Addiction Recovery - Treatment Professional

Does Virtual Drug Rehab Work?

Change can be isolating. Virtual drug rehab is an emerging treatment method for drug & alcohol addiction. Learn more in our blog!

Does Virtual Drug Rehab Work?

Table of Contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

July 19, 2022

The Edge Treatment Center

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), about 20 million people over the age of 12 in the United States struggle with substance use disorder (SUD).

Unfortunately, only about 4.2 million people receive help in a given year. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there has been a rise in the use of telemedicine for more than just regular check-ups with physicians. It is now more widely used for clients with less urgent conditions. This has also been the case with drug rehab. There are now virtual rehab programs that offer online individual and group therapy sessions from the comfort of one's home. It's an exciting new development in addiction treatment!

What Treatment Looks Like in Virtual Drug Rehab 

The overall concept of virtual rehab is to provide an opportunity for people to receive treatment from their own homes instead of in a traditional rehab center. This form of treatment usually starts with a counselor performing an assessment to better understand the best course of treatment for each client. 

A virtual treatment plan would include a variety of virtual therapy sessions either with just one individual and the therapist or group therapy sessions with other clients who have chosen virtual drug rehab. Including both of these different forms of drug treatment will help keep participants accountable and on track while they're at home. 

Virtual Drug Rehab: Advantages and Disadvantages

Just like any other form of drug rehab, virtual treatment can have both advantages and disadvantages. 

Advantages of Virtual Drug Rehab:

For people feeling nervous about interacting with large groups of people since the pandemic, doing virtual drug treatment is perfect because it is done in the comfort of their own home. After COVID-19, a lot of people became wary about being around groups of people because of how the sickness spreads. 

If someone prefers to keep receiving treatment private from an employer, school, or loved ones, virtual rehab offers more flexibility in the schedule of treatment. This flexibility means they could still go to work or school during the day and then receive treatment in the evenings. This way, people don't have to explain absences or why they're busy during certain days and times. 

Virtual drug rehab is more accessible for many people. For example, those who live in a more rural or remote location may not have drug treatment centers nearby. This form of treatment can also be more accessible to individuals who are disabled. 

One of the main advantages is the convenience of virtual rehab. Since it is all done at home from a laptop, computer, phone, or tablet, it can be very convenient to attend meetings after work or during lunch breaks. 

Disadvantages of Virtual Drug Rehab:

Participants lack physical human connection with virtual rehab. The isolation from the pandemic negatively affected many individuals' mental health. In many cases, this may be the cause of those individuals wanting to receive treatment. Having to do rehab online could make this worse. 

That lack of physical human connection could also make it harder for people to stay motivated and on track. This was a largely discussed topic throughout the pandemic as many people had to transition working from home. Some individuals found it hard to stay focused and on track while working in the same environment they're used to relaxing in. 

How to Ensure Virtual Drug Rehab Will Work for You 

Just like anything else, each individual will respond differently to virtual drug rehab. Not everyone will enjoy receiving treatment from their home rather than in person. However, for anyone who wants to give it a try, there are a few steps they can take to set themselves up for success.

  • Preparation Is Key: All virtual events such as meetings and therapy are usually held on apps such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Microsoft Teams. A great way to prepare for a session is to download the app and understand how to use it before the scheduled session. 

  • Set Up Your Space: Setting up a space in one's home where one can talk freely without someone overhearing is very important. Make this space as comfortable and familiar as possible, so there are no interruptions to treatment. 

  • Attire Matters: It may feel tempting for individuals in virtual therapy to keep on their sweatpants or pajamas since they are still at home, but it is best to change into more professional attire. Getting oneself ready and looking more put together might make one feel more motivated about treatment. Wearing less comfortable clothes may also keep one on track because their brain will recognize that it is not time to relax or go to sleep, but instead time to engage, learn, and heal. 

Virtual Drug Rehab: Conclusions

In the end, the success of virtual drug rehab depends on the individual and how they view it. This form of treatment may work better for some people than others, but it can be a matter of how willing one is to put in the effort.

Success also depends on which stage of treatment one is in when deciding if virtual drug rehab is right for them. For example, virtual drug rehab may not work for someone in the beginning stages of treatment, but it can work as an aid for someone who has successfully completed rehab and is now working to maintain sobriety. 

Explore Multiple Paths to Treatment with The Edge Treatment Center

Starting something new, no matter what it is, can be nerve-wracking and scary, but it might just be the best decision to make. Here at The Edge Treatment Center, we have an on-site staff available to help you in your virtual rehab process and lead you in the right direction. We prioritize community and helping one another by offering flexible treatment schedules and alumni involvement.

To learn more about the programs The Edge Treatment Center offers, please contact us today.

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