Virtual Programs

As we continue to serve our clients while responding to the spread of COVID-19, we are implementing and expanding Sanford Virtual Addiction Treatment. At Sanford, we are all healthcare workers on the front lines, looking out for our clients every day. And we are committed to helping public health facilitators contain the coronavirus pandemic, while also making sure those with substance use disorders (SUDs) receive the treatment they rely upon.

Virtual treatment allows our clients to adhere to the “stay-in-place” and “socially distance” requirements, while continuing to receive SUD treatment and the benefits of connection to the Sanford community.

Our virtual programs are also available for those in areas where addiction treatment is not readily available. And virtual treatment is ideal for Sanford clients who have completed Residential Treatment, but live outside of the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Those clients are able to participate in a long-term continuum of care while integrating back into their home and work environment.

What is Virtual Addiction Treatment?

Simply put, virtual addiction treatment utilizes “video chat” technology to offer the same evidence-based practices that our in-person programs provide, but in the comfort and safety of home. This is especially significant during the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs offered in our virtual treatment model are: Medication-Assisted Treatment; Day Treatment; Intensive Outpatient Programs; Outpatient Programs; and one-on-one and family counseling. We are continuing to add new programs as demand and our research dictates.

Sanford Virtual Addiction Treatment is HIPAA-compliant, insurance-eligible and developed following Our professional Admissions Specialists are available to answer all questions you may have about our virtual programs.

Interactive virtual programs are accessed using a smartphone with a downloaded APP, or a computer with a video camera connection. Closed captioning is available. Groups are accessible by phone call-in if no WiFi is available. Video groups are real-time, and facilitated by a master’s level clinician. It works very much like other group video technology – participants look at the screen instead of each other in a circle when face-to-face. The screen contains a grid of participant faces (similar to the intro to the old TV show The Brady Bunch). And when the facilitator speaks, or anyone in the group participates, the group can see who is talking. At Sanford, we adhere to strict compliance with confidentiality – first names only to identify group members. And email addresses are protected.



Virtual Addiction Treatment schedule

How Do I Get Started?

Virtual addiction treatment starts with a phone call to our admissions team: 844.776.9651

  • Our admissions team will conduct a phone assessment and provide verification of insurance benefits, answer questions and “check you in”.
  • You will be assigned a primary therapist and that person will reach out to to schedule a biopsychosocial assessment. Your primary therapist will give clear instructions on how to enter a virtual group at that time.
  • You will be assigned to a particular group and receive your schedule.
  • Behind the scenes, our facilitators, administrators and clinicians will coordinate schedules, training guides, technical updates and generally keep each other informed.

Right now, everyone on television and the internet is telling us, “Stay safe – we’ll get through this together.” For those new to recovery, that mantra has special meaning. Especially when it comes in the same breath as “social distancing” or “stay in place”.  At Sanford we understand that standing alone in a dark room is one of the earmarks of active addiction. And that community, friends and family connections are key to long-term recovery. So, especially at this time, Sanford is here for you. Take advantage of all the options to reach out virtually for help and connection in the new normal of COVID-19.


 Stay safe. Stay connected. We will get through this together …


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