Does Online Drug
Rehabilitation Really Work?
The concept of online drug rehabilitation may initially seem counterintuitive. After all, the rehab process is one that fosters community, closeness, personal connection and support. It is important to realize, however, that there are more ways to reap the benefits of comprehensive drug rehab than having to alter your life to enter an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. While the substance abuse treatment landscape is still continuing to integrate online treatment into its fabric, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest its overwhelmingly positive impact. The reality is that online drug rehabilitation can be a game-changing resource in helping you or your loved one overcome alcohol or substance use disorder.
- Telemedicine visits for substance abuse disorder, or tele-SUD, increased over 20 fold between 2010 and 2017 in a commercially insured population, according to a recent Health Affairs study.
- Fewer than one in five people with SUD receive treatment, often due to a shortage of providers in their area. Online drug rehabilitation is stepping in more and more to fulfill that need.
- Most tele-SUD users were male (61.2 percent), under 40 years of age (54.8 percent) and more likely to have an opioid abuse disorder than any other SUD.
- A 2018 Study from Yale indicates that participants in web-based alcohol and drug rehab programs were less likely to drop out while showing higher success rates (with 67 percent no longer meeting diagnostic criteria for substance abuse, compared to 43-52 percent for individual and group counseling).
- Another study published in JAMA reported similar findings, as well as that online addiction treatment programs significantly reduced alcohol and substance use, and that web-based participants were also more likely to remain engaged in face-to-face therapies when online treatment was used as a supplement.
These findings indicate a clear and consistent trend toward online drug and alcohol rehabilitation both as a primary means of intervention as a gateway to more traditional face-to-face programs, such as inpatient, outpatient, long-term partial hospitalization (PHP) and more.
- Digital Screenings and Assessments
- Comprehensive Patient Web Portals that Let Patients Connect with Clinicians and Internal Staff
- Mobile Apps for Post-Treatment Recovery
- Video-Based Therapy
- Mobile Apps for Treatment
Data from the University of Wisconsin indicates that the most widespread use of digital services for drug rehabilitation includes the implementation of computerized screenings and assessment tools. Online drug rehab also offers a prime opportunity for family involvement, offers greater flexibility of care, is comparatively much more affordable than traditional outpatient treatment programs and can be an all-around better option for patients who are less comfortable sharing and opening up to a therapist in a traditional treatment environment. In addition, online physician based addiction treatment facilities are covered by Medicare and Medicaid to make treatment access easier for those who need it, and have been traditionally underserved.