How is telehealth being used to fight against addiction? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 11.5 million people misused prescription opioids, and 116 people passed away every day due to opioid-related drug overdoses in 2016. Fast forward a year later, and the HHS declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency.
Because this epidemic raised major concerns on a federal level, it forced the HHS to strategize how to fight the issue. The organization developed the following five priorities:
- Improve access to treatment services.
- Better target overdose-reversing drugs.
- Survey public health data to grasp a better understanding of the epidemic.
- Support cutting edge research on pain and addiction.
- Encourage and advance pain management best practices.
Health care providers across the nation are not interested in sitting around and waiting for a miracle. From a physician’s standpoint, there is a way to stop the opioid crisis and aid America back to health based on several of the priorities the HHS laid out. Telemedicine may be the solution the country is looking for.
Using telemedicine for addiction treatment
While telehealth solutions won’t replace in-person services, this technological method can act as a complementary resource to those in need. As a clinical professional working with addiction patients, it’s important to establish that relationship face to face, but telemedicine can be used to maintain and strengthen the connection between the two of you.
Logistical obstacles often impact whether your patients can reach you during times of need. If telemedicine plays a role in addiction treatment, however, you can remove such barriers like time, distance and cultural stigma to provide care as desired. Here are a few of the many benefits that telehealth plays in addiction control and therapy:
- Privacy – Patients are often worried about the social and cultural stigma that comes with attending rehab. By offering telemedicine visits, patients don’t have to interact with office staff and other peers and can instead attend therapy sessions privately.
- Schedule flexibility – Patients can feel like rehabilitation puts their entire life on hold, and this sentiment could be the reason that some are not willing to put forth the effort. With remote care options, however, patients find the flexibility to fit therapy sessions into their schedules.
- Access to treatment – Driving long distances for care is taxing on time and money. If patients have remote care access available at a nearby clinic, they can reap the benefits of addiction treatment without the hassle that comes with commuting.
Partnering with a trusted telemedicine vendor
If you want to improve the addiction treatment resources at your hospital or facility, it’s time to consider telemedicine. Now more than ever, the country needs service options that cater specifically to patients’ wants and needs and can beat logistical barriers holding them back from receiving proper treatment.
For more information on our telehealth services, please contact Hybrid Counseling at (877) 437-9399
*Mar 7, 2018 / Telemedicine in the news / AMD Global Telemedicine