Addiction aftercare online is a relatively new tool for those in recovery, but it has already changed the way people connect with others. These online tools can include an addiction aftercare forum or community, video chat sessions with a therapist, or meeting with a recovery group online. Some programs even require their patients to participate in an online aftercare program after completing treatment.
Virtual addiction counseling sessions are often called telehealth services, though many experts prefer the term teletreatment. These are virtual meetings with a trained therapist that can take place over the phone, text messaging, a video call, or an app on your smartphone. These sessions can replace in-person visits and are usually covered by your insurance.
During these sessions, your therapist will evaluate your mental health and determine what type of support you need. They can also discuss any co-occurring disorders you may have, like anxiety or depression. They can also help you develop a relapse prevention plan. You might learn about triggers that can make relapse likely and how to avoid them in the future.
In-person therapy sessions are often more effective than online ones because they allow your therapist to see facial expressions and body language. They can also pick up on any nonverbal cues that might signal a relapse, such as changes in voice, pacing, or body language. However, online therapy has its benefits, too. It can be more convenient for people with busy schedules, or it can help those who live far away from an addiction treatment center to get the care they need.
Once you’ve finished with residential or inpatient treatment, creating an aftercare plan is essential to ensure your success in recovery. You’ll need to find a treatment program that meets your specific needs and goals, and finding a good fit can be difficult. If you have a loved one in addiction treatment, figuring out their aftercare needs can be even more challenging.
If you’re concerned that your family member or friend is at risk of relapse, it’s important to be able to identify the signs of a relapse so you can act quickly. These signs can include skipping therapy or 12-step meetings, slipping up on healthy eating and sleeping habits, returning to old drug using friends, and romanticizing their past drug use or experiences.
While addiction aftercare online can be a useful tool, it’s important to use it as part of a comprehensive recovery strategy that includes in-person therapy, meeting with a sponsor, and attending recovery groups. Developing an aftercare plan in early recovery can help you stay sober long-term and prevent relapse.