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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.

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