The National Telehealth Policy Center defines telehealth as “a broad variety of technologies and tactics to deliver virtual medical, health, and education services. Telehealth is not a specific service, but a collection of means to enhance care and education delivery.”
With the growth of internet access across the country to even the most remote areas, telehealth use in addiction treatment and recovery services has grown rapidly. According to a Rock Health survey, online adoption has increased from seven percent in 2015 to 22 percent in 2016.
In 2017, the expansion of telehealth treatment benefits will also rise dramatically. The National Business Group on Health projects that nine in 10 employers plan to make telehealth services available to employees in participating states during 2017
In addition to increased internet access, primary reasons for the growth of online treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) include the inherent convenience of using a digital platform and increased, immediate contact with clinicians.
According to a study by the Addiction Science & Clinical Practice Journal, telehealth platforms have approval rates above 75 percent, with video-based at 83 percent.
The National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc. (NASADAD) also conducted a study on the impact of online treatment. A summary of their findings concluded “telehealth is a promising tool for providing substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery support services across the continuum of care.”
Interestingly, the NASADAD study also found high satisfaction ratings among online patients, equivalent to traditional in person treatment services. In fact, telehealth has become such an effective treatment option that the federal government now issues grants to rural areas across the country to increase access to digital health platforms.
At Valley Hope, our online program provides effective digital treatment options, including skilled, empathetic counseling and group therapy. Online treatment services are available for Intensive Outpatient, Continuing Care and Family Intensive Treatment.
For patients who need or seek more flexibility and daily support, Valley Hope Telehealth offers group therapy on a specially developed interactive platform. If you can get online at least once a day, you can access support 24/7 from counselors and peers.
Through online treatment, each member of the group receives assignments to help personalize their journey through recovery and provide daily updates. A counselor monitors the Valley Hope digital “therapy room” and provides daily feedback. Valley Hope’s engaging live group sessions use videoconferencing.
This daily online interaction with other group members and staff make for an engaging, rewarding and successful digital treatment experience.
The increased accessibility and effectiveness of online treatment for addiction allows more people with SUD to enter lives of recovery. Valley Hope’s Telehealth program carries on a 50-year legacy of delivering tailored, compassionate treatment that fits the needs of each individual that enters our care.
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