Virtual and telehealth treatment options gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, and today, those in need of clinical care are able to access quality substance use treatment without ever leaving their home. The possibilities for this developing technology seem endless, but some still have reservations about its quality and efficacy. While in-person care might be necessary for some, virtual addiction treatment has proven a highly effective treatment option for those with mild substance use issues. Virtual care allows those who face certain barriers (transportation, financial limitations) to access the life-saving help they need from the comfort of their own home.

If you or someone you love has been struggling with addiction, contact Guardian Recovery Network today. We are committed to ensuring that you or your loved one receive the care that they need, no matter what that looks like. The journey towards recovery can begin today with one simple phone call.

The Rise of Telehealth in Addiction Treatment

Telehealth and virtual treatment options have become increasingly accessible in recent years.Many treatment facilities are beginning to see the overall benefits of this method of treatment and have adopted it for their programs.

The advancement of technology plays a significant role in the ongoing development of effective virtual treatment programs. . Having systems of video communication that are both reliable and accessible to most people is required for the success of a telehealth program. This is exactly what is available today with advancements in video communication capabilities.

Another potential cause for the rise of virtual treatment options is the COVID-19 pandemic. During times of restricted travel, many still found themselves in need of substance use treatment. Rates of substance use were even shown to increase (1) during pandemic lockdowns. The Centers for Disease Control reported an 18% increase in overdose deaths in 2020. Telehealth became a way for those who were struggling during this time to continue or begin receiving the treatment that they needed while continuing to maintain lockdown restrictions.

Benefits of Virtual Addiction Treatment


The increased accessibility that virtual treatment offers is one of the most significant benefits. Many are able to access services they previously had no way of obtaining. Limiting factors like transportation and rural location could often deter someone from seeking treatment.  With the barrier to entry now being lower, many are seeking treatment for the first time. Having the ability to receive services from the comfort of their own home provides a secure step towards getting the help that they need.


Another benefit for virtual treatment is its affordability. Treatment centers are able to lower the cost of virtual treatment. This removes another potential barrier to entry for potential patients.


A unique benefit to telehealth is the potential for privacy that it offers. A crucial element of any quality substance use treatment is privacy. It is important in developing the rapport and vulnerability required for quality counseling to maintain confidentiality. Telehealth affords program participants one of the highest forms of confidentiality. The ability to participate in treatment on their schedule and at their location means that participants can feel safe knowing that their privacy is in their own hands.

We Are Here For You

Let Us Help You Heal

Our Drug & Alcohol detoxification experience is second to none.

Learn how we can help by speaking with one of our Treatment Advisors today.

Challenges & Limitations of Virtual Addiction Treatment

Though it provides a host of benefits, virtual treatment comes with its own potential challenges and limitations.

Technological Factors

Virtual treatment is fully dependent on the functionality of associated technology. As technologically advanced as our society has become, this normally is not an issue. However, there is always the potential for a technological malfunction. Similarly, telehealth options may be limited for those who do not know how to operate the devices and networks required.

Efficacy of Telehealth & Virtual Addiction Treatment

Perhaps the most important question many have about virtual treatment is related to its efficacy.

Is Virtual & Telehealth Addiction Treatment as Effective as In-Person Treatment?

According to studies conducted on over 100 substance use treatment facilities, the conclusion is a resounding yes. By all measurable markers, studies have shown (2) that virtual substance use treatment has proven to be as effective as in person treatment. Though it presents unique obstacles, the services provided have yielded equal results to those that come from in person treatment modalities.

Virtual Recovery Support Groups as Alternatives to In-person 12-Step Meetings

For many, a key aspect of their recovery program is the attendance of 12-step and support group meetings. Factors like scheduling, transportation, or COVID-19 restrictions have kept many from attending these meetings. Virtual options are now readily available for those who wish to access them providing a host of options that were previously unavailable.

Online Support Tools for Addiction Treatment

As technology continues to advance, these advancements continue to help provide a better network of resources to those seeking substance use treatment. From apps that help connect those in recovery to databases for local 12-step (3) meetings, the possibilities for virtual resources are endless.

Legal & Regulatory Considerations of Telehealth in Addiction Treatment

Telehealth treatment is held to the same legal standards as in-person treatment, however, there are important factors to consider.


With any curriculum, platform, or program, there are licensing requirements for legal permission for their utilization. Ensuring that all of these requirements are met is a great indication of a quality telehealth program.


Ensuring that both you and the counselor are in locations where sensitive information will not be compromised is a factor to consider throughout the telehealth process. Confidentiality for both the therapist and participant are crucial elements to the success of substance use treatment.


Throughout the treatment process, sensitive information will be communicated. Along with confidentiality, security in the transmission of this information is crucial. Ensuring that there is a secure online connection along with trusted devices is an important factor to consider in telehealth.

Begin Healing Now!

Have A Call With One Of Our Treatment Advisors

  • Individual Focus

  • Caring & Experienced Staff

  • Homestyle Retreat

  • Fully Licensed & Accredited 

Don’t Suffer Any Longer

We’ll Call You

Contact Us Today to Learn More

Whether you are seeking in person or virtual treatment, Guardian Recovery Network has options for you. Our skilled clinicians are highly trained and certified ensuring the best quality of treatment for you or your loved one. You can call Guardian Recovery Network any time day or night to be connected with a live representative. They will be able to answer any questions you may have and even provide you with a no obligation insurance check. Your journey to freedom from addiction can start today!

Reviewed for accuracy by:

Jasmine has worked in the mental health field for over 18 years. She earned her B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Child and Family Relations from North Carolina Central University, and her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University. Jasmine is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and has specialized in addiction for over 10 years.