With the advances in technology also comes the advances in online drug treatment strategies. There are a variety of online sources that offer programs and treatment services for anyone suffering from an addiction to drugs. These sources, while some may be specific to certain individuals or certain types of drugs, have the capability to bridge the gaps between traditional drug rehabs and the potential to improve access to care through quality online drug treatment support groups, counseling, and professional advice.
Pros of Online Addiction Help
Through online treatment, the individual has access to resources when they need it most, anonymously, 24 hours a day, and without the added wait times to enter a program. According to a data analysis study reported in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment "Patients who engaged most fully in the web-based program during the year following addiction treatment had significantly higher abstinence rates for alcohol/other drug use and consumed less alcohol than patients who were less engaged or not engaged in the program."
Support groups are available for drug recovery as well as specific addictions such as cocaine, opiates, marijuana, alcohol, etc. The availability of 24 hour chat rooms and meeting places has the additional benefits beyond the traditional 12-Step meetings and other support groups that require attendance in person. The ease of access and around the clock availability of these support groups increases the addict's engagement in treatment and improves recovery outcomes.
Addiction counseling and professional advice is available through online addiction resources and allows individuals and their families to have easier access to these programs and professionals from the comfort of their homes.
Online resources enhance the ability of the addict to understand their addiction, cope with related issues, and remain abstinent through a variety of materials including downloads, interactive tools, and program offers.
Costs of online addiction help can be considerably less than attending a traditional rehab or 12 –Step programs. While many are free, some professionals charge by the minute for advice, and others have a set fee to be able to access their materials online or otherwise.
Cons of Online Addiction Help
Although online drug abuse treatment does appear promising, there are some possible limitations or setbacks.
Misdiagnosis or lack of necessary treatment is possible because the addict may have underlying issues that could go unrecognized. Unless the individual is physically present for a professional to evaluate, treatment processes will rely strictly on the information provided by the individual, which can limit the outcome.
Support groups on line may be limited in knowledge regarding the resources that can actually help. Direct interactions and building personal relationships with others in recovery is a great way to maintain abstinence and this may be harder to do online.