If you have finally decided to get help for a Substance Use Disorder such as alcoholism, an addiction to illicit drugs, or the misuse of prescription medications, you are to be congratulated. Admitting that you have a problem and asking for help is the first, most important step you will take on your road to recovery.
But what now?
Medical detox, residential treatment, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), addiction counseling, 12-step meetings…With so many treatment options available to you, how do you know which one is the best choice for you and your situation?
What is an IOP?
For many people struggling with SUD, an intensive outpatient program is the appropriate choice. IOPs allow you to receive the treatment and support you need to safely and successfully regain your sobriety and manage your illness while still living at home.
When you participate in an IOP, you can still work, go to school, spend time with your family, sleep in your own bed, and fulfill your other personal and professional responsibilities.
In fact, because an IOP typically consists of weekday sessions held either in the morning or the evening, it affords you the convenience and flexibility to get the help you need without disrupting the other areas of your life.
On an outpatient basis, you can receive the same evidence-based treatment services that you would at a costlier residential facility.
- Group therapy
- Relapse prevention and response
- Holistic therapies such as yoga and meditation
- Family Services
- Long-term aftercare and support
Are You a Good Candidate for an Intensive Outpatient Program?
Unfortunately, IOPs aren’t for everyone. You are a good candidate if you:
- Have completed alcohol or drug detox — Before you can learn and apply the lessons and develop the skills learned in rehab, you must first be completely free from the physical compulsion to drink and use.
During your initial assessment, a specialist with the rehab facility can help you arrange for a safe, medically supervised detox, and afterwards, treatment with an IOP can begin.
- Are ready for a lower level of care – Even if you have completed al stay in a residential facility, an IOP can give you the continued treatment and support that you need during early recovery. An IOP helps you safely transition from a controlled inpatient environment back to your everyday life.
- You don’t need round-the-clock supervision — Individuals with a long history of severe addiction may need the constant monitoring provided by inpatient treatment, then they will benefit of the full day outpatient Partial Hospitalization Program
But if you struggle with mild-to-moderate substance abuse issues, then you can receive services without the need to put your life on hold.
- You have a stable home environment — your surroundings and environment during recovery matter a great deal. It can be next to impossible to successfully recover if your home life is unstable, violent, or dysfunctional, or if other people in the home are abusing drugs or alcohol.
The Bottom Line about Intensive Outpatient Programs
Here’s the good news — because they offer virtually all of the same treatment services and last at least three times longer, IOPs have been found to be equally as effective as inpatient rehab programs.
But it is important to keep in mind that NO treatment option will “cure” your addiction. Real recovery takes a lifetime of work, one day at a time. In fact, that is precisely why an IOP is such a good option — the longer you are in treatment, the more opportunities you will have to develop and practice the skills you will need to stay sober.
For more information about what an intensive outpatient program can do for you, click here.