Telehealth counseling could reduce rates of opioid relapse

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Individuals struggling with opioid addiction meet their greatest challenge when returning home, where relapse rates are between 40 to 60 percent. In an attempt to slow the opioid epidemic, mental health and substance abuse professionals have utilized teleconsulting to deliver support to patients and families.

Traditional substance abuse care requires patients to enter inpatient facilities for withdrawal treatment followed by outpatient care for counseling. However, substance abuse patients face rising rates of relapse returning home, where some may not be able to take advantage of outpatient care. In response, substance abuse professionals believe telehealth for counseling, collecting patient analytics and engaging family members could reduce relapse rates and slow the growth of the opioid epidemic.

"Using technology, we have created an innovative solution for addiction recovery,” said Brad Rex, President and CEO of eHome Aftercare, a telehealth platform offering addiction treatment aftercare. “eHome's integrated approach includes proprietary systems and dedicated counselors that improve patient outcomes and address the need for evidence-based treatment and analytics. We come alongside treatment centers and provide a comprehensive package of outpatient counseling and family coaching using the convenience of video and text sessions."

Telehealth platforms offer patients the opportunity to receive telecounseling with licensed therapists wherever they need. With videoconferencing and scheduled texts, patients are supported by services to remove the barriers of time or distance for improved outcomes. The platform also collects patient progress from beginning to end. Additionally, remote services include a feature for family coaching to change family dynamics.

"We have 'cracked the code' on families," stated Rex. "Rather than forcing family members to gather in one place each week, families meet by video, with no disruption to their routine and in complete privacy. Families are prepared when their loved one returns, and can provide support and structure to help prevent relapse."