As people stay inside to stop the spread of COVID-19, addiction treatment is adapting. Many AA programs are holding their meetings by video. And some treatment centers, ourselves included, are now offering telemedicine services.
Telemedicine is the use of electronic communication to provide clinical services. An example of this would be a radiologist video-conferencing a patient about their scan. Another example would be Talkspace, a text-based therapy platform. Telehealth is a broader term meaning any healthcare done remotely. This includes telemedicine, but also encompasses e-prescriptions, remote monitoring of vital signs, continuing medical education, and more.
The market doesn’t meet the demand for telehealth services. One study found that while 54.82% of people were highly interested in video-based therapy, only 20.39% of facilities offered it. Even for something as simple as texting appointment reminders, 68.40% of people were interested while only 13.22% of healthcare organizations delivered.
Despite this, Telehealth is an effective way to treat people who can’t meet in person for whatever reason: they live far away; they can’t access transportation; they are too sick to leave the house. Or, more recently, they have to stay inside to curtail a pandemic.
In response to COVID-19, TruHealing Centers has begun offering telemedicine services. Our family support groups and family counseling will be done by video through the remainder of this crisis. Providing care to families is a crucial part of treatment—families need to recover, too. And involving family members helps them understand what their loved one is going through. It teaches them how to be supportive.
Social distancing means having the least amount of people in a physical space as possible. Online spaces, however, are limitless. There’s room for everyone’s family to continue receiving support during this especially difficult time.
If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction or a co-occurring mental health disorder, there is help available. At every Amatus Recovery Center across the country, we are closely following the CDC guidelines, and bringing in third-party sanitization services, to make sure you feel safe getting the treatment you need. We will give you the tools to cope with anything that life throws your way. Start building towards long-term recovery by calling an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.