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Online Rehab Help And  Why it Makes Sense for Addiction Services To Be Online 

Online Rehab Help & Why it Makes Sense for Addiction Services To Be Online

Jamie Hope

Please Note: Using our latest online help that we are providing is not meant to replace or substitute actually being at Hope Rehab itself for detox and treatment. Hope Rehab is where you experience the powerful realizations and unity working together as a group, learning to work as a team, or the face-to-face intimate relationship with your counsellor. Part of what makes Hope one of the best treatment centers is our secure environment and unique atmosphere, the Thai culture, the diverse team, the facility and accommodation, the food, sharing the everyday lessons learned by living in our community, also all our many recourses and much much more…we do understand this! — However, our online program that we have (initially used for aftercare) now also used for pre-Rehab preparation due to delays in getting here is working very well and is now part of our package.

Is Online Rehab a Viable Option?

The idea of an online rehab always made me giggle. At its very core, a rehab is a place that provides a safe place to be able to learn about yourself, recovery, and to do so in an environment free of triggers. While of course rehab is much more than that, it is the main part of it. So how on earth would you be able to have a treatment center focused online?

Well, the first thing to look at is the structure of rehab.

The Benefits of Residential Addiction Treatment

Removing yourself from your using environment is the first major part of treatment. This does a number of really beneficial things. First off, it removes you from temptation and the stresses of everyday life, and limits your access to your substance of choice or addictive behaviours. The first three months of recovery is when you are at most risk of relapse, and minimizing that possibility is critical. Another major reason its such a good thing is that it provides accountability. This isn’t just accountability for addictive behaviours, but for all of your behaviours. Recovery is about making serious changes and bettering yourself, and some huge work in that is done in treatment.

The next major part of treatment is the program itself. This includes groups, counselling, exercise, mindfulness and meditation, recovery support groups, and general activities geared towards having fun sober. Groups are crucial in understanding a multitude of things, ranging from major psycho-educational topics, CBT and learning other self soothing skills, and process groups, which are talk therapy groups. Group meditation is also important as it gets you in the habbit of meditation. All of these things are focused on creating new, healthy coping strategies and behavioural patterns.

Theres one more major part of residential treatment too, and that is the community. Community and community support are critical in recovery. Being surrounded by like-minded people who are all focused on the common goal of getting clean is an unparalleled experience. It provides a feeling of connection, a feeling of togetherness and comradery. For many people new in recovery, this is a feeling that has long since been forgotten, and the rediscovery of it can be an existential experience. All of these facets create the holistic experience of rehab, and it’s a very comforting and therapeutic experience that many will not forget for the rest of their life.

Limitations of Online Rehab

Of course rehab has a broad range of experiences, but this is my view on it, and its because of this that the idea of an online rehab makes me giggle. As I was saying before, much of this is negated by moving to online treatment. All of that accountability is gone. The limit of the experience is down to online sessions and little more. Another major drawback is that those new habits built are all of a sudden dependant on your own integrity. It becomes your own responsibility to engage in all of these activities and lifestyle changes instead of having staff of a treatment center reminding you and processing these things with you. And of course the biggest drawback – at least in my opinion – is that there is not the same level of connection with your peers.

This is something I’ve given a lot of thought, because seeing it written out like this seems glaringly obvious: online rehab is a bad idea, but there is an entirely different side that I wasn’t seeing. I was focusing on how to move an existing rehab structure to an online environment, but that’s not what the focus should be. The focus should be moving a rehab environment to the clients own life, utilizing online tools and strategies to help. For every single one of those points of what makes rehab rehab, there is a way to move it to the client’s home. And while of course it is not the same experience, there is actually also a huge amount of advantages that an “at home” rehab can offer, especially to those who are motivated to make positive changes to their life.

Replicating Rehab Online

Lets start with some of the easier things to replicate. Counselling can of course be moved to an online environment. Meditations can be done on one’s own time, and there are plenty of amazing guided meditations available through a ton of different apps such as Insight Timer and even on Youtube. Exercise and healthy eating can be accomplished as well, and can easily be worked out with a counsellor through an online environment.

Groups can be an interesting one, and can be broke into two main categories: emotional processing groups and educational groups. Educational groups can be moved to online sessions, and these tools can be learned in session for your own use on your own time, in real life. This to me is an advantage of an at-home rehab situation, because you get to find out what works well for you and what doesn’t. The second category is emotional processing groups. These can be replaced by support groups. It can be 12 step, SMART Recovery, or local process groups with therapists. All of these can provide the emotional processing in your home environment. That engagement in support groups at home can also provides the accountability and comradery that you get through the group of clients at a residential treatment center. All of this translates into not quite the same experience, but a hands on experience. Providing real world practice for your recovery.

Rehab Online

When it comes to addiction treatment, nothing beats a residential rehab program, but a carefully designed online program can work for a client who is highly motivated. When residential treatment is combined with an online element (like we have here at Hope) , it can greatly increase the likelihood of success.

There is another group that an at-home rehab can massively help, and that’s people who are looking to come to treatment, but due to current global circumstances cannot make it. As many of the world’s borders are closed, travel is severely limited. In this case, getting into online counselling prior to coming to treatment once boarders open can be an amazingly beneficial experience. Engaging in counselling and recovery before rehab can not only immediately begin to benefit your life, but it can also allow you to get the most out of your rehab experience. Starting counselling and treatment now means that you are already making the first steps. You can begin to get some of the basic recovery behaviors down, and start to look at the glaringly obvious things about your life that could be driving addictive behaviours.

While recovery is a lifelong process, starting that journey now can give you a good understanding of the in-depth work done in treatment, and pave the way for utilizing treatment to the fullest. It can also give you a good understanding of some of the basic concepts we go over, so when attending treatment you can go even further into these concepts to discover what they really mean to you and for you. It can also begin to get your motivation going, and work through some of the fears that you may have about treatment and your life after treatment, so when you arrive at rehab your head is fresh and clear, ready to take the program on.

Getting The Most From Online Rehab

If you do decide to go this route and seek out treatment at home, or pre-treatment counselling, theres a number of things you can do to make the most out of your experience. Take on suggestions and do your absolute best to abide by the strategies and plans set forth in counselling sessions. This is your best chance that treatment will be successful. Being open and honest about everything will give both you and your counselling the most realistic view of your life.

At the end of the day, nothing beats residential treatment. There’s ultimately no way to replicate the full benefits of it in a home setting. However, when trying to adopt a new normal that the world is going through and provide sufficient support to those struggling with addiction, there are a multitude of other options for support to choose from. Ultimately, the responsibility is always on you, whether or not you’re in residential treatment or starting your recovery journey in the community, so its up to you to make the most out of it.

We have just launced our own online treatment package. To find out more, please click here.

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