Addiction treatment providers are reporting positive outcomes from using telehealth services to treat opioid use disorder during the pandemic, The Pew Charitable Trusts reports.
Telehealth is especially effective in maintaining treatment and reaching certain at-risk patients, according to the article.
Before the pandemic, Hazeldon Betty Ford, the large substance use treatment program in the United States, did not have an official virtual care system in place. The program quickly launched an online program called RecoveryGo. It allows patients to receiving counseling and treatment via video chat on a computer, smartphone or any device with an Internet connection and a camera. Early evaluation of RecoveryGo found the virtual group attendance rate was higher than in-person groups.
Telehealth treatment has made it easier for some people to access treatment. Jackie Lien, Executive Director of the Phoenix Counseling Center in Jackson County, Oregon, said counselors have seen an improvement in attendance rates for appointments in recent months, as telehealth services have expanded. “People don’t have to struggle with child care or transportation,” Lien said. “For certain populations, it’s a better way to reach them.”
COVID-19: We Are Here for You
In this uncertain time, we know your top concern is keeping your family and community safe and healthy. We are dedicated to ensuring you have the support and information you need to address substance use and addiction – from prevention to recovery – amid the challenging new circumstances surrounding COVID-19.