According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 21.2 million Americans aged 12 or older have substance use disorders. Only 4.2 million receive treatment each year and find freedom in recovery. That’s why we created National Online Recovery Day to spread awareness about online recovery options and help remove the stigma attached to substance use disorders.

The second annual National Online Recovery Day will take place September 22 during National Recovery Month. It is the only national health awareness day focused on the benefits and advantages of telehealth services for any health issue. Online recovery treatment and long-term support programs are the best solutions for many people suffering from substance use disorders (SUDs). 

Getting help online removes many of the barriers that prevent people struggling with SUDs from seeking treatment, including shame and stigma, and access to services. Plus, online therapy sessions and meetings are completely private, flexible, and accessible from anywhere. And, online recovery works; teletherapy is just as effective as in-person therapy, or even superior in some cases, according to extensive research by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Awareness for online recovery is important

Raising awareness for online recovery options is critical. Last year was the worst year in drug overdose deaths ever. Data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention illustrates just how dramatically the U.S. suffered at the hands of the opioid epidemic in 2020: a record 93,000 drug-overdose deaths were documented last year, a nearly 30% increase from 2019 and the sharpest annual increase in three decades. Likely the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which is 50 times stronger than heroin, and was already on the rise in late 2019, tainted the U.S. drug supply. This growing issue combined with the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 created a perfect storm for those struggling with drugs or in recovery. Stay at home orders left many of them susceptible to increased drug use or relapse, and online recovery was, and continues to be, critical.

Online recovery has been, and continues to be, the most private and successful way to get help with substance abuse. In fact, studies show that 80 percent of Lionrock’s clients remained abstinent at 18 months after discharge from treatment; that’s twice the national average.

Facts about telehealth & online recovery

Here are some facts about online recovery:

  • Telehealth is one of the most effective ways to reach and treat people with SUDs. It’s also one of the most effective ways to support life in recovery.
  • Online recovery is affordable. Even for people without health insurance, private pay packages are available that fit most budgets.
  • Online recovery is private. People can seek and receive HIPAA-compliant treatment from the privacy of their home. 
  • Online recovery is flexible. There is no need to build in commute time and it allows for appointments at any time of day. 
  • Online recovery is preferred by many. According to a Lionrock Recovery survey, fifty-two percent of people in treatment who attended in-person meetings pre-COVID, say they will only attend online meetings when restrictions are lifted. 

To learn more about National Online Recovery Day and how you can get involved, visit