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There are many reasons why addiction occurs. For some, drugs and alcohol are maladaptive coping mechanisms for managing stress, emotions, or situations. While there are many forms of treatment, intensive outpatient (IOP) is one way to learn new ways to cope without having to be completely removed from your life.
IOP is a type of recovery that is not right for everyone. However, for those needing support and structure while having time to care for their families or hold a job, it is a good fit. IOP can help one learn new skills and heal from addiction while reintegrating into your life after treatment.
IOP: What Is It Like?
Addiction treatment is offered on a continuum of care. On one end of the spectrum, you can stay at a facility with 24-hour care and support; on the other, you have little support and inconsistent care. IOP is somewhere in the middle, allowing for support from a program without living at the facility.
In IOP, clients are required to attend a few short visits for treatment. However, the amount of time and type of treatment will depend on the program and each client’s unique needs. The goal of IOP is for clients to receive the support and structure needed to learn new skills to live a sober life. By working with counselors in an IOP setting, you can discuss issues you have in your daily life with mental health professionals.
Who Is IOP Right For?
On the continuum of care, IOP can be a step up or a step down. IOP is the right choice for individuals in multiple situations. First, it is a step up for those who have tried outpatient care and need a more structured approach. The reasons why outpatient or community care was ineffective will vary for each individual. However, some individuals will require more structure or a program that can address the underlying issues behind addiction.
For those who are recently out of residential treatment, IOP can also be a good fit. It can be a challenging transition to go from living in a treatment facility straight back into daily life. IOP is an option that helps clients smoothly transition out of treatment without losing all support and structure. Even a few hours a week can make a huge difference for those of us who are entering environments as newly sober people.
Seek Professional Guidance
While outpatient therapy treatment is a great fit for many individuals, it is not always the best option. Working with a qualified mental health care professional is the best way to diagnose what type of treatment will be best for you. However, in general, IOP is not a good option for clients needing to detox from drugs or alcohol. Going through detox at a trusted facility will help clients to heal and safely move into sobriety. However, this is not a treatment offered through IOP.
IOP is also not ideal for clients who live in an environment that makes sobriety challenging. This might include living with others struggling with addiction or mental health or simply being in an environment that triggers cravings.
Benefits of IOP
Addiction is a complex disease that impacts how you think and act. Getting effective help is important. IOP is fewer hours and differs greatly at different treatment facilities. However, research has found that it is as effective as other treatment options. As an effective type of treatment for addiction and mental health disorders, IOP offers many benefits.
First, intensive outpatient is a treatment option that requires less time commitment. Therefore, those who have either already been to residential treatment or need more support than community care can get support while having the time and freedom to maintain their lives outside of treatment. By requiring you to be at treatment for set hours, you are still held accountable. However, you do not have to take a leave from work to get help.
IOP: Learning to Cope Amid Real-World Challenges
Having time separate from treatment is also valuable. Learning new ways to cope in life is hard, and having time to try out new tools that you’ve learned in treatment can help. In IOP, you will learn new skills. Part of learning is talking about them and how it would look to use them. However, an integral part of learning is practice. When at home or away from addiction treatment, you will practice these skills.
However, you will not be left to your own devices. Intensive outpatient offers a balance of care and freedom. When you return to our next treatment session, you can discuss how you’re doing and what changes you need to make to maintain your sobriety.
Recovery is not a linear journey. You will have your ups and downs, and that is why IOP can be such a beneficial aspect of your care. It can help you find the strength you need to stay on this healthy path.
Choosing the right treatment to meet your needs can feel overwhelming. In situations involving mental health and addiction disorders, you might consider intensive outpatient treatment. At alter Wellness Care, we provide a knowledgeable, supportive staff that will help you or your loved one find the best treatment option for you. Our programs are designed to help you and your loved one deal with any difficult situations and prepare you to face real-world challenges, and IOP can play a big role in this. The Alter Wellness Care team is committed to providing the best mental health care and support. Call us today at (866) 311-3510 for more information on our unique approach to mental health care.