National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is celebrated every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible. The national observance recognizes the gains made by those in recovery as well as improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. The 2021 theme reflects the all-encompassing nature of the observance: “Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.”
Barriers to Accessible Treatment
Various barriers potentially prevent patients from receiving a diagnosis for substance use disorder and ongoing treatment:
- Location and working hours of facilities, clinics, and specialists may be inconvenient or inaccessible
- Self-quarantining and other physical distancing measures may limit access to support services which are crucial as social isolation is a risk factor for relapse.
- Patients may fear entering established treatment clinics may negatively impact their reputation / professional standing within the local community if they are recognized
- People in recovery may have limited access to meetings of peer-support groups and other sources of social connection.
Using Virtual Care to Support Recovery
With Synzi’s telehealth and virtual care platform, specialists can expand patient access to treatment by:
- Minimizing care deferrals during the pandemic
- Providing pre-admission care to patients to help them start treatment and ultimately reach out to an appropriate specialist and/or facility if more intensive treatment as needed
- Including family members in virtual counseling appointments
- Hosting virtual meetings for those who cannot peer-support groups in-person
- Helping patients access needed care without requiring travel time and expense
- Offering continuous support with bidirectional communication and condition-specific email or text messages to promote adherence and compliance
- Addressing LEP patients’ communication needs by including a medically certified interpreter in the virtual visits and translating messaging into the patients’ preferred language
- Providing better continuity of care for specific patient populations
Removing the physical barrier between patients and SUD specialists helps patients access the care and expertise they need. By giving patients better access to coping skills and specialized support, specialists can improve the quality, timing, and frequency of care for patients with an SUD. Virtual care also helps those who are managing other health conditions receive ongoing care and support.