Telehealth in Addiction Treatment

washington dc treatment center

What is telehealth

Addiction is often thought of a disease of disconnection. Many individuals in active addiction under normal circumstances may not communicate with family or friends, or may isolate at home. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing, and many states issuing stay-at-home orders, it can be easy for those struggling to stay sober to fall back into the same patterns of behavior present during active addiction. For some individuals with substance use disorders, feelings of disconnection contributed to the addiction in the first place.

COVID-19 and Mental Health

While our world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a collective sense of loss and anxiety in society as a whole. Even for individuals who have never struggled with mental health issues, this time can be extremely difficult. With all of the uncertainty and feelings of helplessness, we can see how many individuals act out to cope with these emotions, including in hoarding supplies, engaging in conflict on social media, or even underreacting or minimizing the danger. For those who struggle with addiction, it may be easier to turn to alcohol or drugs to help cope with these feelings of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. Additionally, staying at home can present its own difficulties. For many it is difficult emotionally to spend an entire day or days at a time in their home. For some, family members or other people they live with may be a source of anxiety or frustration. All of this happening while sober support networks that many individuals rely on are no longer available in person makes for the perfect storm for someone struggling with addiction to return to use.

What is TeleHealth?

During this difficult time, many will turn to Telehealth. Though, what exactly is Telehealth?  Telehealth refers to the use of technology to engage in health services without needing to see a practitioner in person. At Encore, we use HIPAA-compliant video conferencing software to continue group therapy and individual and family therapy with our clients to minimize the disruption of treatment services. This additionally provides a sense of stability when everything else may seem anything but. While initially many may be hesitant to engage in virtual services, there can be some surprising benefits of using this technology, too. For example, some clients may feel more comfortable opening up and sharing from their own home rather than in an office. Additionally, telehealth allows us to provide rapid on-demand services when clients are in times of heightened need.

Substance Abuse Treatment DC

Encore Outpatient Services recognizes that this is a difficult time for everyone, and that those struggling with addiction and mental health need access to resources now more than ever. If you or someone you know is struggling, please feel free to give us a call at (703) 436-8158 or visit us at Encore Outpatient Services.

What is telehealth

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