Stigma surrounds rehabilitation programs making them both daunting and unappealing to those who need help. Unfortunately, these ideas often paint treatment programs in a negative light, causing most people to believe that they don’t work or that they’re only for those who are ‘in too deep.’
The thing about recovery programs however is that they’re not a one-size-fits all. Experts have developed a range of options that deliver individualized care that’s tailored to match what each client needs. The intensive outpatient program is just one of many treatment options that challenges the negative ideas that people have about recovery. So, what do you do in IOP? Find out here.
What is an Intensive Outpatient Program?
As its name suggests, there are two specific qualities of an intensive outpatient program or IOP. The first is that it’s intensive. IOP rehab provides just enough room for clients to explore their developed skills without completely pulling support out from under their feet.
As they move through recovery, clients are expected to slowly but surely step away from the rigid schedules and activities that treatment programs provide so they can put their own skills to the test. IOP drug rehab encourages clients to get out there and acquire or resume work. This provides an opportunity for them to exercise their independence.
This also allows clients and healthcare workers can see whether previous treatments have actually been effective. But what’s unique about intensive outpatient program is that it still provides a substantial amount of structure to keep clients on the right track. And thus, the word ‘intensive.’
The second quality of the outpatient program is that clients don’t have to stay at the facility to get treatment, thus ‘outpatient.’ Sessions are scheduled during ‘off hours’, which may be in the mornings or evenings. This allows clients to fulfil their obligations and commitments throughout the day while still providing them the opportunity to attend sessions when they’re free.
What Happens During an Intensive Outpatient Program?
Remember that treatment centers and healthcare workers try to provide care that’s tailored to each individual person’s needs. So even intensive outpatient programs might not look the same across the board. In general, however, you might expect to see the following services:
- Individual and family counselling – During residential treatment, individual and family therapy’s goal was to delve deeper into the client’s psyche and determine what particular aspects of their history may have contributed to the development of their substance use. During IOP however, the goals for these therapies might change.
Most often, addiction counselling during IOP provides clients a channel for healthy expression. There will be times when they might feel overwhelmed by stress and temptation, and it works for their mental health if they have a safe space to share and process their feelings.
- Group counseling – Some IOPs don’t offer individual or family counseling, but group counseling is almost always a mainstay. That’s because outpatient drug and alcohol recovery programs often focus on the benefits of group therapy. During this time, clients benefit most from the support of individuals who have similar experiences.
Group therapy aims to bolster the idea that participants are not alone. Most outpatient programs strengthen the outcomes of therapy by encouraging clients to participate in 12-step programs as part of their continuing recovery. The belongingness and fellowship have been proven by research to be effective barriers against relapse.
- Vocational training – It’s the objective of IOP to help clients live independent lives. But because many of them might not have the tools or skills to acquire or resume work, especially if they’re coming from extended months of inpatient treatment, some IOPs take it to he be their responsibility to provide vocational training.
There are lots of different skills that intensive outpatient programs can help out with. Some of them even give clients resources and classes on developing a resume, applying for work, or coping with work-related stress to improve productivity and satisfaction.
- Medication adherence and monitoring – Individuals who might be taking medication to support their recovery will have special sessions that focus on their use of medication. Healthcare workers and counselors spend this time to assess the effects of their medication regimen and determine whether any changes are in order.
- Other treatments – Contrary to popular belief, intensive outpatient programs aren’t always stand-alone. Some clients may be part of a sober living home, and most programs require involvement in a 12-step program.
Clients diagnosed with co-occurring conditions may receive supplemental therapy to address these diagnoses. There are numerous treatment centers that provide this specialized care all at the same time so clients can achieve a complete recovery that targets all of the possible underlying reasons for their drug use.
Ultimately, IOPs help clients exercise what they’ve learned without coddling them or abandoning them all together. Once they’ve completed IOP, they can move on to a traditional outpatient program or even just proceed to a 12-step program while joining other aftercare programs intended for those who have successfully completed the course of treatment.
An Opportunity to Explore Independence
Although most resources paint rehab to be a monotonous process with strict routines and schedules, it’s really not like that. Every step of the program is tailored to each individual, ensuring that they receive care and therapy that’s relevant to their situation.
The best intensive outpatient program Dallas Tx can offer won’t only keep distinct needs in mind, but will also ensure that clients feel satisfied and fulfilled every step of the way. So, make sure to scout your options and ask the right questions to make sure you’re joining a program that’s really conducive for a full and lasting recovery.