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Using Teletherapy for Opioid Addiction

Last Updated: May 16, 2023

Editorial Policy | Research Policy

Online opioid addiction treatment can make addiction recovery accessible to those wanting to attend teletherapy from home.

Is Online Treatment for Opioid Addiction Effective?

Telemedicine was around before 2020, but the pandemic dramatically increased the use of online treatment. Research suggests teletherapy is an effective way to provide substance use treatment.

The National Institute of Health also reported that online treatment for opioid use is an effective treatment option, especially for those with transportation or mobility barriers. For example, those in rural areas are more likely to continue with treatment if they don’t have to go far.

What Is Online Opioid Rehab Like?

You get the same care with online and in-person opioid addiction rehab, with a recovery team that helps you to create a treatment plan to address underlying causes, including medical or mental health conditions. The main difference is appointments are conducted via video call from your location.

Some choose a private area at work or school, their car or a comfy chair at home. The key is selecting a place where you feel comfortable sharing. You’ll also need access to the internet or mobile data. You can attend your virtual session using a laptop, desktop computer, smartphone or tablet.

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Types of Therapies Used in Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioid addiction is often treated using medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which includes both medication and behavioral therapy. The patient is prescribed medication to help stop withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Treatment may also include individual, group and family therapies.

Levels of care for opioid addiction treatment include:

  • Medical detox programs
  • Inpatient and residential services
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
  • Outpatient services

Is Online Rehab Confidential?

Your privacy is a high priority for our team. We use secure HIPAA-compliant video-call software for all your appointments.

To further protect your confidentiality, choose a private spot where you can talk freely with your clinician. Some patients put a white noise machine outside the door to their room or use headphones with a microphone for added privacy.

Benefits of Online Rehab for Opioid Addiction

Several reasons why some patients find that online opioid treatment is a better option include:

  • Fewer time constraints: You don’t have to take more time off work or away from family to commute to treatment. You only have to block off time for your appointment, making scheduling easier.
  • More accessible: Online therapy addresses transportation and mobility barriers. Those without stable access to a car or public transportation and those with difficulty leaving their homes are better able to attend online treatment consistently.
  • Privacy: Attending therapy online means you don’t have to worry about running into someone you know at the treatment center. You can attend therapy in private without leaving home.
  • Increased treatment options: You aren’t limited to receiving treatment in your area with online therapy. You can find the best treatment center, no matter the driving distance.

Who Needs In-person Treatment for Opioid Addiction?

Those requiring a higher level of care will need in-person services. This may be due to acute medical or mental health conditions underlying the substance use. Other folks may need an onsite medical detox so staff can monitor the patient’s health and safety.

You might need in-person treatment if you have limited computer, tablet or smartphone access, can’t access stable internet or have limited data to use to join your session.

Benefits of In-person Rehab for Opioid Addiction

Some people prefer in-person therapy because of its unique benefits, including:

  • Access to multiple levels of care: Higher levels of care, such as partial hospitalization programs (PHP) or residential services, are typically only available in person. Receiving onsite services gives you more treatment options.
  • Fewer distractions: Therapy offices are typically designed to be quiet and limit distractions. You don’t have to worry about someone walking in on your session. You’re also less likely to be tempted to engage in other activities during therapy like you would at home or work.
  • No electronics necessary: With in-person therapy, you don’t need access to the internet, a computer or a smartphone.
  • Physical proximity to a therapist: Some people prefer being in the room with the therapist because it feels more comfortable.

Are you interested in online opioid rehab for yourself or a loved one in New Jersey? The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper offers online outpatient addiction treatment and in-person IOP, PHP and inpatient services. Reach out today: our Recovery Advocates are ready to help.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder or co-occurring mental health condition, The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper is here to help. Contact one of our helpful representatives today to learn more about treatment plans and programs that may suit your situation. We’re also happy to help connect you with locally available resources and help you take the first step toward a healthier, substance-free life.


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