Recently, I have been consulting with a not for profit organization using tele-psychiatry to conduct psychiatric assessments for clients presenting with co-occurring disorders (mental health and substance abuse) in rural areas of my state. I was impressed with how quickly this industry has developed. In a few short years, online psychiatry and therapy has ‘boomed’.
In 2000, the International Society for Mental Health Online approved a set of suggested guidelines to be used for online therapeutic services. In 12 years, software and equipment has been developed to meet HIPPA guidelines using high definition video through a secure, encrypted, video stream, made to run on a personal computer (3 years old or newer), with broadband/high speed Internet service, a fairly new webcam/microphone (the microphone is usually built-in with the newer computers) and a pair of headphones or iPod-style ear buds. Once this software and equipment became readily available, the market took off. By the way, if these technical descriptions blur your vision or cross your eyes, chances are your teen has this equipment on their desk at home.
Recently, a study by the NIH has determined that online social support networks have been identified as one factor that can help people resolve their problem drinking. Still a relatively new phenomenon, sites are popping up offering online therapy, intensive outpatient groups, self guided recovery as well as social networking sites for individuals in recovery. Another trend is the online treatment sites developed by the large health-care corporations that also own residential treatment centers. These corporations are offering online treatment services as an important aspect of an aftercare program for their clients.
Being a forward thinking person, I though some of my readers would want to investigate online recovery options. Some of my readers may be interested in checking out these sites and consider online aftercare as an adjunct to their current practice.
Online treatment services provide the opportunity for alcohol and drug addiction treatment by trained experts via the Internet, in a way that is convenient, private and compliant with HIPPA regulations. This has the potential to bring treatment to individuals who are unable to access traditional treatment programs. As many addictions professionals know, aftercare is often the stumbling block for clients attempting to maintain their recovery. Online treatment options will explode the aftercare market offering immediate tools for those who want to maintain recovery after completing a residential treatment program. It provides many of the benefits of traditional treatment as well as includes group sessions led by addiction counselors, peer support and psycho-educational tools for recovery.
I have listed a few of the online providers for your review. As a disclaimer, this posting is by no means an endorsement. I was curious, did some research on what was out there and I thought I would share my research with my readers.
ONLINE PROGRAMS AND ONLINE COUNSELING
AlcoholDrugSOS Services Addictions Counseling Online (http://www.alcoholdrugsos.com/) This site offers online answers to questions about drug and alcohol addiction, Online Alcoholism Addiction Recovery Support and DUI Evaluation Services for a fee based on the complexity of the question and online addiction counseling. All information and services are provided by a licensed addictions counselor, owner and developer of this company; Jan Williams, MS, JD, LCADC with 27 years of experience, who is also in recovery himself.
AndemTherapy.com (http://www.andemtherapy.com/ ) Margaret Andem, LCSW is an African-American woman and a first generation Nigerian-American woman, who is sensitive to cultural issues regarding recovery. Margaret provides psychotherapy and counseling on addictions and other issues via the Internet, phone and in-person. Fees for live online chat or a telephone session are $1.50 a minute, for detailed email responses $40.00. Reduced fees are available on a case by case basis.
Bright Eye Counseling (http://www.brighteyecounselling.co.uk/ ) Located in Great Briton, this is an online counseling and psychology service for people having problems with drugs or alcohol, including those concerned about bingeing and those considering rehab. Rather than a 12-step approach, it uses a cognitive behavioral approach to help people develop their own solutions. There is a choice of individual or group work with email options available. These sessions are supported by extensive downloadable resources which you can work on in your own time. Meetings are held in a private online chat-room once a week or more. The first session is available at a reduced rate of £19.50 (US $32), further sessions are £32.50 (US $51.98), a package of four sessions is £110 (US $181).
eGetGoing ( http://www.egetgoing.com/ ) eGetGoing provides online chemical dependency treatment using advanced telemedicine and eLearning technologies with Interactive Group Online Counseling Sessions led by experienced counselors. It provides online, real-time interactive audio- and video-based substance abuse treatment and has received accreditation from the two leading accrediting groups for behavioral health providers. In an interactive setting, group members talk to each other under the guidance of an experienced counselor who uses a treatment approach that is based on the 12-Step philosophy. eGetGoing.com is owned by CRC Health Group, the largest for-profit provider of chemical dependency treatment in the USA and is located in the Silicon Valley, CA. eGetGoing.com is being offered at all of the CRC residential treatment centers as a aftercare treatment option.
The eGetGoing Lifeline treatment program is designed for individuals who are seeking professional treatment for alcohol or drug dependency for the first time and those who need to strengthen their recovery. Experienced chemical dependency counselors provide an easy-to-understand introduction to the process of recovery and help clients establish building blocks for a sober lifestyle. Online sessions provide clients the opportunity to share and discuss personal feelings, ideas, and difficulties they may experience in early sobriety. The program includes an initial treatment period of 24 sessions over 12 weeks, an additional 52 weeks of aftercare through a weekly, counselor-moderated chat environment and one hour of individualized counseling, both at no additional cost. Fees are $399 per month for three months including one year of weekly aftercare groups.
Enterhealth ( http://www.enterhealth.com/residential/online-recovery-support )
Enterhealth’s medically driven alcohol addiction treatment and drug rehabilitation treatment offers personalized residential and outpatient programs at Enterhealth Ranch in Dallas, Texas.In addition, Enterhealth offers Enterhealth e-Learning courses that cover the different phases of recovery. The e-Learning course programs include after care treatment planning, eLessons, One-on-One Coaching and Online Recovery Support.
Life Recovery Program ( https://www.liferecoveryprogram.com/ )Developed by a crisis/addictions/family counselor, Paul Radkowski is the recipient of the 2008 “Outstanding Addictions Professional Award” from the International Association of Addiction & Offender Counselors for the creation of the world’s first online all addictions recovery program. This online addiction recovery support program consists of bi-weekly video/audio workshops, practical tools, an interactive anonymous peer support forum, easy to follow homework exercises to help build recovery, and weekly and monthly supportive email follow-up for up to 6 months after the program to help you stay on track. The cost is $97.00 a month.
LionRock Recovery ( http://www.lionrockrecovery.com/ ) LionRock Recovery programs consist of assessment, treatment planning, case management and transition planning for ongoing sobriety support. Lionrock online intensive outpatient programs include group sessions meet four days each week for two hours each through video conferencing equipment. There is also an individual therapy session with your primary therapist each week and sessions which include your family or family of choice.
All together, the program consists of 12 hours of weekly treatment, including support group meetings. There is a choice of either a morning or an evening program. An interesting example of one of these video conferencing sessions appears on the web site. Each treatment plan is individualized making the program flexible. Pricing is as follows: Single month—$1,900; to three months —$3,900 range. The program was developed by Roland F. Williams, MA, LAADC, ICADC, NCACII, ACRPS, SAP, an interventionist and counselor specializing in addiction-related issues who was responsible for the psychiatric and chemical dependency programs as Director of Behavioral Health Services at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, California. Lionrock Recovery is a division of Lionrock Behavioral Health, Inc. located in Mountainview, CA.
Online Substance Abuse Treatment ( http://www.onlinesubstanceabusetreatment.com/ )
OSAT is located in Modesto, CA and is affiliated with several residential treatment centers. OSAT offers live online counseling: Three times a week over ten weeks, group members meet online under the guidance of an experienced addiction counselor to work on addiction recovery issues using cognitive therapy and the 12-Step approach. Counseling is available in 30 one-hour group sessions for $1,100 or 30 three-hour group sessions for $1,600. Meeting schedules are flexible. OSAT follows up the 10 week online counseling program with 42 weeks of alumni aftercare via online chat at no extra charge. Additional one-on-one live counseling sessions are available for $95 per 1-hour session for 12 months. OSAT offers self-directed (without a therapist present) online treatment, as well. This 30 to 45 day self-study course guides you through 30 chapters of an interactive workbook that contains information and exercises providing step-by-step guidance to help break the cycle of addictive behaviors. Each day a new chapter becomes available for download to your computer, where you can complete them in privacy, at your own pace, and on your own schedule. At completion of the course you will receive Certificates of Enrollment and Completion to show to your family, your employer, or a judge. You can also schedule live, one-on-one treatment sessions with an OSAT counselor for $95 per hour via two-way Internet video-calling (Skype), telephone, text chat, instant messaging, or email.
Power to Quit ( http://www.powertoquit.org/ ) Each day for the duration of your recovery, you will receive more information and tasks to complete for that day. Based on the book “Art of Sobriety”, this program works by creating, a step by step, strong foundation to prevent relapse, consisting of educational videos, over 100 homework- workbook assignments, motivational emails, one free telephone coaching call, webinars, podcasts and much more. Online recovery programs including: Alcohol, Substance Abuse, Pornography, Anxiety & Depression, Eating Disorders and Overeating. Although there is 24 hour crisis support included, this is not an on line option for people seeking one on one sessions with a certified addictions counselor, or therapeutic group sessions.
TeenGetGoing (https://www.teengetgoing.com/index.asp )This online substance abuse treatment program geared to the needs of adolescents was developed by the same clinical team that developed eGetgoing, Inc. TeenGetGoing is owned by CRC Health Group, the largest for-profit provider of chemical dependency treatment in the USA and is located in the Silicon Valley, CA. In addition to educational information on alcohol and drugs, teens can join online treatment groups. Two programs are available. The Adolescent Group Treatment Program has 24 live group sessions online facilitated by an experienced counselor. These scheduled groups have 8 – 10 members and meet online twice a week to provide a full treatment program. The Awareness Program is a 12-session assessment and prevention program that teens can commit to on their own and does not have an online counselor or online group therapy interactions.
RESEARCH INFORMATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA RECOVERY WEBSITES
Alcohol Help Center (http://www.alcoholhelpcenter.net/)
The Alcohol Help Center is an interactive web site dedicated to helping those who have concerns about their drinking. The goal is to promote interaction between people who have drinking problems and health professionals through social media. The site offers free tools such as a test for people to check their drinking, an interactive and personalized collection of exercises designed to help you make important decisions about your health, an online moderated support group and instant messaging between program participants around the world. Social support networks have been identified as one factor that can help people resolve their problem drinking. A relatively new phenomenon is online support groups, such as the one provided on the Alcohol Help Center (AHC). Preliminary use of the AHC support group has been researched, summarized and lessons learned in the initial development of an online support group have been published by the NIH at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18022340
Disclaimer: Although the editors at MKRecoveryCoaching.com do not endorse nor accredit these organizations on the quality of their services, the editors at MKRecoveryCoaching.com want their constituents to know about the developing world of online and interactive therapeutic services that are available to recovering addicts.