Reasons Why Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs Work

Intensive outpatient treatment programs or IOPs are mainly used to eliminate addictions. However, its application also extends to eating disorders, severe depression, or other obsessive disorder that doesn’t necessarily require a detoxification process.

The way this works is that it allows the patient to live out his day-to-day activities like attaining an education or working a full-time job. The patient isn’t required to stay in the inpatient facility which means that he has all the time to juggle his recovery and his obligations to society

Why Should You Choose IOP?

IOPs are essential for addiction treatment and it is a great alternative to the typical inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment can be expensive due to the additional fees from lodging and all-around care. While that is understandable because they truly limit the patient’s access to addictive substances, there are instances where it is not the best course of treatment.

For example, the patient may have already outgrown inpatient rehab and has reached the saturation point for growth in that area. If that’s the case, then it’s time for a new treatment plan that targets different areas and maybe more effective.

Additionally, this is also great for patients who wish to hold a full-time job or attain an education, both of which are very time-consuming. They can balance all of their commitments while working towards as much growth as possible.

IOPs are only viable if the patient has a very safe home environment. This means he should have a loving and supportive family that will help him detox and recover. The home environment should also have no triggers and zero access to addictive substances to prevent a relapse. 

Stages Of Addiction Treatment

As aforementioned, the treatment is proportional to the severity of the addiction. Here is the general list of the stages of addiction treatment. IOP is considered as a level 2 treatment.

  1. Level 0.5: Early intervention
  2. Level 1: Outpatient Rehab Treatment
  3. Level 2: Intensive Outpatient Treatment with Partial Hospitalization
  4. Level 3: Residential Rehab or Inpatient Rehab Treatment
  5. Level 4: Medical Management With Intensive Inpatient Rehab

What Happens In Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

The type of care actually varies from center to center. Most facilities heavily encourage the patient to enroll in a  12-step program that is usually held in a therapeutic or medical facility. There are other online programs that are useful for patients that live in remote areas.

The patient is usually required to check into the facility around 3 to 4 times a week, sometimes more, depending on the severity of the addiction and at which stage of recovery the patient is. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, every patient should commit around 9 to 20 hours per week.

The main difference between IOPs and other outpatient programs is that the former provides a closer and higher level of assistance to the patient. This means more hours are spent at the center until the patient gradually recovers.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is the core of IOPs because it has been proven that group participation is one of the most effective ways to treat addiction. Some of the benefits of group therapy include:

  • Group therapy helps the patient improve his communication skills so that he can get better at vocalizing his thoughts and emotions. This is an important part of recovery because it allows the counselor to make the necessary adjustments that will better suit the patient. Additionally, the patient’s socialization skills may have been affected by the addiction. Group therapy helps restore these skills.
  • Group therapy makes the patient feel less alone on this journey as he is given access to an environment where people can relate to him. It is comforting to be surrounded by people on the same boat. It is also inspiring to hear about other people’s recovery.
  • Group therapy provides healthy ways through which the patient can interact with other people. It also provides a safe space which is crucial for patient recovery.
  • Group therapy allows the patient to meet other recovering addicts that are already farther down the path to recovery. This will inspire them to stay committed to recovery because they can feel that it’s completely possible.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is ever-present in all types of addiction treatments. It’s a one-on-one and personal assessment of the patient’s wellbeing. Individual therapy aims for mental and emotional healing, which is often the root cause of any addiction.

This digs deeper than typical group therapy sessions. This is usually scheduled weekly during IOPs to keep regular tabs on the patient. The counselor is also kept consistent throughout the treatment as this helps the patient establish an open and honest relationship. These sessions help reinstill the patient’s commitment to achieve full recovery.

Complementary Therapies

These include alternative forms of therapy that extend beyond the traditional sessions. These are not required but these supplementary sessions have been shown to hasten the patient’s recovery.

This includes therapy like art therapy, adventure therapy, music therapy, and even equine-assisted therapy. All of these are nonverbal ways of self-expression that help the patient socialize, relax, and heal. These are often held in group sessions with other patients. 

Support Groups

This is heavily recommended for anyone undergoing IOPs. Oftentimes, the facility offers this at the center itself to make it more accessible for the patients. In this way, the patient can join these support group discussions after their treatments.

This helps the patient open up about his feelings and likewise improves his socialization skills, both of which are crucial for recovery.

Picking A Rehabilitation Center

It’s important to enroll in the best option. To help the patient, here are some factors to consider:

  • Accessibility – Avoid treatment centers that are too far because this will just be another barrier that will discourage the patient from attending. 
  • Personalized care – Check to see if the treatment center is capable of delivering personalized care that is tailor-fit to the patient’s needs and unique situations.
  • Medical care – At the end of the day, addictions are still medical issues. Withdrawal symptoms and temptations to relapse must be treated by medical professionals. 
  • Ongoing treatment – There’s no specific timeframe that patients must follow to achieve full recovery. The treatment center must have a wide range of options for varying timeframes that will best suit the patient’s condition.

5 Signs You Are Ready For Outpatient Treatment

Substance abuse disorders continue to plague millions of victims and their families every year. It’s a serious issue that requires long-term treatment options. As of today, there are two main treatment options for alcohol or substance abuse.

The first one is inpatient rehab which means that the patient has to check into a facility for full-time supervision, and guidance in their recovery. The second option is an outpatient treatment where the patient either lives in their own home or a supportive sober living environment, but will report multiple days per week for similar guidance in their recovery, depending on the severity of the addiction.

Outpatient treatment is also used as a transitional stage between inpatient rehab and long-term, continued recovery. 

Unsure if outpatient treatment is the best course of action for you? Check out the following 5 signs that you are ready for outpatient treatment.

1. You are completing inpatient rehab

Inpatient rehab isn’t forever. After a period of time and significant progress, the patient will complete the program and reintegrate with society. The next step is usually to step down the level of care from an inpatient setting, to outpatient treatment.

Outpatient treatment is a good next step because it allows the patient to carry out his responsibilities. It’s unrealistic to expect anyone to have all the time in the world to commit to recovery. With outpatient treatment, the patient has time to continue education or get back into the workforce.

Outpatient treatment involves numerous treatment methods like intensive therapy, continued education, and counseling. This allows the institution to keep a close eye on the patient and to ensure that the things he learned during inpatient therapy are still being applied outside the facility. There may also be random drug or alcohol testing just to ensure that the patient is staying clean.

It should be noted that not every patient can automatically be qualified for outpatient treatment. There are extensive assessments and interviews that quantify his readiness to rejoin society. This transition is done gradually so that the patient can fully prepare and nothing interrupts their healing process.

2. You want to get back to work.

Alcoholics and drug addicts are no exception to the need to work so that they can pay the bills. Outpatient treatment options are better for employed patients because it allows them to have time to balance their recovery and their obligations to themselves or their families.

Outpatient treatment usually involves multiple sessions a week, depending on the severity of the addiction. Over time, it can step down to even a single session per week which often involves group counseling. The patient’s progress is recorded so that the treatments can be adjusted accordingly. The goal of Drug and Alcohol treatment centers is to fully reintegrate the client as a contributing member of society.

For most people, jobs do more than just paying the bills. It gives patients a driving force to get up every day and to regain a sense of purpose. It also gives them a sense of belongingness so that they will feel less alone which will lessen the chances of a relapse.

3. You notice that standard therapy no longer works on you

Outpatient treatment is a great option if other drug addiction treatments no longer work. For example, some clients cannot attain complete recovery in inpatient settings because they lack the real-world scenarios and stressors they will soon face in their day-to-day life. Others may transition to outpatient treatments from intensive outpatient therapy because it’s time to put the education and learned tools into practical application

It’s unrealistic to expect that every treatment plan will be effective on every single patient. All patients have different triggers, biological compositions, and even histories with substance abuse which means that no blanket treatment can cater to everyone. If you feel like you are stuck in a rut with your current treatment plan, then maybe it’s time to move on and into an outpatient setting.

4. You are eager to get and stay clean

Some patients make the mistake of immediately setting off on their own after inpatient rehab. Outpatient rehab must not be underestimated because it provides a transitional phase for patients who are really determined to become and stay clean.

The thing about addiction is that the signs that you are recovered are very misleading. Your feelings are frequently very volatile and the slightest stressful scenario or the appearance of an old trigger can push you to an unfortunate relapse.

An inpatient rehabilitation center gets you clean through a detox and stabilization process. These centers try to arm you with the tools to help you gain full independence and control over physical dependence. However, it must be recognized that it’s not that easy. It’s safer to assume that you are still very much susceptible to a relapse.

That’s why outpatient treatment is so beneficial. It gives you a guiding hand that helps you to navigate through life knowing you’re not alone. Experts will even be able to check up on you every now and then. Meeting with your support group will help you understand it’s okay to struggle and help you resist urges, they will also help you stay proud of your success, knowing that you can do it one day at a time. 

5. You are required to go due to court-mandated therapy

Outpatient treatment can be another option if a court orders treatment or therapy. If you get into unfortunate legal trouble, often Attorneys will recommend getting professional help to show the courts a person’s interest and commitment in correcting the behavior in question. Other times, the outcome of a court case may require proof of completion of a program as part of the outcome of a case. 

Engaging in court-mandated outpatient therapy sessions will be very similar and often indistinguishable from regular outpatient treatment. It’s also a good way to ensure that you are taking good care of yourself and working diligently to reintegrate into the society where you belong.

Picking A Rehab Program

The healing process will be accelerated if you partner with a reputable entity. A quick search for “outpatient treatment near me” or “outpatient alcohol treatment near me” will reveal countless viable options that you can choose from. Each outpatient drug treatment center has its own pros and cons which you must assess before enrolling. 

When Outpatient Treatment Is Right For You

Drug dependence is a tricky issue that affects the patient and the people around them. This is best resolved through remedy and therapeutic treatments. Currently, there are two main types of remedies: inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. As you can see, the main difference is where the patient will reside as they recover.

The main deciding factor for the treatment plan is the severity of the drug dependence issue, the time elapsed since last use, and the risk of comorbid symptoms. For example, severe cases will really require the patient to be checked in to a full-time rehab center. In this way, they will be constantly surveilled by professionals and be given the best possible care, 24/7.

Outpatient rehab is better for people who have achieved some level of recovery and independence so they can now cohabitate with the rest of society. This may be due to their capability to combat triggers and resist temptations to relapse using the tools they gained from inpatient rehab.

What Is Outpatient Treatment?

This program basically offers drug treatment sessions at varying times throughout the week. This is a great setup because it allows the patient to resume their lives as normal.  The patients can just make time for the sporadic treatments. It allows the patient time to get adjusted to the outside world and be able to apply the tools that assist in their recovery.

The patient will be mandated to go in for regular medical checkups, therapy sessions, education, counseling, providing a dense network of support systems, and more. The frequency of the sessions depends on the severity of the drug dependence.

The outpatient program is best suited for individuals who are stable enough to succeed in independent recovery. The patient should have enough discipline and commitment to achieve long-term recovery.

When Is Outpatient Treatment The Best Option For You?

Inpatient treatment centers have systems that quantify the patient’s progress. After signs of improvement and independence, the patient may become a candidate for outpatient treatment.

At the end of the day, this change in treatment status will still be determined by a psychiatrist through personal assessments. There is no fixed timeline or list of standards that determine if a patient is ready for outpatient treatment because every situation is unique and special. The primary basis for this is individual progress. 

Transitioning to outpatient treatment is definitely the goal because it’s another step forward. It signifies that the patient has recovered enough to attain some independence, among other benefits of outpatient treatment which include:

  • The freedom to sleep in the patient’s own home and not in an inpatient facility;
  • Access to familial support at home alongside professional support from regular therapy sessions;
  • Ability to attend to personal responsibilities and commitments (work, school, or more);
  • Access to more free time;
  • Freedom and flexibility at work; and
  • A generally more independent lifestyle that is closer to normal living.

Outpatient Treatment Options

There are different types of outpatient drug treatment options, such as:

Day Programs

This is the most intensive care program in the outpatient setting because the patient is required to report back into the center for 5 to 7 days each week. Each session takes up a few hours per day and involves therapy, group counseling sessions, feedback, and other types of therapy like music or art.

The patients usually reside in sober living homes. Others go home to their respective families. The main issue with this option is that it may severely limit the patient’s time dedicated to other activities, like attaining a full-time job or education.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

The main feature of this option is the establishment of a clear treatment plan and precise milestones that the patient should aim for. These are measurable milestones that track the patient’s recovery and the quantifiable data is used to adjust the treatment in terms of frequency and intensity.

As each milestone is met, the patient is required to report back to fewer sessions in the succeeding days or weeks. This is the best treatment option for patients who are really serious about staying clean and sober while having the intention to transition back to society as soon as they are able.

The sessions are marked by meetings a few hours per week, counseling, group counseling, personal therapy, education for relapse prevention, and attendance to programs like the 12-step program or any other recovery group.

Continuing Care

Patients are required or encouraged to attend self-help. This includes famous groups like Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous. These support groups have the goal of providing ongoing care and support for the patient by providing a group of people and a lot of resources to support complete abstinence.

Continuing care is not very time-consuming because there are usually two sessions per week. Sessions with clinical professionals help the patient solidify their commitment to achieving long-term sobriety. There are drug counseling groups that cater to anyone struggling with addiction problems regardless of age or gender.

Benefits Of Outpatient Drug Treatment Options

As aforementioned, this stage of treatment occurs once the patient has enough resolved with their addiction to handle more independence. These options are more flexible and they’re also great for patients who are further along in the recovery process. Here are some of the benefits of outpatient treatment options:

More Affordable

The biggest benefit is the affordability of these treatment options. These are definitely cheaper because the patient does not have to enroll in a full-time facility where you will have to pay for rent, full-time medical assistance, counseling, surveillance, and more.

Since the patient has the option to stay at home, then the price gets significantly cheaper as they require fewer services from the rehab center. Lodging alone costs a lot, and that is remedied through outpatient rehab unless they elect to reside in sober living, which is usually the safer and recommended option.

Very Flexible

The best thing about outpatient treatment options is the flexibility. Since the patient is striving to rejoin society and become a functional member of the community, it makes sense that he will need to dedicate a lot of time to education, work, and more. This is also a good option for recovering patients with responsibilities. Life responsibilities can be scheduled outside of treatment hours or clinical sessions to allow the patient to balance their life and recovery.

Contact With Family

This is the main difference between inpatient and outpatient rehab. Being surrounded by a loving family makes all the difference in the healing process. Having a support system will help the patient reinstill discipline and commitment to change over and over again.

Being at home emphasizes the love that the family has for the patient. It makes them feel like they aren’t alone in this battle and that they can do it because they are being supported. It is also reported that feelings of loneliness or isolation can contribute to relapse.

Final Thoughts

Outpatient treatment options are available for cases that are further along in the process. It’s best to consult a professional for a treatment plan that is perfect for the patient’s needs.

It’s also best to find a reputable center for the patient. A simple search of “outpatient treatment near me” could reveal countless viable options for you.