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By: Renaissance Recovery

Medically Reviewed by: Diana Vo, LMFT

Last Updated: 7/1/2021

An image of a woman going through Virtual rehab

Authored By: Joe Gilmore

Table of Contents

Virtual rehab provides online counseling and therapy for alcoholism and drug addiction. This modality enables all those unwilling or unable to access a traditional drug or alcohol rehab center to engage with addiction treatment.

Broader access to evidence-based treatment is crucial as both alcoholism (alcohol use disorder) and drug addiction (substance use disorder) are on the rise in the United States. Each year, SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) publishes data from NSDUH (National Survey on Drug Use and Health). NSDUH 2020, the first report since the pandemic, shows that 28.5 million U.S. adults have alcohol use disorder and 40 million have substance use disorder.

More disturbingly, the same data shows that only 2.4 million engaged with alcoholism treatment, while just 4 million engaged with drug addiction treatment. Virtual rehab programs are one solution for narrowing this substantial treatment gap.

What is Virtual Rehab?

Virtual rehab is also known as remote rehab or online rehab. All of these terms refer to a specific form of telehealth that offers treatment for addictions and mental health disorders via secure online platforms.

To connect with a virtual rehab program, you need nothing but an internet-enabled device and a reliable internet connection.

Online addiction treatment provides access to the same services and therapies you find in traditional rehabs. While the specifics of each addiction are unique, effective treatment draws from the following evidence-based behavioral interventions:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Psychotherapies  

Choosing a virtual rehab program lets you connect with credentialed and experienced medical professionals, therapists, and addiction specialists without needing to leave home. Sessions take place on video calls using secure applications – Skype, for instance.

Many treatment centers that offer virtual programming also provide robust resources and support to supplement remote therapy sessions in real time.

For some people, online addiction treatment for drug addiction or alcoholism is a suitable standalone approach to recovery. Others already engaged with face-to-face addiction treatment may find virtual therapy offers supplementary benefits.

Virtual rehab is particularly effective in these scenarios:

  • For people living in isolated or remote locations.
  • For all those with busy schedules.
  • For people with physical limitations or disabilities.
  • For students unable to leave campus.

Virtual Outpatient Rehab

Traditional rehab programs are delivered in either an inpatient or outpatient setting. By nature, all virtual therapy takes place in an outpatient setting.

Although the specifics of virtual rehab programs will vary depending on the treatment center, most programming unfolds similarly.

Further to an assessment and diagnosis, your treatment team will create an individualized treatment plan drawing from these interventions:

  • Group online therapy
  • Individual online therapy
  • Talk therapies
  • Medication management
  • Family therapy

Group online therapy

Group sessions held online involve joining your treatment team and other participants in the online program on conference calls. Sessions take place just like they would in a face-to-face setting.

Although group therapy doesn’t provide the same individualized input as one-to-one therapy, you will benefit from peer support. You can also share your recovery experiences with others in a similar situation. You may also benefit from techniques and strategies shared by others.

Beyond this, virtual group therapy helps you to start creating a sober network, a crucial component of ongoing recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction.

An image of a person in Virtual rehab

Individual online therapy

Individual counseling is a key element in all addiction treatment programs, whether inpatient, outpatient, or virtual.

By meeting a therapist or counselor online, you can probe the specifics of your addiction and recovery.

One-to-one remote sessions are also effective for treating dual diagnosis (addiction with a co-occurring mental health disorder).

Talk therapies

Psychotherapy like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) are proven effective for the treatment of addictions and mental health conditions.

Virtual CBT sessions will help you to establish your personal triggers for substance use. A therapist will guide you to create and implement healthier coping strategies to minimize your chances of relapse during recovery.

Online psychotherapy sessions are delivered in both individual and group format.

Medication management

Alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder both respond positively to MAT ((medication-assisted treatment) with FDA-approved medications.

For those requiring MAT as part of their treatment plan, therapy can still take place online. You will need to physically obtain your medication, though.

Family therapy

One of the primary advantages of virtual rehab is the way it streamlines the delivery of family therapy. You don’t need to force your loved ones to attend a rehab center to participate in therapy sessions. Instead, you can meet with an experienced family therapist online, achieving the same benefits as face-to-face sessions offer in much more convenient form.

Virtual Addiction Treatment Near Me

Searching for the right rehab is not a process you should rush, regardless of whether you intend to attend a treatment facility in person or you prefer the idea of remote therapy.

Start by asking friends and family for recommendations. Alcoholism and drug addiction are so widespread that there is a strong chance someone in your social network will have first-hand experience of engaging with online treatment.

Your primary healthcare provider may be able to suggest suitable treatment centers offering virtual drug treatment or alcohol treatment.

A simple web search for virtual addiction treatment in your area should yield plenty of options, too.

What is the Difference Between Virtual and In-Person Rehab?

Virtual drug rehabilitation and virtual alcohol treatment are no different to in-person rehab in terms of the therapies offered. You can connect with the same counseling and psychotherapy sessions regardless of the delivery method.

There is little difference between virtual rehab and outpatient rehab, with the exception of sessions being held online instead of at a treatment facility.

An inpatient program provides an entirely different and much more immersive environment for those requiring addiction treatment than virtual rehab. If you have a more severe addiction, a co-occurring disorder, or a volatile home environment, there is no substitute for residential rehab.

What can you do if you are ready to embrace sober living and you want to connect with therapists online?

Virtual Rehab at Renaissance Recovery

If you are ready to move from active addiction into recovery, we can tailor a treatment program to fit your needs here at Renaissance.

We specialize in the outpatient treatment of the following conditions:

  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • Mental health disorders
  • Co-occurring disorders

We understand that not everyone can attend face-to-face therapy sessions. As such, we have been providing virtual intensive outpatient treatment for the past few years here at our Orange County rehab center.

By choosing our virtual IOP, you can access the same treatment you would find in an inpatient rehab, but with none of the restrictions. Online therapy is also the most affordable route to recovery.

Call the friendly Renaissance team today to discuss the most flexible and personalized approach to virtual addiction treatment at 866.330.9449.

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Pat C

“I owe my life and my happiness to these people. October 8th, 2019 marked two years of sobriety for me, and prior to finding Renaissance I hadn’t had 24 hours sober in nearly 20 years.”

an image of a client

Paige R

“They truly cared for me and the other people that I served with! From this group, I have made 8 new brothers and friends for life! We have continued on, after the program, to take care of each other”

an image of a client

Courtney S

“Great staff who took the time to get to know me. They have a lot of experience in this field and have first hand experience with what I was going through. IOP is outstanding and really built up a ton of great relationships and found this program to be a ‘breath of fresh air’.”

Diana Vo, LMFT

Diana is an addiction expert and licensed marriage and family therapist who has been in the field of mental health for over 10 years.

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country