IAC Associates launches Integrated Addiction Care via Telemedicine


 

IAC Associates & Baptist Center of Excellence in Addiction has launched a comprehensive telemedicine program for patients with drug and alcohol addictions. Our integrated addiction patient care team of physicians, therapists, and social workers are available now for online visits.

As Memphians struggle with Covid-19 and Stay-at-home orders, negative emotions are soaring as social isolation, stress, anxiety, and fear grip us. Negative emotions have always been a trigger for addictions and stimulate drug seeking behavior. So how do we take care of these patients in the current environment? The answer is telemedicine.

As part of the state of emergency declared by the President, many of the regulations which have impeded telemedicine for addiction have been removed. Telemedicine allows patients and addiction medicine specialists to connect quickly from any smart phone, tablet, or computer in the privacy of their home or car. Telemedicine provides a means of treatment which is confidential, convenient and obviates the need for person-to-person interaction.

There are strong advantages for telemedicine in addiction treatment. First, the stigma of addiction diminishes the will for patients to seek treatment in public because of the fear of "disgrace" and "humiliation" by our society and healthcare workers. Secondly, telemedicine fits into the flow of the patient's life so that treatment is not disruptive. The latter is especially relevant in the context of a chronic relapsing disorder, such as addiction.

One question remains regarding the growth of telemedicine for addiction. Will patients embrace telemedicine? The answer has been an astounding yes for us.

In the last two weeks, the addiction medicine practice of IAC has shifted from 95 percent in-person service to 95 percent telemedicine. Patients have embraced telemedicine. Our patient care team is led by an addiction specialist physician and supplemented by the efforts of an experienced therapist and social worker. Follow-up by FaceTime or telephone between visits adds "glue" between visits, enhancing our interaction with patients. The number of patients seeking treatment has increased and they are embracing telemedicine.

Discover more on www.iacassociates.com

 
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