Telehealth Proving to be Effective in Cases of Substance Abuse
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Substance abuse has always been a concern in Wyoming, but after the COVID-19 pandemic, many recovery centers started seeing an increase in people coming to them for help.
“With people experiencing job loss, limited access to health care support... it’s had a negative impact, you know, on people’s mental health as well,” said Lana Mahoney, Executive Director of Recover Wyoming, “which in turn, as you know those mental health and substance use correlate.”
Mahoney said that when telehealth first came out, many people still don’t know how to use it. So, it wasn’t until the option had been around for a while did they finally start seeing some positive results.
“Where there’s limited population, limited access to support systems, maybe people don’t have access to transportation,” Mahoney said. “You know, some people have to travel 40 miles just to get to an appointment, and so one thing that we have seen is that people are starting to get used to kind of this telehealth modality. And I think that actually has started to be beneficial for people seeking services because now it provides access to those remote and rural areas across the state.”
While telehealth has brought about new opportunities for those seeking help, Mahoney said that those struggling with substance abuse still benefit the most from connections with people in their life. Mahoney said that the biggest hindrance for those who are struggling with this disorder is the stigma around substance abuse.
“I would just encourage people to, you know, offer resources and support and let them know that recovery is possible for them,” Mahoney said. “And I think once people change that perception of themselves then they’re more willing to get that support, reach out, ask for help and things like that.”
Recover Wyoming started a telephone recovery support program April 2021 that allows people to check in and match with others to offer support all across the state. So, if someone doesn’t have access to resources where they are, they can still get the help and support they need that’s just a phone call away.
For more information on this program and how to seek help for yourself or someone you know, you can go to the Recover Wyoming website.
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