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Evaluation of the AVATAR Substance Abuse Treatment Program

Researcher(s): (Jeanne Bilanin) (Stephan A Sherman)

(2012)

Outpatient substance use disorder treatment typically entails a series of sessions held between a counselor and clients for the purpose of supporting sobriety and recovery. Although outpatient treatment programs offer greater affordability, flexibility, and privacy than traditional inpatient programs, significant barriers to treatment remain including negative social attitudes and inaccessibility of treatment. Avatar-assisted therapy, a newly developed interactive online treatment platform, seeks to address these barriers. Maryland’s Behavioral Health Administration in collaboration with a private treatment provider piloted use of avatar-assisted treatment for individuals with substance use disorders, and IGSR is evaluating the effectiveness of the pilot program.