To recover from addiction, people with substance use disorders (SUDs) need support from providers and their peers. As quarantine has become a way of life, and gatherings have been banned in most states for the foreseeable future, both are hard to come by. One possible solution is telehealth, but experts say that remote, tech-aided treatment for addiction is still largely unproven — and most payers and providers don’t have experience with it.
“Because of the unexpected nature and unprecedented nature of the situation, there are very limited data on evidence-based approaches on how to treat patients under these circumstances,” said Carlos Blanco, M.D., during a May 18 webinar about continuity of care for SUD patients, organized by the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM), a health care think tank. Blanco is the director of the Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a branch of the National Institutes of Health.