Indeed, online support for recovery is available.
Since the turn of the century and the decades following, we have witnessed a massive shift in our world. In the last year alone, our lives have become seemingly dependent upon our internet connection, as technology has become the platform where we work, play, learn, exercise, and socialize. It’s hard to imagine the past year of our lives without the aid of technology. It has become an even more permanent fixture in our lives in its many forms.
Those in the recovery community are not exempt from the need to find enduring solutions in the online sector, not only during the pandemic but also as we recover from its effects and establish the recovery pipelines of the future.
Technology for Recovery
In the past, treatment was limited by what could be accomplished on-site, whether you had to brave city traffic or fly across the country to access care. Today, the focus is on making treatment more accessible for all those who need it.
Many well-known treatment programs have expanded their services to add online delivery methods to their list of programs. Whether it was developing an entire virtual intensive outpatient program, shifting recovery meetings online, or strengthening the connection of the alumni network, the past year has witnessed a multitude of changes to the ways that we can offer support to those in recovery.
There are many creative ways to receive the support you need, and many benefits of doing so, no matter where you are on the recovery journey. If you have access to a computer or even just a smartphone, many recovery support options are available to you right where you are., There are no longer any excuses for not seeking the recovery support you need or sharing resources with loved ones who may need it in this modern world.
Online 12-step and alternative meetings have been increasing in popularity over the years, and traditional outpatient therapy has moved in a similar direction, expanding the reach of providers beyond city borders.
The most apparent newcomer on the scene is intensive outpatient programs (IOP) offered virtually. Typically most appropriate for those transitioning out of a higher level of care, virtual IOP (VIOP) offers more support than typical outpatient therapy provides. Some may find their way into a VIOP because the support of a once or twice-weekly therapy session has not proven to offer the needed support.
Virtual IOP programs have proven themselves to be effective ways to close the gaps in service delivery to those who need it most.
Benefits of Online Support for Recovery
There are several advantages to having online support as you begin addiction treatment, transition home from residential care, or are seeking long-term support in your recovery process. Truly, no matter where you are on the journey to recovery, you will find that having online support expands the options and quality of recovery available to you.
There is a reason why the initial treatment for excessive alcohol use was built on a foundation of anonymity. Often, those who have a history with drugs and alcohol experience shame, which can hold us back from taking an honest look at ourselves and seeking the treatment we need. Online support groups help bring us back to that freedom to say what’s on our minds and hearts without the fear that others are attaching our face to the words.
As you progress in recovery, the need for anonymity may lessen, however without the pressure of meeting face-to-face, your needs as an introvert or as someone with social anxiety do not need to outweigh the need for recovery.
2. Support is always available
The internet and the support resources it houses are available 24/7, every day of the year. Whether you are always able to connect to your treatment team is not guaranteed, but the likelihood that you will be able to find someone to offer support is highly likely. Never again do you have to feel entirely alone in your struggles if only you have the strength to log on and open up.
3. You are not limited in your support network
The support of a vast and varied support network can be invaluable to those in recovery. No tool is more equipped to help you connect with others than online recovery meetings that allow you to communicate with others worldwide at the click of a button.
When you learn to find support from these online formats, you can feel more confident and secure knowing that you will always have access to them, no matter where life takes you. Online, you’ll quickly find that you are not alone in the challenges you face and join the ranks of the millions of others in situations similar to yours, fighting the same battles.
4. Recovery that’s right for you
Although a similar thread weaves throughout the journey of all those who live with addiction, not everyone responds to the same treatment style or pacing. With online recovery tools, you can supplement your journey with online meetings that feel right for you. Whether that’s the more specific Cocaine Anonymous (CA), the more spiritual Celebrate Recovery, or the practical SMART Recovery, you have the freedom to find and attend meetings that fit your style.
5. Pacing that’s right for you
In online treatment, you have the option to set the pacing in a way that makes sense for your life. Whether you are receiving virtual intensive outpatient care through our P.A.T.H. program or are piecing together a recovery plan that includes multiple meetings a week, you can assess your needs at the present moment and select a program that fits.
You also have the option to slowly rev up your participation in treatment or just dip your toes in at the start. With online support, you have the freedom to try different approaches and find what works for you.
6. It’s easily accessible
Even pre-pandemic, finding and getting yourself to meetings could be a challenge in itself. Whether you don’t have reliable access to a car or know just how unreliable public transportation can be, you understand why online accessibility is essential. While navigating the online platform may initially present a challenge, many have learned the ins and outs of the software used to connect virtually with repeated use.
For those living in a rural area, treatment is available without flying across the country. Treatment not only closer to home but delivered at your fingertips can be what you need to pursue the life-altering change available to you as you build your recovery plan.
7. It’s safe
With concerns about the virus spreading, the switch to online was a natural extension of other prevention methods. In addition to the safety of your health, the need to no longer drive in potentially bad weather or traffic also increases the safety of online meetings. When the commute only involves the walk from the living room, you are not only safer; you are also more likely to make the trip.
In addition, for those—women, especially—who felt that meetings were a breeding ground for sexual predators to prey on their vulnerability, online meetings offer a safer alternative.
8. It saves time and money
Not having to transport yourself across town and take time off work to do so can be the crack in the excuse that has kept you from committing to a recovery lifestyle. More than ever, as much as recovery disrupts the life you were living before, online treatment is now designed to work with your life and help you build your relapse prevention plan from the ground up.
9. It’s a great maintenance tool
No longer are those in recovery limited to the support gained by in-person meetings or phone calls. Now there is the freedom to piece together a plan that works for you from a plethora of sources: online meetings, recovery forums online, Twitter threads, Facebook groups, sobriety apps, in addition to the traditional in-person meetings.
Even for those who attend in-person treatment, online meetings can be a great source of community and support until your next face-to-face encounter.
Online Support is a Great Way to Start Recovery
It’s no secret that making the initial decision to seek recovery is one of the most challenging parts of the process.
Just as walking into a meeting full of strangers or picking up the phone to call a treatment center can be a bit overwhelming and intimidating, online resources are a great way to ease yourself into the process. Knowing what to expect can help ease the fear and anxieties you have, as does being able to participate from the comfort of your home.
Getting used to the way things work online can help set you up for success long-term and be the sturdy system of support that you continue to lean on in times of difficulty. Get connected with us today at 888.503.1125, and our friendly admissions team will help answer any questions about the virtual program we have available and help you discover whether it’s right for you.