If you’ve been researching treatment options for a substance use disorder, you may be considering an intensive outpatient program. This unique form of treatment allows individuals to participate in intensive therapy and make progress in their recovery while living at home.
In terms of intensity and flexibility, an IOP can be classified as somewhere between residential and outpatient treatment – clients do not live on-site, but they participate in more therapy than an outpatient program. While intensive outpatient treatment is ideal for many people, it’s important to seek the guidance of a trained treatment admissions counselor to ensure you’re receiving the proper level of care.
What is an IOP?
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a therapeutic treatment program that allows individuals to receive intense levels of treatment for disorders that do not require an inpatient detox program. For those recovering from substance abuse, an IOP may be the right option if detox is not necessary or if detox has already been completed and round-the-clock supervision is no longer needed.
An IOP differs from a residential treatment program in that residential treatment program participants live at the treatment center, participate in the community of the center and attend recovery programs all in this place of residency. An intensive outpatient program – while still offering beneficial recovery treatment modalities – does not require its clients to live at the facility. Program participants live at their own homes and commute to the treatment facility for sessions.
An intensive outpatient program offers clients some flexibility in their scheduling choices, and both day and evening sessions are usually available. Most IOPs meet at least a few times a week. The program will provide you with a customized treatment plan that fits your unique needs, including a combination of individual therapy, educational workshops and group counseling. During both individual and group therapy, clients work on reinforcing their coping skills, learning how to manage cravings and practicing stress-reduction techniques.
Understanding the benefits
There are many reasons why people prefer to address their addiction through an IOP. One of the most valuable benefits of an IOP is its flexibility. This form of treatment allows you to fit therapy sessions into your existing schedule, giving you time to meet the demands of family and work. While you may have to work part-time or attend school part-time, intensive outpatient programs allow you to maintain at least some of your normal routine.
Additionally, an IOP allows your loved ones to join you in family counseling sessions. Family therapy is an effective way to open the lines of communication with your loved ones and help them understand how they can best support you in your recovery journey. It provides a safe space in which to communicate, helps the family to plan how they’ll make the home conducive to recovery and allows you to receive the unique support a family community can offer.
Another unique feature of an IOP is that it gives clients the chance to practice the skills and strategies they learn in treatment right away. In residential treatment, you have to complete the program before putting your coping skills to the test in the outside world; with an IOP, however, you are still engaging in routine life when not in a treatment session, giving you the opportunity to implement what you’re learning in treatment right away. This can prevent relapse and strengthen your recovery overall.
Making the choice
Intensive outpatient treatment offers multiple benefits to clients, but it’s not the right form of treatment for everyone. An IOP will be most effective if at least one of these criteria apply to you:
- You’re transitioning out of a residential addiction treatment program
- You haven’t been progressing with traditional outpatient treatment
- You don’t need to go through medically assisted detox for addiction
- You have work or family obligations that make it hard for you to be away from home for weeks or months at a time
Before seeking treatment from an IOP, it’s important to note that mental health issues are often treated in conjunction with addiction. Treating both of these conditions simultaneously is important for many clients who struggle with co-occurring psychological and substance use disorders.
However, not everyone with co-occurring disorders will be a good candidate for intensive outpatient treatment. For example, if you’ve been struggling with an eating disorder and need support during meals, an IOP won’t be the best fit for you. An IOP is also not a good choice for clients who have medical issues that must be addressed before they can begin addiction treatment.
Addiction is a complex disorder. It can vary greatly in severity, and no two cases are exactly alike. It’s important to choose a treatment program that meets your individual needs. For many people, an IOP is the ideal solution, balancing the intensive support of an inpatient program with the flexibility of outpatient treatment. An IOP allows clients to rebuild their lives and work on their recovery skills while living at home and attending to their obligations. Take the time to speak with an admissions counselor to ensure IOP treatment is right for you.
Ready to enroll?
If you are interested in the benefits an intensive outpatient treatment program would have on your mental health, consider reaching out to High Focus Centers to learn about our options for addiction treatment. To fill out a contact form or call our offices today at 800-877-3628.