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Seeking drug and alcohol treatment often means having an assessment to determine which type of care is best suited for you. For many people, living within a treatment center to receive residential care for several weeks is often ideal, especially for those with moderate to severe addiction. Sometimes that is not an option, or it may not be the best level of care for your needs. In this case, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) could be an excellent choice.
What Is Intensive Outpatient Care?
An IOP is a type of drug and alcohol treatment program in which you will live at home but spend up to several hours a day receiving care at a treatment center. It is a significant commitment, and you should treat it like a job or school where you visit each day and receive the type of therapy and treatment best suited for you.
The number of hours and days per week you engage in is dependent on the location you receive care and your specific needs. Some programs require 10 hours per week, while others require more.
What Is Treatment Like in an IOP?
There is some flexibility in an IOP in that your therapists and treatment team can offer a range of tools and therapy types to support your unique needs. Most often, this type of treatment will include individual therapy, where you will work one-on-one with your therapist, as well as group therapy programs, where you’ll spend time working in a group setting with others on the same path.
What’s Involved in an IOP?
You can expect to spend some time each week engaged in a variety of types of therapy. The more versatile the care, the better. Some types of programs you can expect include:
- Group therapy sessions, often based on learning strategies and education about addiction
- Individual counseling sessions to work through private matters, trauma, mental health challenges, and personal concerns
- Life skills classes where you’ll learn how to manage stress, handle responsibilities, and maintain relationships
- Support groups, in which you work closely with others facing the same challenges you are, sharing successes, struggles, and strategies
An IOP is a full program, which means it will provide you with as much support and guidance as possible to help you create a better way forward.
Educational Components of an IOP
A big part of drug and alcohol treatment is education. Learning about addiction and yourself allows you to address the actual causes of addiction while also overcoming those challenges. Each IOP path is likely to include the following:
- Vocational skill training
- Emotional regulation
- Trauma education and guidance
- Self-discovery tools
- Relapse prevention programs
- Family support and therapy
- Community-related support and therapy
Why do you need so many different types of care? You may think you don’t need to worry about trauma or that you have plenty of skills to help you with obtaining a job. Even if that is the case, these programs teach you how drugs and alcohol impact your ability to function, maintain relationships, and achieve your goals. You’ll need this type of comprehensive care so you’re ready to live drug-free and avoid relapse for years to come.
Is an IOP or Residential Treatment Best?
It is an individual decision on which level of care may be right for your specific situation. Because you will be living at home to complete an IOP, it’s often necessary to have a drug-free environment and stability where you live. If you don’t have those things right now, inpatient treatment may be a better choice for you.
Inpatient care is different. This type of program may begin with detox and withdrawal treatment and management, and then go on to include individual and group therapy, medication management, and regular assessment by clinicians and therapists. Some conditions that make inpatient care a good choice include:
- The need for detox
- Significant withdrawal symptoms
- Medical concerns related to addiction or other needs
- Mental health concerns
- One or more overdoses in the past
- Lack of a supportive home environment
If you have these types of concerns, work closely with your team to determine if residential treatment is the best decision for you.
To get started with either intensive outpatient or inpatient care, contact Canyon Vista Recovery Center now. Our drug and alcohol treatment program in Mesa, Arizona, is available to help you.