Recovering from an addiction to alcohol, drugs, or medications is a long-term process that every patient should take one step at a time. If you fall victim to drug addiction, it’s important to realize that you have a problem and need help. Many treatment options begin with professional alcohol/drug detoxification. Once you have finished detox, you will then need to go through a long-term care plan that will break your habit of turning to substances while encouraging you to stay clean.
In the conventional care environment, patients have usually been told to go into a long-term rehab program. The problem, however, is that these rehab programs can be financially costly and take several months to complete. In the meantime, bills continue to pile up and loved ones continue to need your attention. Consequently, many patients are turning to intensive outpatient programs that aim to provide the same level of care that inpatient programs offer while minimizing disruptions to a patient’s schedule.
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What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program?
An intensive outpatient program aims to take on addictions and behavioral challenges by immersing patients in a healthy environment that teaches them to change. IOPs are most commonly used to address drug addictions after patients have gone through rehab. IOPs can also be used for alcohol addictions and addictions to unhealthy behaviors.
IOPs have been proven to be highly effective at managing addictions. Care providers now use IOPs to address a wide range of behavioral problems, such as depression, eating disorders, and unhealthy relationships.
When patients enroll in an intensive outpatient program, they will start by giving caregivers a thorough understanding of their schedule and responsibilities. Care providers can then develop a custom plan around the patient’s schedule to ensure they are able to complete their responsibilities while still receiving the treatment they need.
In general, patients will be able to go to work and attend most scheduled events when they are in an IOP. However, when patients are done with their responsibilities, they will begin to get involved in activities that are included in their IOP. Many IOPs offer patients an opportunity to get to know other patients so they can develop a support network that reinforces their recovery. It is also common for IOPs to have online events that bring all patients together for therapy, lectures, or other activities.
Reliable Support in IOP’s
IOPs that are exclusively virtual became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in some cases, patients will need to come into a care provider’s facility for certain events or certain types of therapy. For instance, many care providers still believe that it is worthwhile for students to be physically present for group therapy sessions. Patients can then receive extended care virtually.
Throughout an IOP, patients will work closely with their care provider. Patients can be called by their care provider at any time to hold them accountable for staying clean on their own. If patients are considering using a substance, they can call their care provider immediately for assistance. When patients are unable to resist their urge to use a harmful substance, they can spend a few hours or even a few days at a supervised facility where they can be kept clean.
The modern world is making intensive outpatient programs more feasible and effective. Today, inexpensive cameras and software applications are making it possible for care providers to maintain a strong presence in a patient’s life without requiring them to be physically present.
When expensive facilities are not needed and recovery requires fewer hours of manual work from care providers, patients can stay on the road to recovery at a smaller cost. Therefore, as time goes on, it is expected that IOPs will gradually become more common than inpatient programs and high-quality rehab will become affordable to almost anyone.
Intensive Outpatient Treatments and Addiction
IOPs can be used for many different purposes, but they are especially effective for dealing with addictions. An intensive outpatient program for substance abuse can manage all care that a patient needs after finishing detox. Of course, an intensive outpatient program for substance abuse is not for everyone.
Inpatient care is often necessary for patients with a history of experiencing a relapse or patients who have problems with substance abuse because of the people who they often associate with. Nevertheless, intensive outpatient programs can be appropriate for most people who are struggling with addictions.
Overcoming an addiction can be one of the greatest challenges a person can ever face. Consequently, intensive outpatient substance abuse programs are very effective because they help make the process of a full recovery less burdensome. With an outpatient program, patients can avoid the difficult dilemma of having to choose whether they want to come clean or keep their job.
Additionally, patients can avoid the stigma associated with getting help. If you enroll in an IOP, you can usually get care in a way that avoids any interruptions to your work schedule. Therefore, you will not have to inform your employer that you are enrolled in rehab. For this reason, a greater percentage of patients find it feasible to receive care when IOPs are a viable option for recovery.
The Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs
There is a wide range of benefits that IOPs can offer. Intensive outpatient substance abuse programs are so beneficial that they are preferable in the vast majority of situations. Some of the main benefits of enrolling in an IOP include:
Ability to Get Help From Friends and Family
Ordinary inpatient recovery programs are often challenging for patients because they prevent patients from seeing their friends and loved ones. Although it can be healthy for many patients to develop a support network, the reality is that other relationships can suffer when patients are away for too long. Many patients are afraid of what their friends and family will think, and they often find the concept of being away for extended periods of time to be unacceptable. Therefore, IOPs can be a great option for patients who insist on continuing to be able to see their loved ones.
Keep Your Care Private
The reality is that people who get help for their addictions are often stigmatized by friends, employers, and even family members. When you are enrolled in an IOP, nobody has to know you are receiving care except the people who you trust. In fact, many patients can get care without telling anyone. There are even treatment options available for parents who want to keep their ongoing care a secret from their children. The ability to keep your care private means that a broader range of patients can find going into rehab beneficial.
Stay at Work or School
Another major problem with ordinary rehab programs is that they usually require patients to quit their jobs. Very few employers will agree to allow a patient to take months off from work to receive treatment for drug addiction. Furthermore, students usually do not have the option of taking more than a few days off from their classes without ruining their grades. In contrast, patients who enroll in an IOP can receive care without needing to worry about what their employer or school will say. Instead, patients can focus on the healthy task of continuing to build their careers while also getting on the road to recovery.
Ordinary rehab is expensive because patients essentially have to rent space at a healthcare facility while receiving care at every hour of the day from well-trained staff. Consequently, many patients are not able to afford rehab. When patients cannot afford the care they need, they are forced to pursue alternative approaches to recovery that are rarely effective and often destructive. IOPs, on the other hand, eliminate most of the costs associated with rehab. As a result, patients can get great care while saving a substantial amount of money.
What to Expect in IOP’s
Many patients who are told to consider an IOP wonder, “What is an intensive outpatient program?” The specifics of what an IOP entails vary dramatically based on a patient’s needs and the services that a provider offers. Many rehab providers are beginning to incorporate unique technologies into their IOP programs to monitor patients closely and keep their minds off substance abuse.
For instance, IOPs have conventionally focused on maintaining a close dialogue between patients and care providers through phone calls and text messages. Today, however, nearly everyone has a smartphone, so care providers are increasingly utilizing apps that take advantage of video calls. To bring down costs and promote recovery, many IOPs ask patients to develop a support network with other patients in their recovery program. These peers can then stay in contact with each other to encourage a sustainable recovery.
Deciding Whether an IOP Is Right for You
IOPs are preferable for most of today’s patients who are seeking help with nearly any addiction or behavioral problem. However, the reality is that IOPs are not for everyone. If you have a history of relapsing because of your home environment, you might be better off considering an inpatient treatment option that will give you the chance to plan out big changes in your life. Nevertheless, IOPs are beneficial for most patients who are trying to overcome an addiction.
You can discover whether an IOP is right for you by working with an experienced rehab facility. Harmony Place is a licensed rehab facility that provides effective outpatient care options for its patients. Contact us today to learn more about how our IOP programs can help to improve your chances of making a full recovery.