Millions of people suffer from various types of substance abuse disorders. If you’re struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, life can seem hopeless. However, there is a different way to live. Many begin their journey in recovery by completing a treatment program.
Different individual circumstances may warrant different types of programs. There are residential or inpatient facilities. There are also outpatient treatment programs available. The first two situations to consider when making this important decision are the level of substance abuse and any previous attempts to stay clean and sober.
Anyone suffering from a substance abuse disorder should consult with an addiction specialist when deciding on a specific recovery program. Often, the first attempt at recovery can prove successful through an outpatient program.
Sometimes, family responsibilities or careers make it difficult to commit to a residential program. However, what can you do if you’ve struggled with recovery, or you may be faced with extremely difficult challenges by entering a residential treatment facility?
There are treatment programs that apply a higher level of intensity. They are appropriately referred to as Intense Outpatient Programs (IOPs). While IOPs will generally adhere to similar guidelines, there may be certain differences. Let’s explore what an IOP is, and why you might consider an IOP over a basic outpatient program.
What Is an IOP?
The first difference to understand between an IOP and a residential treatment program is where you live and the types of amenities you can expect. You live on-site at a residential facility if you’re taking part in an inpatient treatment program.
Intense outpatient treatment does not provide you with a place to live. You will live at home, or possibly in what is referred to as a sober living home. Your home environment, especially the magnitude of relapse triggers present, must be taken into account.
If an IOP is deemed the best course of action to help you recover, you will often be able to coordinate much of your treatment around a job or school. Inpatient facilities usually do not permit outside activities during the early stages of recovery.
While there may be certain meals provided at IOP facilities, this is not common. IOPs will also not provide outside recreational activities or medical care away from the facility. These will be your responsibility.
Intense outpatient therapy will often include group sessions. However, you should give strong consideration to adding outside recovery connections to your program. These may include fellowships such as AA or NA.
What Are the Benefits of an IOP?
If you do elect to begin your recovery with an intense outpatient program, you will gain some important benefits over a basic outpatient program. The level of intensity is greater, thus the added emphasis on “intense”.
One benefit is the amount of time you will spend in hands-on recovery. There are IOPs that last for many hours, multiple days per week. Many IOPs also insist that you experience a set number of outside group meetings in some type of recovery fellowship.
This level of intensity and increased exposure to recovery is the biggest difference between an intense outpatient program and a more basic structure. Milder cases of substance abuse may be able to successfully launch a sober lifestyle by one or two sessions per week.
IOPs are especially designed for people who need this increased level of intensity. Often, an IOP will serve as a transitional period after inpatient treatment. You will gradually reduce the number of hours as you develop a strong foundation for living clean and sober.
It is not uncommon for IOPs to have structured sessions lasting between 20 and 30 hours per week. Ninety days is a standard length of time for an IOP. Again, a popular option for those who enter an IOP is to also live at a sober living house during this period.
While you still experience intensified recovery, sober living houses can allow you to continue attending school or working a job. Whatever you do, never make a choice for your treatment program alone. You should make this decision using the expertise of a recovery specialist.
If you’re struggling with substance abuse, you do not have to keep battling your addiction. You are not alone. Help is available. However, you have to take the first step in your recovery. All you have to do is pick up the phone and ask for help.
Help is available. You will be able to use the experience and knowledge of a professional counselor to determine your first steps towards recovery. Your journey can begin today. Just reach out for help. Reach out today at 833-680-0165, because tomorrow could be too late.