Recovery coaches and therapists are finding that virtual and in-person addiction treatments are equally effective. How does in home addiction treatment work? We’re taking a closer look at how telehealth has transformed how people receive help for substance misuse issues.
Researchers and addiction specialists are testing new approaches to fighting the drug epidemic swiftly sweeping the nation, crippling rural and urban communities alike. Treatment experts are evaluating various rehabilitation options currently available to individuals struggling through substance use disorder (SUD). However, a basic understanding of addiction confirms that due to the complexities of this relapsing disease, a one-size-fits-all approach is generally counterproductive. Instead, the real answer to substance abuse treatment is accepting that the outlook is different for everyone. However, technology has proven useful in reaching more Americans who need alcohol and drug treatment and mental health support.
Realities of Struggling with Drug Addiction
Communities across the nation have been affected by substance addiction. More Americans die from drug overdose each year than from gun homicides and car crashes combined. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2018, more than 67,000 people died from drug overdoses, with opioids driving the largest growth trend.
Prescription opioids (oxycodone and fentanyl) and illicit substances (heroin and opium) caused more than 69% of all overdose deaths in 2018. This is an increase of nearly 10% since 2015.
Communities Impacted by Substance Abuse
Some populations have been hit harder than others. For example, older, working-age adults and non-Hispanic whites have experienced faster-than-average increases in drug overdose death rates since the 2000s, growing by factors of 3.5 or more. Economist at Princeton University, Alan B. Kruger, posted new research on economic activity discovering that opioid prescriptions accounted for nearly 20% of the decline in men’s labor force participation since 1999.
Virtually, no community in the United States remains untouched by the alcohol and drug epidemic.
In the media, drug addiction is depicted through personal accounts or a . Even with the thousands of stories reported daily, the only real conclusion that can be made is drug addiction does not discriminate, or at least not entirely.
Whether in sparsely populated rural areas, the urban core, or suburbia, communities across the country are grappling with similar challenges around access to treatment, effective interventions, and sufficient capacity and resources. While substance abuse statistics are astronomical in every state, areas that are poverty stricken and with limited human services resources, the impacts of substance abuse seem much more detrimental.
Telehealth addiction programs are transforming these trends by providing adequate access to tens of thousands of individuals who may have otherwise declined assistance with ongoing substance abuse. But how does in home addiction treatment work?
Access to Addiction Treatment
In particular, the availability and accessibility of governmental, nonprofit, and for-profit entities providing treatment services vary widely from community to community. Through careful observation and study, many specialists within the field of addiction have offered mounting evidence suggesting that drug addiction treatment is most effective when provided through intensive and highly professionalized services. Additionally, research indicates that substance abuse programs must also identify and treat mental health, physical health, and age-related conditions that often accompany addiction, known as co-occurring disorders.
However, the extent of these types of supportive services are limited in many communities. Telehealth is an essential new tool for substance use disorder treatment. Due to the worldwide pandemic, restrictions prompted a pivot from onsite Intensive Outpatient (IOP) treatment to 100% virtual IOP.
How Does In Home Addiction Treatment Work?
Early data gathered from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Butler Center for Research indicates that virtual IOP services and programs appear to be just as effective onsite IOP across differences in gender, race, employment, and education. In a preliminary one- and three-month study, scientists observed little to no difference in response to treatment when it comes to:
- Reported cravings
- Depression symptoms
- Anxiety symptoms
- Confidence in Staying sober
- Mutual-aid support group attendance
- Psychological well being
- Quality of life (mental or physical health)
Moreover, virtual or in-home addiction treatment programs and IOPs discharged “against medical advice” at a significantly lower rate than onsite IOP patients. This is generally considered a good indicator of positive long-term outcomes.
In Home Addiction Treatment Works
Every IOP works differently and combines different treatment modalities. For the most effective treatment plan, service providers should do a thorough screening and mental health evaluation before enrolling clients into any treatment program. From there, a tailored approach should be the roadmap that determines success for long-term care and sobriety.
At its core, virtual addiction treatment doesn’t differ all that much from standard IOP programs. By integrating telehealth strategies with existing evidence-based treatment modalities of in-person care, the outcomes appear favorable. For most in-home addiction treatment options, trained counselors arrange individual and group sessions for clients using secure, HIPPA compliant video chat.
In home addiction treatment also entails:
- Recovery coaching
- Defining goals
- Connecting you with local recovery resources
- Holistic treatment approaches such as meditations
- Skills training
- Defining addiction triggers and urges
- Emotional wellness assistance
In answering how does in home addiction treatment work, certified therapists are slowly uncovering how to migrate the same proven treatment methods to be accessed remotely. This usually entails assessing treatment needs for each individual and family and focusing efforts on those particular factors.
Benefits of In Home Addiction Treatment
Earlier this year, NPR published an article about the effectiveness and realities of being treated for substance abuse onsite or in the privacy and comfort of a client’s home. The column chronicled the life of a Connecticut teen, Hannah Berkowitz, whose search for substance abuse treatment prevailed only after discovering virtual addiction programs.
The harrowing tale brought a different perspective of how inpatient and even outpatient programs address acute symptoms of addiction but neglect underlying causes and co-occurring disorders. Without a clear understanding of a person’s mental and drug use history, relapse seems inevitable. How does in home addiction treatment work differently? For one, it’s providing sobriety tools that help many individuals deal with substance dependency while simultaneously acknowledging drug use triggers that surround everyday life. Because treatments are provided in-home, more individuals suffering from addiction can integrate evidence-based care with daily life obligations and stresses.
Addressing Stigma and Shame
Shame and stigma play a monumental role in building barriers for individuals that require substance abuse help. Inevitably, substance abuse creates stigmatized attitudes and perceptions about addiction, a response that perpetuates and exacerbates the private shame associated with drug addiction. Due to these negative perceptions, drug abuse also creates monumental barriers for individuals attempting to address alcohol use disorder (AUD) and other illicit or prescription drug misuse.
Unfortunately, people who experience stigma regarding their drug use are less likely to seek treatment, resulting in economic, social, and medical costs. A study conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) found that of the 2.3 million people incarcerated in the United States, more than 65% met the criteria for substance abuse disorder. Yet, only 11% of them received adequate treatment.
Of the 23 million Americans suffering from the disease of addiction, only about 2.5 million people are actively seeking treatment.
Online addiction treatment allows individuals and families to seek help without feeling exposed or vulnerable to judgments, ridicule, and other stigmatized views. Instead, individuals can simply find help in the comfort of their own home while still maintaining outside obligations of family life and work.
Here are some effective ways to help reduce stigma as it surrounds alcohol and drug misuse:
- Offer compassionate support
- Displaying kindness to people in vulnerable situations
- Listening while withholding judgment
- Seeing a person for who they are, not what drugs they use
- Researching and learning about drug dependency and how it works
- Treatment people with drug dependency with dignity and respect
- Avoiding hurtful labels like addict, low life, etc.
- Replacing negative attitudes with evidence-based facts
- Speaking up when you see someone mistreated due to their drug use
AspenRidge’s Online Addiction Treatment
No matter where you live, you can enroll in AspenRidge’s REACH online counseling for alcohol addiction. All you need is access to the Internet link and a handheld or desktop device.
As with all of AspenRidge’s alcohol treatment and rehab programs, REACH has several options. These are geared to patient needs and preferences.
When you choose the REACH online Intensive Outpatient program, you can expect to meet in individual and group sessions virtually. This will occur via video conferencing on AspenRidge’s secure platform. The frequency and duration of these sessions vary with the program option selected.
REACH Online Rehab Intensive Outpatient Program
This 12-week counseling program is ideal for patients who need more intensive intervention. Experienced, board-certified therapists counsel clients online via private, HIPAA compliant video three times per week.
The REACH Intensive Outpatient Program aims to aid participants in their efforts to get drug-free and resume their former sober lifestyle.
Program changes are made based on evidence-based treatment indicators. REACH techniques include one-on-one therapy sessions, group therapy, and family counseling.
REACH Online Rehab Reset
This is a six-week virtual recovery to help those with substance abuse issues. Sessions occur three times a week for six weeks. Counseling assists participants avoid addiction triggers and urges. Mental health, making healthy choices, and emotional wellness are part of this option.
REACH Online Rehab Reset educates and empowers participants. REACH Online Rehab Reboot does not deal with detox. It is also not a support group package like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Many who enroll in this program also use the resources of a support group’s frequent meetings.
REACH Online Rehab Outpatient Program
This outpatient substance abuse treatment program offers extended care treatment—often to those with mild clinical care needs. The sessions are ninety minutes long. Groups meet virtually once a week,
Patients who have completed REACH Online Rehab’s twelve-week intensive counseling sessions often use the outpatient program as a support follow-up.