Intensive Outpatient Program for Real-Life Sobriety

It is impossible to overstate the value of an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for reaching and maintaining lifelong sobriety. Typically, IOP follows a hospitalization or partial hospitalization program to treat acute substance use disorder. But IOP can also be tremendously helpful for those who are attempting to get sober outside of a structured inpatient environment.

Hospitalization and partial hospitalization programs help patients who are suffering from severe substance use disorder get sober and begin to live a sober life. Inpatient programs like these offer an immersive environment where patients get clean under the guidance of trained staff, and live and work with peers to learn the tools which will help them maintain their sobriety for a lifetime.

Intensive Outpatient Programs Provide Support Beyond Inpatient Treatment

However, hospitalization or partial hospitalization is not right for everyone. As the American Addiction Centers organization explains, inpatient programs “aren’t always feasible. People often have family or work commitments that prevent them from entering full-time care. They simply can’t leave their lives behind for an extended period of time. For these people, IOPs are often the best choice. They still get intensive treatment, but they are able to reside at home.”

In many cases, IOPs are appropriate when a person’s substance use may have escalated to the point where it is negatively impacting their life, but perhaps not as deeply as someone who is battling severe addiction. Perhaps their families or friends have expressed concern about their substance use. Perhaps they’ve received a couple of DUI/OWI citations. Perhaps they find they’re spending more and more time and money obtaining their substance of choice. In these cases, IOP may be exactly the right choice as they learn and practice sober living.

The American Addiction Centers qualify, however, that “ideal candidates for intensive outpatient treatment have a safe home environment. This means encouraging family members and friends who are ready to support their loved one in their recovery efforts. If a person lives with other people who use drugs or drink, residential treatment is generally recommended to get the person away from these triggers for relapse.”

How Intensive Outpatient Programs Help

There are many potential pitfalls on the recovery journey, no matter where you start. Many people, whether they’ve had inpatient treatment or not, struggle to find the balance between nurturing their sobriety and navigating the real-life situations which fueled their substance use in the first place. Stressful jobs, relationship troubles, mental and physical health problems, financial woes, friends who say, “C’mon! It’s just one drink!”, and more, can make ongoing recovery difficult.

That’s where IOP comes in. IOP provides continued, structured support for those learning and living a sober lifestyle outside of an inpatient program. It is a group therapy support program for those working to maintain sobriety at home. IOP groups are led by Master’s-level, licensed clinical addiction counselors and reinforce sobriety concepts and tools. The shared experiences of others in the group – all in the early stages of recovery – create a safe place for participants to express their struggles and receive encouragement and guidance from their peers.

The goal of IOP is to adequately prepare participants for continued recovery. After the three months of an Intensive Outpatient Program, people usually choose to “step down” to an Outpatient or Aftercare program. Aftercare offers the same peer support, also led by a licensed and trained counselor, but with a smaller time commitment. Aftercare groups meet once a week for an hour and a half. Again, morning and evening classes are available.

Why Choose an IOP at Parkdale Center?

Entering an IOP is a serious commitment to getting and staying sober. At present, Parkdale Center is offering Telehealth Intensive Outpatient Programs online, so it’s easy to attend from wherever you are. Parkdale Center’s IOP online groups are led by expert counselors trained in addiction treatment. IOPs meet for three hours, three times a week, for three months. We offer both morning and evening sessions. At Parkdale Center, IOP groups are typically 8-10 people or fewer. Given the amount of time participants spend talking with one another, they get to know each other and build trust, rapport, and respect. This helps fight the feelings of loneliness and isolation, which many in recovery report.

Recovering from substance use disorder is hard, and those who commit to it show remarkable strength and resilience. But you do not have to do it alone. In fact, you are much more likely to succeed with your long-term recovery if you have the support of trained clinicians and peers. If you are wondering if IOP would be a good choice for you, whether you’ve been in an inpatient program or not, please give us a call. Our trained counseling staff will assess your individual situation, offer guidance, and answer any questions you may have.

Wednesday, 27 January 2021 09:24