A Breakdown of Intensive Outpatient Treatment
Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) offer treatment for mild alcohol use disorder or substance disorder when medical detox is not required.
Now, residential rehab is often the best option. In the cases of most moderate and severe addictions, inpatient treatment is advisable. For anyone with an unstable home background, residential treatment offers a sanctuary away from triggers and stressors.
If inpatient treatment is not practical or affordable, an outpatient treatment program offers a more flexible and more cost-effective alternative, while still providing access to most of the same services.
What Is an IOP?
IOP is an abbreviation of intensive outpatient program. This type of treatment for addiction gives you the freedom to live away from the treatment center and remain connected to your life at work and home. For several hours each week, you’ll attend regularly scheduled sessions at a treatment center.
Intensive outpatient treatment offers more structure and a higher level of care than you find in conventional outpatient programs.
Despite the name, an IOP is less intensive than a PHP (partial hospitalization program). While these two approaches to addiction treatment are broadly similar, a PHP calls for more time commitment.
For some clients, an IOP serves as the primary form of care. For others, an IOP acts as a step down the continuum of care from residential rehab, or a step up from a failed attempt at a regular outpatient program.
When is Intensive Outpatient Treatment Effective?
IOPs don’t make sense for everyone. All situations are unique when it comes to recovery, and each case should be judged on its own merits to establish the best course of treatment. That said, there are some general circumstances when intensive outpatient programs are often effective.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have a mild or very moderate substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder?
- Are you in good shape, both physically and mentally?
- Do you feel committed to sustained sobriety?
- Do you have a strong support system in place?
- Are your family supportive of your recovery, and is your home environment stable?
- Is this your first attempt at engaging with an IOP for addiction treatment?
- Do you feel comfortable in group settings?
- Are you looking to cover the costs of treatment through insurance?
If you find yourself responding positively to the above questions, intensive outpatient treatment might be worth considering for your alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder.
What To Expect From an Intensive Outpatient Program
The best intensive outpatient will be highly personalized based on the evaluation of your intake and assessment.
There is a strong focus placed on preventing relapse, and you’ll also learn to build healthier coping mechanisms that don’t involve abusing substances.
If you stick to your treatment plan, attend all sessions, and implement what you learn, there’s no reason that an IOP can’t act as the springboard for your ongoing sobriety.
CBT is one of the most effective forms of psychotherapy, and proven effective for treating both alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder, as well co-occurring mental health disorders. What is CBT, though?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is an evidence-based psychotherapy that helps you to better understand the negative beliefs and flawed thinking that, if uncorrected, can result in drinking or drug use.
You’ll learn to identify and record automatic thoughts that trigger you to abuse substances.
Once aware of these triggers, you will develop healthy coping skills so you can strengthen your chances of avoiding relapse.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a specific type of CBT that’s highly effective for a range of mental health disorders, including depression, PTSD, and bipolar.
Individual and Group Counseling
IOPs offer you counseling sessions, both individually and in groups.
One-to-one sessions offer an invaluable personalized exploration of your addiction with laser-focused personal attention.
In a group setting, you’ll benefit from the support of peers struggling with the same issues you’re confronting as you leave substances behind and push ahead with your recovery.
IOPs can connect you with a variety of holistic therapies from yoga and mindfulness meditation to tai chi and outdoor activities in your area.
Relapse is strongly triggered by environmental and emotional stressors, so learning how to remain calm in the face of stress is a vital recovery skill for your toolbox, and you’ll sharpen this through holistic therapies.
You’ll also receive guidance on food and nutrition, as well as being encouraged to exercise daily.
If you need help reengaging with the workforce, intensive outpatient programs often offer assistance with various aspects of finding a job or pursuing a course of education.
Most people addicted to drink or drugs find their interpersonal relationships unravel.
Addiction is not only a disease, but it’s a disease that impacts all family members. With family therapy, you’ll be guided through reforming these broken bonds. You’ll also learn how to communicate with less friction so you can defuse conflict when it arises.
The goal of family therapy within an IOP is to unite the whole family and urge everyone to set aside differences and to focus on a sober future.
How Long Does an Intensive Outpatient Program Last?
Most intensive outpatient programs last for 12 to 16 weeks.
Following the IOP itself, you may also engage with maintenance treatment, also in an outpatient capacity, but at a much reduced level of intensity. This could last for months, depending on the level of care and guidance you require. Research shows that the longer you engage with treatment for, the higher your chances of sustained sobriety.
Typically, IOPs require a minimum time commitment of 9 hours weekly. Sessions are often held 3 times weekly for 3 hours. This is variable, though, with some IOPs meeting for fewer hours over more days of the week.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program at TDRC
If you feel you make a good fit for intensive outpatient treatment, you’re in safe hands here at The District Recovery Community.
For anyone lacking the right home environment, we can help arrange accommodation in sober living houses. This will make a more stable base where you’ll be surrounded by others in active recovery.
We’ll use evidence-based medication-assisted treatment when appropriate. This can help alleviate some of the more uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. MAT can also help reduce the intensity of cravings for drinks or drugs. Treatment is delivered in combination with the appropriate psychotherapy.
You’ll leave TDRC with all the skills you need to sustain a life of sustained sobriety. All you need to do to get started is call the friendly team at 844.287.8506.