As one of the later steps of the recovery process, the Intensive Outpatient Program provides clients the freedom and flexibility to exercise their independence without leaving them completely unsupported. Tailored for those who have acquired skills to overcome urges and cravings, IOP aims to put these skills into practice so individuals can strengthen their resolve.
Typically meeting in the evenings or on the weekends, Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs give clients time to fulfill obligations and commitments they might have throughout the week. This allows them to maintain their independence and then regularly touch base to maintain their sobriety.
How is IOP Different from PHP?
Often, Intensive Outpatient Programs are often confused for Partial Hospitalization Programs, but these two are almost entirely different. For the most part however, they’re similar in that they both allow clients to return home at the end of every session.
However, Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) are often much more rigorous, requiring clients to attend their therapy and counseling sessions for up to 9 hours a day. This takes up most of their waking hours and consumes any time they might use for work or school. PHP generally lasts between 2-4 weeks and most persons often live in a Sober Living environment during this time and afterward.
Now, what is IOP program? Intensive Outpatient treatment provides clients the time and opportunity to explore occupation and other obligations. These sessions take place at night or in the mornings when clients are free to attend therapy without getting in the way of work, school, and other responsibilities.
What Happens in IOP?
With a variety of services comprising the Intensive Outpatient Program stands as the central concern and the program’s focal point. That’s because these treatment centers operate under the belief that drug addiction and substance use disorder are medically treatable conditions.
That said, most IOP’s will offer some of the following services:
- Group counseling – As individuals start to stand on their own feet and navigate the world outside with their newly acquired skills, the support of a group that understands their plight becomes all the more important.
Having people who can relate has been found to significantly improve the outcomes of treatment. Whenever faced with challenges and temptation, these individuals can turn to one another and provide mutual support to continue on the road to lasting recovery.
Group counseling often works to create healthy relationships among participants. Counselors also hope to use the context to help individuals develop interpersonal skills that may be necessary for work and socialization.
- Individual and family counseling – Clients coming from residential treatment programs may have undergone both individual and family counseling to help unravel past traumas and emotions that may contribute to their use of drugs or alcohol.
However, as they move to outpatient treatment, individual and family counseling may serve the purpose of providing clients a safe space to express themselves. This also gives counselors an opportunity to spot any potential lapses or areas of improvement in the treatment program that they can adjust to meet the client’s needs more closely.
- Vocational training – Addiction can cause some individuals to forget certain skills and processes. For instance, those who struggle with addiction for years may feel clumsy and unsure with the job application process.
That’s why some programs offer assistance in these areas by giving clients the opportunity to relearn old skills and acquire new ones. These can include writing a resume, preparing for and undergoing a job interview, and even coping with the stress of a work environment.
In some cases, centers may even provide livelihood skills programs that clients can use to start a business or to simply enjoy their free time with.
- Medication management – It’s not uncommon for individuals to use medication as part of their recovery This is especially frequent among those who have experienced opioid addiction.
During IOP, counselors provide instruction on proper medication dosage and scheduling, and may even schedule clients for doctor’s appointments to determine whether it’s time to adjust their dose or to remove the medication all together.
- Co-occurring conditions – More often than not, individuals who develop substance use disorder suffer from co-occurring mental health conditions that cause their addiction in the first place. These conditions can do undetected, so most treatment centers only address the addiction on the surface.
Fortunately, more and more treatment centers have started incorporating services for co-occurring mental health conditions, allowing them to address addiction and its underlying causes.
- Supplementary services – IOP isn’t always stand-alone treatment. Depending on what a client needs, treatment centers may recommend that they join or undertake other services and programs.
Most often, IOP goes hand in hand with sober living. These protected living conditions provide clients a clean, supportive home to return to while they continue treatment.
The 12-step program is also typically recommended (and sometimes even required) for individuals undergoing IOP. Many treatment centers even have their own 12-step program in-house so clients can move from their sessions and straight to their 12-step meetings when they visit the facility.
Finding the Right IOP Program Near Me
An Intensive Outpatient Program can be the ideal treatment option for clients who have successfully completed detox and exhibit better control over their cravings and urges. Developed specifically for those who may still need support while being able to demonstrate a level of independence, IOP is a flexible option that allows growth without completely stripping the individual of necessary support.
If you’re looking for a Dallas Intensive Outpatient Program, make sure you take the time to read the specifics and shop around. A good program should offer individualized treatment at the hands of compassionate professionals who are interested in seeing you through to lasting recovery.