3 Ways Telehealth Can Help With Addiction

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The health industry is growing, and so is the medical technology that comes with it. In this article, you can gain some insight into the effects of technological innovations in medicine, and how these changes can improve your health. 

First, let’s define some of the terminology. 

What is Telehealth? 

Tele-, like in the word “telecommunication,” means “to or at a distance.” Telehealth is a simple term that refers to health-related services and information distributed through electronic devices. Now patients can use mobile phones and computers to acquire healthcare services remotely, and manage their health conditions irrespective of their demographic locations.

What is Addiction? 

Addiction refers to a dependency on something that may be unhealthy or harmful, but is extremely difficult to control or stop. For instance, frequent use of hard drugs, tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and tea can lead one to be addicted. In the medicinal world, addiction relates to a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug or high-seeking, and continued use despite harmful consequences. 

What addiction does is create a long-lasting change in the medulla oblongata and the rest of the brain. In severe cases, it is considered a complex disorder or even a mental health issue. 

Administering telehealth services helps patients with substance abuse disorder to:

  • Receive counseling services regularly
  • Stay in treatment without traveling
  • Recover fully
  • Save time and money

Telehealth offers numerous benefits to patients and the entire healthcare system.

By using digital equipment such as smartphone applications and text messaging, getting prescriptions has been simplified. Medicinal professionals and psychologists find these tools useful for passing information and giving extra support to their patients.

Addiction is a complicated illness that requires compassion and consistency. When a patient can contact their doctors and therapists through their devices in their own homes, it is easier to stay on track, stay on medications, and get help when they need it.

How Telehealth is Helping With Addiction

Telehealth addresses the three critical factors in addiction management: Time, cost, and external factors. 

  • Time

Addiction patients often need to spend a large chunk of time under the guidance of their doctor, therapist, and/or psychologist. When the patient is experiencing relapse, temptation or withdrawal symptoms, it can be difficult or even unsafe to drive over to their care provider’s office.

Having a physical examination can be swiftly and efficiently done via telemedicine. When a patient with an addiction needs help, they are only a call away from their experts.

There needs to be a way for patients to receive attention even in the midst of challenges, like the coronavirus pandemic. Remote support is now more accessible, and many individuals prefer home-based care rather than being confined to the hospital or office. 

  • Cost 

Both the medical provider and the patients can benefit from telehealth. Patients are not required to commute to get the service; neither do they need to pay for hospital cost-related expenses. 

On the other hand, the service providers shield themselves from costs related to cancellation or a complete no-show. Furthermore, the service providers will gain additional revenue as they can flexibly attend to several patients across the platform and stick to their appointment calendar. 

  • External Factors

Factors such as insecurity, being uninsured, shame and privacy may inhibit patients from getting the help they need.

Telehealth has opened the door to another path for people to get help with addiction. Addiction is a devastating disease that impacts the lives of not only those that are addicted, but also those who are closest to them. Fortunately, the pandemic and corresponding technological advancements have broadened the way medical providers think about treating addiction via digital devices.