Intensive Outpatient Program for Addiction-free Living: How it Works

Choosing a particular treatment plan depends a lot on the nature and level of addiction which a patient suffers from. An intensive outpatient program is different from an inpatient program structure. For example, an outpatient program is not recommended for people who have a chronic history of drug abuse and, therefore, would require a higher level of medical supervision. In such a case, patients are advised to go for inpatient programs, where an addict is kept under a regimental healthcare routine.

Outpatient programs are treatments recommended after a patient has undergone full recovery and would require further assistance to regain their normal life.

To decide which kind of treatment program is best suited for an addict, consultation with health expert is a must. If you have been recommended to go for an IOP program, then here are the main processes and protocols that a patient has to go through during their recovery treatment. Review the essential highlights to understand how a patient gets treated under an Intensive Outpatient program care –

Intensive Outpatient Program: Stages of Treatment for an Addict Patient

An intensive outpatient program provides continued support (medical and emotional) to patients even after they have completed their treatment at an inpatient program facility. Because inpatient treatment is a rigorous program, addicts are often made to cut off from their normal social surroundings. While this is essential to ensure the full recovery of a patient, there are often cases where a recovered addict often finds it hard to return to their normal life. An outpatient program aims to normalize the life of an addict by keeping focus on:

IOP Addiction Treatment Goals

  • Achievement and maintenance of complete abstinence
  • Looking into the underlying reasons that had led to the intake of substance drugs
  • Development of a positive support network
  • Identifying and counseling of the psychological problems
  • Implementing new and positive changes to one’s behavior and lifestyle
  • Introduction of a disciplined routine to one’s life
  • Encourage community-based participation and support system
  • Teach new skills that will help to solve problems

Outpatient treatment is packed up with many recovery programs like individual therapy and group therapy programs, counseling sessions and psychotherapy, educational lessons, etc. Patients can attend these treatment programs and continue living at home or working at a daily profession. This gives people the advantage of implementing the developed recovery skills and establishing a substance-free life.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program Includes the Following Service –

#1 – Individual Therapy

This is a one-to-one therapy type and is very effective in the early stages of IOT treatment. It allows the health expert to address the personal issues and devote full attention towards a more individualized care. Patients have in-depth personal discussions with the counselor and learn how to resolve the obstacles that fall in their way to complete recovery.

#2 – Group Therapy

In a group therapy, a patient is made to gather along with other recovering addicts to share his/her issues and learn how to deal with each crisis. A counselor also joins the group to make the session as productive as possible. The main goal of undertaking a group therapy session is to teach the patient how to become self-aware, which is essential for long-term sobriety and recovery. Besides, patients also gain a kind of mental support when they see that there are other people as well who are also struggling with addiction.

#3 – Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is effective for developing new learning and thinking skills that they can use to fight negative thoughts and activities. This kind of therapy aims to help patients understand how their emotions and thoughts can influence their choice and actions. This will teach patients how to divert their former behavior patterns and follow a drug-free and positive lifestyle instead.

#4 – Family Therapies

Family support is vital for a recovering drug addict. That is why, in this session, family members are made to participate to give the patient their moral support. This kind of treatment is a very effective procedure towards recovery because patients are encouraged and made to feel the support from their family members, close friends and even loved ones.

#5 – Pharmacotherapy

This mode of treatment is carried out using pharmaceutical drugs and is distinguished from a surgical or physical therapy. Medical management ensures a proper balance of treatment from substance abuse and hence this balance must be maintained in an IOP treatment model. Remember, medications are necessary only to target specific substance abuse disorders, not to change lifestyles.

#6 – Seminars and Workshops

Education sessions ensure that patients of substance abuse understand the root cause of their addiction and learn new coping mechanisms to maintain a sober life. Seminars and workshops are an effective way to help patients maintain a life of sobriety. Some of the relevant topics around which a workshop is generally organized are – coping with a negative behavior, learning how to prevent an addiction relapse, developing new skills, etc.

Some workshop programs include – doing yoga, undertaking creative activities, going out for nature hikes, performing community services and others.

#7 – Periodic Drug Testing

Periodic drug testing helps to prevent recovering patients from intake of any substances of abuse. Patients are made to undergo random tests without any prior notice. This method helps to ensure an established accountability in the recovery process.

#8 – Services of Support

It is common for some addiction recovering patients from having legal or social issues related to employment. Some IOP programs try to address these barriers with specialized vocational and career counseling services, which are an optimal part of an addiction recovery treatment.

Should You Go for an Intensive Outpatient Program Treatment?

There are several factors working behind whether you should go for an intensive outpatient program. They are – psychological, social and biological influences. However, here are some questions that you can try answering in order to determine whether an intensive outpatient program is a right treatment for you:

  • Do daily stress, and influences drive your temptation to drug abuse?
  • Have you ever tried but failed to complete an outpatient treatment?
  • Do you have an addiction related to drugs and alcohol that demands the need for detoxification?

Intensive Outpatient Program is the full and final stage towards complete recovery. Such kind of treatment is effective for helping patients stay sober and prevent another relapse. They are typically held twice a week and can, however, vary from one facility to another. The risk of exposure to drugs and alcohol is higher for a patient being treated with an intensive outpatient program care. Nevertheless, it also teaches patients to learn how to overcome different challenges and live a sober life free of drugs.

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