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Online Rehab

Online Rehab: A New Alternative to Residential Treatment

By May 8, 2021 March 28th, 2024 No Comments

Substance use has spiked by 47% due to the recent events of Covid-19.

At least those were the findings in one survey by the International Journal of Drug Policy. Nearly half of respondents indicated their substance use has increased during the pandemic.

All of the uncertainty in the world right now can begin to take a toll on our mental health and people are turning to alcohol and drugs to cope.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, there’s no doubt that it can be one of the loneliest places in the world.

The fact of the matter is, the disease never just affects the person suffering—it changes the lives of everyone it touches.

The good news is, advances in modern technology have made seeking treatment easier than ever. Online rehab programs have become an effective new way for people to seek treatment for addiction and mental health without leaving the house.

What is Online Rehab?

So, what exactly is online rehab?

At Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centre, we offer a 4-week or 6-week online rehab program as a new alternative to residential treatment. One of the hugest benefits of the program is that you can receive treatment from the comfort of your own home—or wherever you have an Internet connection. All you need is access to a computer or smartphone.

The focus of our virtual rehab program is not only treating the substance abuse itself but the underlying factors that have caused the addictive behavior in the first place.

Our virtual intensive outpatient treatment is designed to treat both addiction and the accompanying mental health issues that go hand-in-hand.

If online addiction counselling is a new concept for you, understandably you’ll have some questions.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the benefits of online rehab, a typical day and week in treatment, the difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment, the effectiveness of virtual rehab, how to choose the right program, and much more.

Read on to find out if our innovative online addiction treatment program is the right fit for you.

The Difference Between Online Therapy and Online Rehab Programs

You may have heard a lot about online therapy lately.

There are a variety of companies popping up like BetterHelp or TalkSpace that connect you with a therapist suited to meet your needs.

However, unlike online rehab, their sessions aren’t structured to help you achieve a particular outcome such as sobriety.

While these online counselling platforms are incredible, it’s important to know how online rehab differs.

At Trafalgar, we don’t simply match you with a therapist. Addiction runs much deeper than that and requires a multidimensional approach.

We provide a structured, intensive 4 or 6-week program to help you overcome addiction in combination with any concurrent disorders you may have.

We know that substance abuse and mental health go hand-in-hand, which is why it’s our goal to treat both throughout your entire journey.

This is the only way to truly overcome addiction and not revert to relying on alcohol, drugs, or compulsive behaviors to feel better temporarily.

Our Registered Mental Health Professionals follow an evidence-based curriculum that has been proven to help so many other individuals before you.

Our experts will provide you with an individual step-by-step treatment plan to guide you through your recovery.

It’s our mission to teach you the necessary coping skills to integrate back into the world—free from falling back into the addictive behavior patterns.

Not only that but, once you’ve graduated, you have access to aftercare. These are incredible benefits that you simply can’t find anywhere else—including in online therapy.

Every other online counselling platform will be there for you when you need it, but as soon as you cancel your subscription, you’ll need to find another support system.

At Trafalgar, you’ll have a network of support for life.

Why is it a Good Choice?

It may feel like you’ve exhausted all of the options when it comes to getting sober.

The truth is, inpatient treatment is simply unaffordable for many people.

While there are government-funded options available in most provinces, most of the programs come with an extensive waiting list because they’re open to the public.

However, when the decision has been made to seek treatment, you likely already know it’s a matter that simply can’t wait.

Urgency is crucial for action to be taken during an addiction intervention.

This can prevent you or your loved one from slipping back into the comfort of the destructive behavior.

Virtual addiction treatment is a good choice because it provides an alternative solution to costly inpatient programs and long waiting lists to get help.

It’s equally as effective as inpatient programs — only at a more affordable price than private rehab facilities.

In fact, there is evidence that our online intensive outpatient program may be even more beneficial for some people.

The Benefits of Virtual Addiction Treatment

Location Independent

Rather than having to attend group therapy sessions or relocate to attend inpatient treatment, our online intensive outpatient program is location independent.

You can receive online addiction counselling from home or wherever you are that day.

Some of our graduates have found it helpful to be able to attend a therapy session in the middle of the workday. Plus, you no longer have to catch a bus or pay for costly parking to attend sessions.


Our program provides the flexibility that allows you to work around your schedule.

This is an incredible benefit if you have kids, a job, attend school, or have any other commitments to work around.

You decide when you want to sign on and access your program at your convenience.

Morning or night — you know what’s next on the curriculum so you can complete it at your own pace anytime that day.

Keep Your Commitments

Do you have a family?

With our program, you can continue to be around for your children and partner during your recovery journey.

If you’re currently employed, that means you never have to miss a day of work.

Another benefit is that you have the option to tell your employer about your treatment or you can choose to keep it to yourself.

You’ll never have to excuse yourself from work or other commitments so treatment can be kept private if you wish.

Be Surrounded by Loved Ones

Traditional inpatient programs require you to be away from your loved ones.

For parents and people with partners, this is often one of the hardest parts of recovery.

With our program, you can receive remote treatment for addiction and mental health surrounded by the support of your family and friends.

This makes the process more comfortable and feels less intimidating. That’s another reason why our virtual rehab has a high success rate.


Our program is built on the foundation of Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres, which is accredited by the CARF.

We transitioned our highly successful Intensive Outpatient Program into an online platform to better serve you from a distance, allowing you to get help without uprooting your life.


Our Master’s level therapists and Addiction Counsellors are registered to treat addiction and concurrent disorders in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. If you’re located anywhere in Canada — with the exception of French-speaking Quebec — you can rest assured that we have Addictions Counsellors and therapists who are licensed to help.

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Features of Online Rehab

12 Individual Therapy Sessions

A successful treatment program doesn’t treat the symptoms of the disease and expects the addictive behavior to stop.

Substance use and compulsive behavior are almost always caused by underlying issues, whether that be stress, trauma, or a family history of addiction.

12 individual therapy sessions are included in your program, where you will work to understand the root of the addiction.

These sessions take place three times a week and will be held one-on-one with your therapist.

Once you start to understand and work on the underlying mental health issues, then you can begin to find relief from the addictive behavior.

2 Specialized Group Therapy Sessions Every Day

Group therapy sessions are an important part of recovery for several reasons.

Speaking out in a group setting helps you to express your issues, which is a core aspect of addiction treatment in both inpatient and outpatient programs.

Listening to others talk about similar issues is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to developing your self-awareness.

Not only that, but you develop a strong support system with others who are going through similar challenges.

Getting the chance to attend two of these sessions every day throughout your program is priceless.

Optional Self-Directed Lessons

If group sessions aren’t something you’re interested in, then you have the opportunity to tailor your program.

You can replace the group therapy sessions with 12 self-directed lessons, which are equally as beneficial.

The lessons cover important topics like the Language of Letting Go, Removing the Mask of Stress & Frustration, and Management of Destructive Behaviors.

If you opt for self-directed lessons, you also receive three check-in calls each week from your registered Addiction Counsellor.

Unlimited Text Support

From Monday to Friday, between the hours of 8 AM to 8 PM, you can receive unlimited text support from our team.

Having a bad day at work? Send us a text and let’s talk about it. We’ll help you stay on track throughout the day when triggers inevitably come up.

Various Exercises

Throughout your program, you’ll receive various additional exercises from us as we see fit.

We’ll provide you with these complimentary handouts designed to help you get a better understanding of yourself as you go through the process of recovery.

The exercises will be done on your own time and will include topics like emotion regulation, relapse prevention, and healthy relationships.

3 Family Therapy Sessions

Drug and alcohol addiction is often referred to as a “family disease” because it impacts everyone in the household.

Quite often anger and resentment build up surrounding the addiction, so therapy is important for treating the family as a whole.

The person receiving treatment will have the opportunity to attend these sessions alongside their loved ones.

The goal is to attend three of these sessions throughout the program and strengthen the family bond more than ever.

4 Partner Support Therapy Sessions

Too often we see addiction programs that provide family therapy sessions but there’s no help offered for the partner of the person getting treatment.

Partner support therapy sessions are for spouses, partners, parents, children, or siblings. Differing from family therapy, these sessions are held virtually once per week and focus strictly on the partner’s well-being. The person receiving treatment will not be part of these sessions.

Individualized Discharge Plan

The reason people turn to substances or compulsive behavior is different for everyone.

With that in mind, there’s no place for cookie-cutter programs when it comes to battling addiction.

You and your therapist will put together an individualized discharge plan upon graduation to help guide you. This plan is designed to help keep you on track in your journey to recovery.

Continuation of Care

Upon completing your program, you’ll receive bi-weekly and monthly care calls from your Addictions Counsellor.

These care calls are designed to help you overcome any new challenges that arise after graduation.

Aftercare Support

At Trafalgar, we know that recovery is a lifelong journey and doesn’t stop once you’ve graduated.

With your continuation of care offering, you’ll also have aftercare support.

Whether you’ve moved to a different province, you need to talk to someone during a workday, or you’re on vacation with your family, you can remain in contact with our virtual team during our aftercare group sessions.

Wherever you are in the world, if you have a wifi connection, you’ll have access to your support system for life.

Is it Secure? How About Privacy?

If this is your first time hearing about online substance abuse programs, you may be wondering about security and privacy.

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about either of these. Our online counselling platform is completely secure and your video calls are end-to-end encrypted.

That means only the communicating users can view or hear what’s being said and your calls are never stored anywhere.

Not only will you have complete privacy, but our program is PIPEDA and PHIPA compliant. Plus, Canadian authorities regulate the platform so you know you’re in a safe environment at all times.

Home-Based Treatment Plan for Addiction

We offer a 4-week intensive virtual program:

Online and At Your Own Pace
A Virtual Circle of Care Team Supporting Your Recovery
12 Individual Therapy Sessions
Specialized Group Therapy
3 Family Therapy
4 Partner Support Therapy
Accountability / Mentor Support
Discharge Planning
Continuation of Care

A New Alternative to Residential Treatment.
And yes, it works.

Call For A Free Consultation

Learn More About Our Remote Treatment Program

A Typical Day / Week During Online Treatment

The decision to begin online treatment is a big one, so it can be helpful to get insight into what a typical day/week looks like.

While a lot of the program is self-paced, there are two structured groups that you can attend daily to help stay on track.

Monday to Friday at 10:30 AM, you’ll attend a Daily Skills Group and the Daily Process Group at 1:00 PM. These are your live group therapy sessions where you’ll have the opportunity to interact with others, role-play, and learn to accept constructive feedback.

However, if your schedule doesn’t work around these times, you can choose self-directed video lessons in place of attending the group sessions.

You’ll have three individual therapy sessions with your Master’s level registered therapist per week. The good news is, these sessions are flexible and you can pick a time that works for you.

In addition to that, you’ll be offered three Family Therapy sessions and four Partner Support Therapy sessions throughout the program that you can schedule at your convenience.

Comparison Between Residential Treatment and Virtual Outpatient Treatment

In our program, you’ll receive many of the same benefits as residential treatment.

Some of these benefits include individual sessions with your licensed therapists, access to addictions counsellors, group sessions, family therapy, and various exercises — only from the comfort of your home.

Virtual outpatient treatment gives you unparalleled flexibility and convenience that residential treatment doesn’t provide.

Not having to put work and other commitments on hold is the biggest advantage of virtual rehab.

Another point to mention is, before receiving residential treatment, you first have to be accepted into the program. Quite often you’ll have to wait your turn on a waiting list before beginning treatment.

This is because many rehab centres have to operate within a specific capacity, so you can’t enter the program without someone else graduating first.

With online rehab, you can start as soon as you’re ready to begin. Having treatment available when you need it can often make or break the decision to seek help.

Does Online Addiction Counselling Work?

Online addiction counselling is just as effective as our outpatient program.

We have a 95% completion rate in our virtual intensive outpatient program and aftercare service.

This speaks volumes to its effectiveness because many people drop out of both inpatient and outpatient programs mid-treatment.

Virtual addiction counselling is easier to stick to because your life isn’t uprooted.

What Type of Addictions can be Treated With Online Rehab?

Our 4-week online rehab program can target many types of addictions.

We can treat addiction to substances such as alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, and ecstasy. Our program can also help you overcome behavioural addictions to sex, porn, gambling, and video games among others.

In addition to treatment for substance use and behavioral addictions, we treat concurrent disorders as well.

If you’re suffering from mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or ADHD, we can help.

The quality of your mental health goes hand-in-hand with your substance use and is often the cause of addiction, which is why our experts believe in treating both.

Our Registered Mental Health Professionals are highly trained in both addiction treatment and trauma recovery to help you take control of your life again. These are uncertain times and taking care of your mental health and well-being as a whole is the most important thing right now.

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How to Choose the Right Program?

Once you’ve decided to seek treatment, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of the different program options.

With all that’s going on in the world now, you should consider if attending outpatient sessions or residential treatment are possibilities for you.

If not, then perhaps you should consider virtual outpatient rehab.

You’ll never have to leave the safety of your house and you receive many of the same benefits, plus a few others.

Another factor to consider is the cost of the different program options.

Do you have the funds for private residential treatment or will virtual rehab be easier for you to afford right now?

Do you mind paying for things like transit and costly car parks or can you benefit from live virtual therapy sessions?

This is a personal decision and only you know what feels right for you.

Once you’ve decided to enroll in virtual rehab, you’ll have to decide whether you’d like option one or two. Option 1 includes live group therapy sessions, whereas option 2 will consist of the self-directed lessons.

Deciding which is right for you will depend on your schedule. If you need more flexibility or the group sessions don’t work with your schedule, we’d suggest considering option two.

Our experts are happy to answer any further questions you have regarding which program is right for you.

Can I Receive Virtual Treatment Program in my Province?

If you’ve made it this far, you’re likely wondering if you can receive virtual treatment in your province.

As we mentioned before, our therapists are licensed in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.

However, we can operate in all provinces of Canada — with the exception of Quebec. The only reason for this is because our program is in English and not geared toward the French-speaking community yet.

If you’re located anywhere else in the country, you can take advantage of our online intensive outpatient program.

Take the First Step on Your Recovery Journey Today

If you’ve been struggling lately, we urge you to take advantage of the power of modern technology on your path toward addiction recovery and better mental health.

Our online intensive outpatient program could be the best thing you ever do for your mental and emotional well-being.

For more information, please fill out the contact form and we’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Meet Our Renowned Experts

You will receive Addiction and Mental Health Treatment from the very best from the comfort of your home.
We have a team of accredited professionals who have many years of clinical and research experience.

Photo of Christine Courbasson

Dr. Christine Courbasson

Clinical Psychologist & Senior Clinical Advisor

Photo of Nathaniel Israel

Nathaniel Israel, MA, RP

Clinical Director, Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program

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Kinga Burjan, MA, RP

Clinical Director, Virtual Integrated Programming

See Our Team

Our Virtual Treatment Program

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    Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres

    Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres

    We offer residential and outpatient rehab treatment programs for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.

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