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Intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) is a treatment option for those seeking recovery from substance abuse. An IOP treatment allows patients to have the freedom to continue their everyday lives, maintaining financial support and living in their own homes while receiving drug addiction treatment.

Some patients use intensive outpatient treatment as their primary source of treatment. However, others use this program when transitioning from inpatient to outpatient. By using this transition, the risk of relapse is lowered, and patients continue learning different coping skills. In some situations, patients may still require detox under the supervision of a medical professional, so this sort of transition occurs once detox is complete.

Inpatient Program vs. Intensive Outpatient Program

There is not much difference between the two treatment programs. However, inpatient programs require the patient to live at the facility, and outpatient allows the patient to go home once therapy or treatment meetings are completed. Typically, inpatient treatment can last anywhere from 30 to 90 days and even longer if needed. An inpatient treatment program will require commitment. Those who choose outpatient care get a mixture of inpatient treatment and once-a-week outpatient care. Typically, intensive outpatient treatment has meetings 2 – 4 hours a day, 3 – 4 times a week for 8 – 12 weeks.

Intensive outpatient treatment does offer some services that are outlined in inpatient treatments including individual, family and group therapy.

What to Expect from Intensive Outpatient Treatment

While attending outpatient treatment, patients see a doctor, individual and family counselor, a licensed psychologist, and a chemical dependency professional. This form of treatment also includes group and one-on-one therapy meetings, psychotherapy, educational classes, talk therapy, and more. This form of setting allows patients to attend treatment programs while still living at home, maintaining their personal lives, jobs and giving back to the community. When choosing an intensive outpatient program, you must be committed to your recovery, put forth the recovery skills and surround yourself in a healthy environment. By doing this, patients will experience fewer substance cravings and triggers, lowering the chance of relapse.

An intensive outpatient treatment program offers the following services:

Assessment and Detoxification – The first step to recovery is a clinical evaluation done by a professional to determine if outpatient programs are the best form of treatment. During this assessment, patients are given supportive and vital treatment and counseling opportunities that best fit their unique needs. During this assessment, the medical professional will determine if supervised medical detoxification is needed.

Psychotherapy – In an intensive outpatient treatment setting, individuals attend the following therapies:

  • Individual Therapy – Individual therapy allows patients to focus on personal issues that often cause substance use disorder. Along with recognizing known problems, patients learn different skills on how to maintain sobriety. A licensed counselor assists patients in reviewing their recovery goals, treatment plan, and coping tactics that may be hard to discuss in front of others.
  • Group Therapy – During group therapy, a licensed counselor begins a conversation that helps all those who are attending relate to the same personal incidents. IOP also offers its patients support groups including 12-Step programs and other mutual-help groups, so they do not feel as if they are alone on the road to recovery.
  • Family Therapy – While individual therapy is mainly the focus in intensive outpatient programs, research shows that when families and patients get involved in drug addiction treatment together, there is a higher success rate of sobriety. Addicts are not the only ones dealing with the effects of addiction. Family members also need to learn about addiction and its treatment along with how to support their loved one.

Pharmacotherapy – Medication management is critical while in substance abuse treatment programs. Medicines given to patients in recovery will not affect a person’s recovery process. Instead, they are only given to help focus on different aspects of substance abuse disorders.

Education Classes – During educational lessons, patients are given the opportunity to further explore their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that hold them back from a lifestyle or successful recovery. Also, during these educational classes, patients are taught the medical traits of substance use disorder and how to prevent relapse. The purpose of these lessons is to help recovering individuals understand the reason behind addiction and learn coping skills that will help them reach a sober lifestyle.

Support – Those who check into intensive outpatient treatment often have faced issues with law enforcement, friends and family, and troubles with their job. Many intensive outpatient programs are equipped to handle these obstacles in offering employment counseling for these patients.

What’s Next?

Those who have graduated from intensive outpatient treatment and no longer require professional support, often attend smaller group sessions that occur less frequently than IOP. This is considered “stepping down” since the patient has become independent in their recovery process. Stepping down is done slowly as addicts learn coping skills and techniques on how to gain an addiction-free lifestyle.

If you are curious as to whether intensive outpatient treatment is right for you, contact Serenity Acres today for an addiction assessment.