Last Updated on October 17, 2020
Imagine coming down with the flu and being able to webcam with your doctor, even when you’re at work or on the go. It’s possible with telemedicine. And with Ria Health, the same thing is possible for people who want to regain control over their drinking. Why go to a doctor’s office or to a 12-step meeting when you can get online alcohol treatment?
With telemedicine, physicians can meet with, diagnose, and treat patients remotely. It’s a new innovation, seeking to make health care flexible, convenient, and easier to reach. Online alcohol treatment programs like Ria’s are gaining popularity by using this technology to make rehab more accessible, and more effective.
Why Online Outpatient Alcohol Treatment?
Overdrinking can happen to anyone. The first step in battling alcoholism is to realize that everyone needs access to high-caliber healthcare, even—and especially—people who suffer from addiction. Fortunately, there is effective help online for alcoholics. Here are some reasons why telemedicine is the right choice if you want to reduce or stop drinking.
It Saves Time and Money
A 2015 study by Harvard University researchers found that out of the 121 minutes people typically take to see a doctor for an appointment—including traveling to the doctor’s office, waiting to see the doctor, and actually having the appointment—only 20 minutes are spent face-to-face with a physician.
What’s more, the researchers pinned the average opportunity cost of a doctor’s appointment at $43. That’s the money people lost by traveling to the doctor instead of working. So after a typical doctor’s visit, you’ve spent much more than a co-pay. You’ve wasted nearly two hours and 40 extra bucks—plus the cost of transportation.
Rehab facilities compound the costs. Most treatment centers cost thousands of dollars per month and require you to spend a month or more away from your job and your family. Alcohol abuse treatment online eliminates most of these extra expenses, and makes help much more affordable.
With online alcohol treatment services like Ria, you can have all of your appointments and check-ins through your smartphone. Ria members consult with our medical team and certified recovery coaches through our secure, HIPAA-compliant app.
Appointments can be scheduled for when you’re at home, at work, or anyplace with internet access. You don’t need to carve out time to get to a doctor’s office, and you don’t need to leave your life completely like you would for a rehab facility. Online help for alcoholism works with your schedule.
If you’re looking for confidential alcohol treatment, you can hardly do better than telemedicine. Since you can do the whole thing from an app on your phone, on your schedule, nobody needs to know more than you want them to.
Private alcohol treatment is a priority for many people. By leaving your schedule and your daily life intact, and letting you access care from the privacy of home, telemedicine makes this possible. On top of this, Ria’s program keeps all of your information confidential—any data we collect is purely for the purpose of optimizing treatment. There’s therefore no need to worry about any negative consequences from seeking help.
It’s Just as Effective as Regular Doctor’s Visits—If Not More So
“Saving time and money is great,” you may be thinking. “But I’m willing to pay more if that means I’ll get better quality care.”
But with telemedicine, it doesn’t have to be a choice between money-saving and quality care. There are certain kinds of care that require in-person interaction—like if you broke your leg and need a cast, or have a nasty cut that requires stitches. But alcohol addiction treatment can still be extremely effective when done remotely.
In fact, one 2016 study found that, on top of costing less, drug and alcohol treatment that you can complete online was more effective compared to standard continuing care. The study tracked 359 participants over two years. Of those who received standard care, about 47 percent remained abstinent. Compare that to 57 percent of those who used telehealth services. Statistically, that is a very significant difference.
You Get Stronger, Longer-Term Support
Because programs like Ria’s are less disruptive and more affordable, people can generally stick with them for longer. This means that we can leave behind “quick fixes,” and focus on the kind of gradual, well-rounded, permanent change that helps people overcome substance abuse for the long run.
For example, instead of forcing people to go cold-turkey on drugs and alcohol—which can be dangerous and ultimately ineffective—we offer our members telehealth conferences, medication proven to wean them off alcohol, support group meetings, and one-on-one coaching sessions. Ria’s program shifts the emphasis in recovery from the Alcoholics Anonymous model of penance and abstinence toward a more realistic goal: incremental improvement.
Alcoholics Anonymous and rehab facilities don’t systematically track their success rates with hard data, so there’s no way of knowing for sure just how successful they are. But Ria does. On average, our members reduce their drinking by more than 70 percent in the first six months.
Do you want to change your relationship with alcohol from home, without compromising your quality of care? Looking for alcohol recovery programs online? Learn more about how Ria’s program works, or get started today.