Intensive Outpatient Program

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Drugs and alcohol do not discriminate who they affect. There is no social or economic class that they prefer. They do not pick an ethnicity or a gender to torture. No one plans on becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol and many people tell themselves that they could quit any time they wanted. When someone who has been casually using drugs or alcohol gets caught driving while under the influence or steals from a local retail store and is now facing legal charges, they may have crossed the line into a situation in which they need more help than they can give themselves. Perhaps the person is married with a full-time job and children and have never looked into professional help because they don’t believe that it could accommodate their hectic life. This is where an intensive outpatient program can be the answer to their problems. They need to be aware that it will take mental work on their part. It will take juggling a career and family to a whole new level, but every moment will be worth it when they are rolling over in bed on a Sunday morning and don’t dread the sound of the children giggling endlessly down the hall because there is no hangover to face.

What are the goals of an IOP?

Many people find that they work better when they set goals, and those in an intensive outpatient program are no different. With a limited time in which to achieve resolution to a problem that took time to become a part of their daily life, it may take just as long to have it disappear. When an IOP is over, there is still hope for those who need it in aftercare and maintenance programs that are less intense. Everything from traditional outpatient programs to 12-step programs, like that used in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), will help someone continue on their sober living path. So, what are the goals of an IOP?

What is an intensive outpatient program, or IOP?

When someone enters any rehabilitation program, they must go in with an open mind and ready to work and delve into their mental health. The process isn’t just difficult in the way that a previous user has to fight the cravings that the drug itself has created, but also in fighting the demons that have caused the desire to use in the first place. Participants typically visit the center according to their specific plan, which can be a few days each week at several hours each visit. They do not live there. Some programs are scheduled to be completed in 90 days and some 14-16 weeks. So, what happens in an IOP?

How is an IOP different from a traditional outpatient program?

For those who have a mild addiction and thought they could remain sober on their own but are discovering that they are having a problem fighting the cravings in everyday life can benefit from the offerings of an IOP. Perhaps someone cannot take time away from their full-time job responsibilities or their children that require care in the evenings. These are the advantages of attending an out- instead of an inpatient program. Unlike traditional outpatient programs, there is a higher level of structure that previous users must follow, with more care placed on their education and support. Simultaneously, it allows them to live in a comfortable and safe place.

Living at home allows people to achieve the results they need while not adding the anxiety of living somewhere unknown to them. It also reduces the financial impact. Differences boil down to:

Who benefits from an IOP?

Maybe someone has researched the features of enrolling in an intense outpatient program and feels that it suits their situation perfectly. They will go through an intake assessment so that the team at the facility can recommend the best rehab structure for your specific situation. When IOPs were designed in the 1980s, they were done so with the idea that only high functioning addicts would most likely find success in an IOP. However, as time progressed and clinical studies were performed to determine the efficacy of the program, it was discovered that even those who faced significant psychosocial issues, such as homelessness and dual diagnosis, would see positive results. Essentially, clinical experience and studies have proven that an IOP can help anyone as long as it provides:

Anyone who is looking to improve their situation can benefit from all that an IOP has to offer as long as it matches their requirements and they are already clean. Research has shown that patients with access to case managers who helped them coordinate medical, housing, parenting, and employment services presented with less substance abuse, fewer problems with their physical and mental health, and better social function after six months. As with any therapeutic program, a combination of treatment methodologies provides the best results.

Those who have completed the program successfully are advised to continue aftercare treatments with periodic phone check-ins, attendance at alumni meetings, participation in 12-step meetings, and possibly weekly individual and group sessions. As they progress, the plan will most likely vary and be flexible according to their progress. Dedication and commitment to bettering oneself is the key to success when deciding that it’s time to get help for the drug and alcohol abuse that has somehow invaded your life. It took some questionable decisions to get to this point of addiction and will take time to reverse those habits. Anyone can regain control of their life and get back to reaching for the happiness that they once envisioned for their future when they investigate the possibilities of an intensive outpatient program.