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Intensive Outpatient Programs were developed to cater to unique individuals who might not be able to commit to living in a treatment facility. Ideal for employees, parents, and for people in general who might have commitments they can’t just put on hold, intensive outpatient programs provide support, counseling, therapy, and guidance without the temporary change of address.

Usually lasting no more than 90 days, the intensive outpatient program is a rigorous treatment process that calls for more hours of therapy compared to any other program. But exactly what is IOP and what should you expect? Find out here.

How Do You Get Referred to an Intensive Outpatient Program?

An important fact to remember is that individuals don’t get to choose what kind of treatment they should receive. If that were the case, then very few people would opt for in-patient drug recovery treatment. Instead, your physician will perform an in-depth initial clinical assessment to determine where you are in terms of your recovery.

There are several factors that doctors look for to qualify an individual for intensive outpatient treatment. These may include their:

  • Willingness to recover – Admitting that there’s a problem is the proverbial first step to getting treatment. Individuals who are prepared to accept that their substance use is a problem and that they need professional help are much better suited to an intensive outpatient program.
  • Adherence to treatment – Participants are often given instructions to follow at home to support what they learn and experience during treatment. It’s important that those who join IOPs are prepared to follow through even when no one is there to see.
  • Important commitments – Some people just can’t leave their work, their families, or their homes to join an in-patient treatment program. IOPs provide an opportunity for individuals with other commitments to achieve recovery without putting life on hold.
  • Stable support – The support of family and friends can be instrumental to recovery. Individuals who have loving, caring, and involved families at home can receive the support they need without joining an in-patient facility.
  • Minimal or no withdrawal symptoms – Weaning off of an abused substance can be a dangerous, even life-threatening experience. As long as an individual is capable of weaning without having to deal with extreme symptoms of withdrawal, then they may be able to complete the process without having to be admitted.
  • Clean, safe living conditions – Individuals with substance use disorders often struggle with poverty and homelessness which can get in the way of recovery. If an individual has liveable, safe housing conditions, then there may not be a need to enter into a facility.

The Detox Process

Detox goes hand in hand with therapy and must be achieved at the start of the program. That said, intensive outpatient programs rarely provide detoxification treatment along with their services. But they may be able to refer you to a detox facility to support your therapy.

Do note however that one of the qualifiers for an intensive outpatient program is that the individual must not experience pronounced withdrawal symptoms. In case the participant requires a monitored detox treatment, then it might be necessary for them to undergo in-patient treatment first.

That said, individuals who qualify for an intensive outpatient program usually manifest mild withdrawal symptoms that can be overcome with minimal assistance.

What Happens in Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

The first few weeks of the treatment process will mainly focus on getting you familiarized with your new routines. On average, individuals enrolled in an IOP will spend roughly 9 hours in treatment every day, which is why they’re called intensive outpatient treatment programs.

The treatment process is different for each person and is tailored to match every individual’s unique needs. So What is IOP counseling and what does it involve? Here are some therapies to expect:

  • Individual Therapy – This therapy focuses specifically on each individual participant. During individual therapy, health care workers focus on helping participants understand destructive behavior, uproot past traumas, and adapt healthier thought patterns and habits.
  • Family Counseling – If an individual’s family relationships play a role in their personal choices and drug use, then it may be necessary to involve their family in the treatment. During family counseling, members are encouraged to share their experiences to resolve potential issues in their relationships.
  • Group Therapy – Involving an individual in a group with similar experiences can be particularly beneficial in boosting their morale. Group therapy sessions also help establish healthier socialization patterns to improve interpersonal relationships in the real world.
  • 12-Step Programs – Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and other similar 12-step recovery programs are required during IOP. Individuals must maintain active participation in an appropriate program and complete all the steps during their enrollment in IOP.

Declining Intensity

While you might start off with 9 hours a day, your therapists and counselors might decide to ‘step down’ the intensity of your treatment depending on how you respond to the first few sessions. As your condition improves, the program works to ‘wean’ you off of the schedules and routines to prepare you for your next treatment program.

With time, you might find yourself attending just 3 or 4 hours of treatment every day, 3 to 5 days a week or even less. At this time, it’s also likely that your physician might introduce the idea of your next treatment program after you graduate from IOP.

Toss Out the Apprehension

So, what is an IOP program? It’s just another unique way to help individuals towards a complete recovery. So, whether you’re getting help for yourself or for a loved one, the best intensive outpatient program Dallas has to offer can provide a safe, structured environment to support recovery.

Providing intensive support, counseling, and therapy, IOP’s have been proven time and time again as an effective measure towards lifelong sobriety. And because they offer the added benefit of being able to go home, these programs provide the necessary tools for recovery without uprooting you from the comfort of family and friends.

Learn more about our services or contact us below to discover how Lighthouse can help you on your road to recovery today. Thank you for your trust.