3 Treatment Options For Sobriety
Unfortunately, addiction became an even more damaging issue than usual throughout the pandemic. There have been numerous reports in the past few years about the existing opioid crisis worsening, and a Washington Post report on alcohol-related deaths revealed that the pandemic brought the highest rate in decades Are There Remote Treatment Options For Addiction Recovery?
Researchers have identified roughly a 3% per year increase in fatalities related to alcohol consumption in general; during the first year of the pandemic, however, that increase “jumped to nearly 26%.” This is a tragedy, is anyone paying attention here?
Needless to say, this is a dire situation that requires addressing. And interestingly enough, the same pandemic that worsened addiction crises may well have pushed us toward solutions. This idea is based on the fact that the pandemic brought about a sort of revolution in remote and hybrid healthcare. According to ReportLinker projections on remote care, it is now expected that this industry will have grown at a CAGR of 33% between 2019 and 2025. This growth will be driven by ongoing complications relating to the pandemic, as well as by surges in virtual visits. And it’s widely believed that this change will result in more accessible treatment options for all manner of patient difficulties.
With regard to remote healthcare for addiction recovery, in particular, there are three emerging options that come to mind.
Addiction Treatment Centers
First and foremost, there are addiction treatment centers that are adapting to remote care and providing telehealth consultations to people in need. Furthermore, there are some early indications that this form of care might actually increase patient engagement. A study on addiction telehealth described in Psychiatric Times specifically considered data from addiction treatment providers in California and found that easier access and greater convenience appealed to patients. The study –– conducted by RTI International and UCLA –– also found encouraging retention rates and concluded that telehealth may “allow patients to more easily begin and stay in addiction treatment.” More research is required to support these findings definitively, but it’s clear that addiction treatment centers offering remote care have had some success.
Remote Nurse Practitioners
One significant aspect of the growth of telehealth, in general, has been the expansion in access to nurse practitioners online. Both through medical companies and independently, licensed nurse practitioners are taking advantage of the flexibility of remote care to provide both asynchronous (chat-based) and synchronous (video) consultations for parents. And while these consultations can cover any number of patient needs, the remote nurse practitioner job listings on Wheel show that one common specialization is PMHNP (psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner). Nurse practitioners with this specialty are often trained and experienced in assisting patients suffering from addiction, and thus offer additional remote care options for such patients.
Social Media Coaching & Influence
Finally, there is also potential for those suffering from addiction to seek remote assistance through social media-based coaching and influence. This is something we covered in the post “Why Get Sober?”, wherein a conversation with Michelle Smith of Recovery is the New Black was recounted. In that conversation, Smith was referred to as “one of the first sober Instagrammers,” and it was conveyed that in sharing her own journey on social media she’s been able to inspire others. This concept amounts to a less direct approach to care, and to be clear those who are struggling with addiction should ultimately seek professional help. But for additional support and inspiration, connecting with others who are in recovery via social media or personal online coaching platforms can be invaluable. These options indicate clearly that the remote care phenomenon does in fact extend to addiction treatment and recovery. If you or someone you know is suffering, seeking care through these outlets is the first step toward better health and quality of life.
Written: Staff Writer