Recovery groups move to online treatment

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W.Va. (WDTV) -- As COVID-19 begins to plague West Virginia, trauma and addiction recovery groups across the state suspend in person sessions. However, patients will still receive the care they need.

Recovery centers such as the Opportunity House in Buckhannon supplement in-person sessions with online ones. 

"We're seeing some people already at 12-step meetings who were hesitant . You know, they weren't comfortable coming to a meeting with a bunch of people they don't know to talk about their problems," says executive director Matt Kerner, "but if they can peek in online, and see what's going on, and become comfortable that way, we think that can be a blessing in disguise." 

Another recovery center, Sirena Solutions PLLC in Fairmont, does supplementary treatment in other ways according to CEO Dr. Mark Coomes, M.D.

"What we're doing is we're spreading out the patient appointments, so normally we might have 2 or 3 patients an hour," says Dr. Coomes.

"At this point we're only seeing one patient per hour to make sure that they come in, they're not exposed to other patients, they get their appointment, and then they leave."

Like the Opportunity House, electronic treatment is available but not in a group setting.  

"We're currently offering telemedicine. We have a telemedicine policy. We work with our partners and our own telemedicine company that does allow our counselors to connect with patients, so they don't have to be exposed here in the clinic," adds Dr. Coomes.