Online addiction counseling

Substance and behavior addiction can have physical, emotional, social, and economic effects on a person’s life. Fortunately, effective treatments are available-including online options. For people who are dealing with addiction, online therapy may be a viable option.

The study found that people who received online therapy to treat substance use disorders improved compared to those who did not receive any treatment.


Some evidence-based treatment methods are easier to adapt to online formats than others, such as:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is most commonly used and focuses on helping people recognize and avoid negative thoughts and behaviors. This method can be used to help people learn how to identify triggers that cause cravings, and then learn how to avoid them.
  • Motivational interview: Motivational interview is another way to work online. In this treatment technique, the therapist leads structured conversations to help people learn how to recognize how their lives will be different and better if they stop using substances.

Potential benefits

The following are some of the benefits of online addiction treatment over traditional face-to-face treatment.

Enhanced privacy

Unfortunately, social stigma still revolves around addiction treatment. This may cause you to worry about being recognized when you arrive or leave the addiction treatment center. Therefore, you may feel uncomfortable asking for help.

Being able to access your treatment from anywhere-including the privacy of your own home-can more effectively control who knows your treatment. It can eliminate some fears of treatment.

more convenient

It is estimated that 10% to 12% of people with substance use disorders are not receiving treatment. One of the reasons why people do not seek help is that they cannot get treatment physically. The availability of online treatment may help improve access to mental health services and make people more likely to receive treatment.

Online therapy can help people who may not be able to attend individual therapy or group meetings in person get the help they need.

You can also use the online option at any time. Whenever you feel impulsive or eager, you can contact your therapist, participate in self-help modules, find educational materials, or contact friends who are present to provide support.

more choices

Online therapy can sometimes be an important first step towards more intensive interventions. In some cases, people who try online treatment first may be more likely to seek traditional face-to-face treatment services in the future.

Studies have shown that when supplemented with online treatment, people may also be more likely to stick to face-to-face treatment.


Traditional addiction treatments are often underutilized and dropout rates are high. This shows that these traditional options may not fully meet people’s needs. For people who do not seek or adhere to traditional treatment methods, online treatment may help fill this gap.

According to a research review, online treatment can help you reduce substance use immediately after treatment and during long-term follow-up. However, the author of the review suggests that further research is needed, especially to explore and compare the effectiveness of different online options.

Some studies have shown that online therapy may actually be better than traditional therapy in some ways.Findings in the report American Journal of Psychiatry It was found that participants who participated in network-based treatment had a higher success rate and were less likely to withdraw from treatment than participants who received individual or group counseling treatment.

Potential disadvantages

Online treatment can be affordable and convenient, but that doesn’t mean it is suitable for everyone or every situation. Potential disadvantages may include:

  • Reading body language is more difficult. The therapist may find it more difficult to read body language when working with online people, especially if they are not using video conferencing.
  • The conversation may feel less intimate. Since you communicate with the therapist through the screen, the treatment will feel less personal, which can make it harder for you to open up and become vulnerable.
  • You may encounter technical issues. Depending on your location, your internet connection may be insufficient. Due to bad weather, there may be occasional interruptions. These technical failures and related obstacles sometimes complicate the process.

If you have thoughts of suicide, self-harm, or mental illness, online treatment may not be appropriate. However, online hotlines, chat hotlines, and text resources allow you to get in touch with professionals who are trained and ready to help.

Tips and strategies

There are some ways to help you make the most of your online treatment experience:

  • Build a rapport with your therapist. It is important to feel that your therapist is sincere and understanding so that you will feel comfortable, safe and respected. Discuss with your therapist what you can do to establish this rapport online.
  • If you are transitioning from face-to-face treatment to online treatment, discuss with your therapist how the process will work and how you will deal with any issues that arise.
  • If you are transitioning from a traditional support group to an online group, take some time to research the content available to determine which content might suit you and your needs. How will the group meet? How many people are in the group? What level of participation is required? All of these factors may play a role in determining what you get from the team, so focus on finding things that you know you will feel comfortable with.

What to expect

Online addiction treatment relies on technology that provides or enhances psychotherapy. There are many different online treatment options available for addiction treatment. These include:

  • Therapist-led online therapy: The therapist can use online video, phone, email, and chat to have virtual meetings with clients. The treatment course may be conducted as in a regular office environment, but using online tools. FaceTime and Skype are not HIPAA-compliant. Once the COVID-related allowances are cancelled, the therapist or doctor will have to have a HIPAA-compliant platform, such as VSee, or Zoom.
  • Computer-assisted therapy: People can also follow interactive online courses to guide them through the treatment process, with little interaction with the therapist. You can watch teaching content, perform computerized assessments, study tutorials, and complete homework while studying a set of predefined courses.
  • Network-assisted therapy: This method can use mobile applications or online therapy sites to guide people through courses or activities.
  • Technology-assisted therapy: This process may combine traditional face-to-face therapy with technologies such as text messaging, phone calls, video chat, or mobile applications.

The method that works best for you depends on many factors. The severity of your symptoms may determine the intensity of treatment you need. For example, if you need hospitalization, long-term hospitalization, or supervised detoxification, then online therapy is not a suitable option.

Your access to technology and comfort can also play a role in which option is best for you. Your therapist’s comfort with the technique can also determine the type of treatment.

One important thing to remember is that you don’t necessarily need to choose only one delivery method. In many cases, you may end up combining therapist-led, computer-assisted and network-assisted treatment.

How to start

For anyone wishing to receive treatment for addiction, contacting a qualified professional is usually the first step. You can search online directories of personal therapists, seek recommendations from your primary care providers, or research online treatment providers.

Just like face-to-face treatment, it is important to find a qualified therapist who makes you comfortable. Although the process of finding someone you think you can contact may seem daunting, it’s worth the effort.

Very good sentence

Online treatment for addiction is not exactly the same as traditional treatment, but this does not mean it is inferior. It can be an indispensable and effective tool in your treatment library. Discuss with your doctor or therapist whether this treatment is suitable for your needs.