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Providing support to individuals for addiction recovery continues to present challenges due to the implications of COVID-19. The health care sector must continue to adapt and innovate. The mixed-model of care (consisting of virtual and in-person visits) offers a promising path forward. This approach acknowledges the varied realities and needs of those using substances. Emphasizing the need for accessible, flexible and person-centered care options.

Why A Mixed-Model Approach is the Best Solution

Accessibility: Virtual meetings have drastically increased the accessibility of support for individuals in recovery. This is particularly beneficial for those who may not have transportation or live in areas with limited recovery services. By offering virtual options, recovery programs can reach a broader audience, ensuring that help is available to anyone who needs it, regardless of their location.

Flexibility: The flexibility offered by virtual meetings is unparalleled. Participants can join sessions from anywhere, at times that fit their schedules. This flexibility is crucial for those who may have work, school, or family commitments that make attending regular in-person meetings challenging.

Personal Connection: While virtual meetings provide accessibility and flexibility, in-person meetings offer the irreplaceable benefit of personal connection. Face-to-face interactions can foster a deeper sense of community and support among group members. The physical presence of peers and facilitators can create a more empathetic environment, where non-verbal cues and expressions can enhance communication and understanding.

Tailored Support: Combining in-person and virtual meetings allows recovery programs to offer more tailored support. Individuals can choose the format that best suits their comfort level, needs, and stage of recovery.

Continuity and Crisis Management: This mixed-model approach also provides continuity of support. During crises such as natural disasters or pandemics, where in-person gatherings might be restricted, virtual meetings ensure that the recovery process continues uninterrupted.

The integration of virtual and in-person visits not only addresses current challenges but also lays the groundwork for a more adaptable and resilient health care system in the future. As we move forward, it will be crucial to continue evaluating and refining these models, ensuring that they effectively serve the needs of all individuals seeking care.