Telehealth has gained in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic -- and that includes an online option for those seeking treatment for opioid or alcohol addiction. Boulder Care is an app and telehealth program that provides long-term comprehensive care for people with substance abuse disorders.
“We really focus on compassionate care and non-judgmental care,” said Dr. Alyson Smith, Boulder Care Medical Director. “We know from years of experience unfortunately that the harder we push people and the more we stigmatize them, people actually don’t seek treatment in those cases.”
Boulder Care’s model is built on science. Patients will begin medication-assisted treatment and receive care from a doctor, peer coach, and care advocate. Peer coaches have personal experience living with addiction.
This telehealth program allows patients privacy and flexibility with scheduling. Appointments can take place in the comfort a patient’s home or a private space, so it is easier to attend treatment without others knowing.
“Stigma is a huge part of it,” Dr. Smith said. “People don’t want to have it be known to the world that they’re looking for treatment for addiction.”
For loved ones of someone struggling with addiction, Dr. Smith says it’s important to show support, especially through challenging times like the holidays. Support and love, rather than tough love, are often more effective in helping people take the first step to get treatment. Additionally, studies show that the support of family members can make a positive difference on an individual’s treatment.
“Don’t give up hope,” Dr. Smith said. “I see this every day. I know people can change. We’ve got the right treatments to do it, and I just happen to be incredibly fortunate to be able to see it every day.”