavirus.
With Telemedicine, there is no need to wait for the doctor or travel far away. Simply connect with doctors using video-enabled devices. Telemedicine during addiction recovery is highly important and useful. The following Telemedicine addiction treatment programs may be available for you:
Outpatient Addiction Treatment Program
With the outpatient addiction treatment program, patients can access treatment just by sitting in their lounge. Outpatient is the form of treatment where patients are not required to visit the facility more than a few times. Outpatient treatment programs are less restricted than inpatient treatment.
Outpatient rehabilitation programs often involve 10 to 12 hours per week of attendance at a local treatment facility. These sessions concentrate on drug addiction education, individual and group counseling, and educating addicts on how to live without their habit.
Outpatient drug rehab can be used as a stand-alone treatment option for someone with a mild addiction or as part of a long-term treatment center. Outpatient drug rehab can take three to six months, equivalent to inpatient therapy, or up to a year.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Program
On-demand telehealth services can assist persons battling with drug and alcohol dependency and addiction because time is of the essence. They can recover and stay sober without having to wait and risk further consequences like relapse and overdose.
Doctors and patients can now connect with each and talk face to face from the comfort of their homes. Counseling is an important part of the addiction recovery process and should not be overlooked.
Telemedicine: The Future of the Healthcare Industry
Just before the COVID-19 pandemic, only about 27 percent of professional addiction clinics had telehealth capabilities, and only about 0.1 percent of addiction treatment appointments employed telehealth. Addiction treatment programs faced numerous constraints when it came to telehealth utilization.
During the times when the covid number was high, state and federal agencies temporarily relaxed many of the prohibitions to ensure healthcare access, and the use of telehealth surged dramatically.
Officials are now debating which of these modifications to maintain. Nothing can stop you from getting what you need to get high or intoxicated if you are an addict or alcoholic. This year may have been the closest to the end of the world in the country’s history, but if you need help, you need help! Do not delay getting treatment simply use Telemedicine services and get the addiction treatment you deserve.
In a Nutshell
Most people are aware that telemedicine can be used to manage chronic disorders such as diabetes, physical ailments such as injuries, and mental health issues like melancholy or anxiety.
Telemedicine, on the other hand, can be utilized to identify and treat substance use disorders. In reality, telehealth and addiction treatment complement each other nicely. Telehealth services can be employed at various stages of addiction and substance use treatment.