An Intensive Outpatient Program Could Be The Answer To Treating Your Addiction
Do you have a problem with drugs or alcohol? If so, you have probably tried to quit on your own time and time again, only to find that you can’t do it alone. You’re sick and tired of being sick and tired and you have finally admitted to yourself that you need some help.
The problem is, you have a job and family obligations that won’t afford you the luxury of checking into a 30-day inpatient treatment facility. An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is the answer to your dilemma. IOP offers the same quality of care you would expect to find at an inpatient program.
Here are nine reasons why outpatient might be a great fit to reach your recovery:
#1 IOP Allows You To Keep Your Job
One of the main reasons why people don’t get help for a problem with an addiction – even though they really need it – is because they are afraid of losing their job. This is a very valid reason. The bills keep coming whether you need treatment or not, and of course you need to make money to make sure those bills get paid. An Intensive Outpatient Program offers a solution that allows you to keep your job AND get help for addiction.
Many (if not most) Intensive Outpatient Programs meet in the evenings at an addiction treatment clinic and are scheduled to accommodate an 8-5 work schedule. IOP typically takes place several hours a night three to five times a week. You do not stay at the facility like you would if you were attending inpatient treatment. Instead, you return home once treatment is completed every evening.
This means you can go to work like you normally would and then go to IOP once the work day is completed. Your employer never even has to know that you are attending treatment. For this reason, many people find that an Intensive Outpatient Program is a great fit to reach recovery.
#2 You Will Stop Suffering From The Disease of Addiction And Find Freedom
When you started drinking alcohol or taking drugs, it was fun at first. That’s why you continued to drink or drug. But, drinking or drugging stopped being fun a long time ago, right? Addiction is a costly endeavor that takes a mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial toll. It requires a lot of effort, energy, and expenditure to maintain an addiction.
Recovery promises freedom from the insidious disease of addiction. (Yes, addiction is a disease that is recognized by almost every major national health organization, including the American Medical Association.) However, if you want to find freedom from the hell of addiction, you have to do some work. You have to undergo addiction treatment and you can do that at IOP.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, “Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.”
#3 You Can Get Connected To A Detox Center That Will Help You Manage Withdrawal
One of the main reasons why people continue to drink alcohol or use drugs is because they are afraid of going through the pain of withdrawal (also known as detox). Once your body is used to processing addictive substances, it becomes dependent on these drugs to function. Without them, the body goes through the process of withdrawal and produces some very nasty symptoms as it flushes the toxic chemicals out of your system.
Depending on the type of drug you have been taking, how much you have been taking, and for how long; withdrawal can be life-threatening. This is especially true of alcohol. Because withdrawal can be very dangerous, you may need to undergo a supervised medical detox before you can begin the treatment process.
Typically, most outpatient programs do not provide detox services. However, they can refer you to a reputable program where you can complete a medical detox, which allows you to safely and comfortably withdrawal with the use of medications. Depending on the severity of your situation, you may have to stay a few days overnight somewhere so you can be monitored and evaluated. Quite often, detox is the first step to treatment. Some outpatient programs require you to complete detox before you begin treatment.
#4 You Will Receive Evidence-Based Treatment To Ensure Your Success In Recovery
When you go to IOP, you will be assigned a case manager who will create an individualized treatment plan that caters to your individual needs. There is no “one size fits all” method for treating addiction. Everyone has their own unique story and addiction experts recognize that. Your case manager will conduct an intake assessment to get to know you better so they can devise a plan to support you in your efforts to conquer addiction.
While you are attending IOP, you will participate in evidence-based treatment that drive positive results. You can expect to attend regular individual counseling sessions and peer-focused therapy groups. These sessions will help you address the reasons why you started abusing drugs or alcohol in the first place and give you the tools you need to stay sober.
SAMSHA reports that “evidence-based programs are programs that have been shown to have positive outcomes through high quality research.” This means there is no guesswork when it comes to treating your addiction. You will be only be exposed to therapeutic models. These models have a proven success rate in helping addicted people change defeating thought patterns and self-destructive behaviors.
#5 You Will Be Taught Skills To Ensure Long-Term Recovery And Prevent Relapse
Most IOP programs implement Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as part of their treatment plan. CBT is based on the theory that certain mental processes play a critical role in the development of negative behavioral patterns like substance abuse. CBT teaches people a range of skills that can be used to stop the addictive cycle and promote positive behavior.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that “a central element of CBT is anticipating likely problems and enhancing patients’ self-control by helping them develop effective coping strategies. Specific techniques include exploring the positive and negative consequences of continued drug use, self-monitoring to recognize cravings early and identify situations that might put one at risk for use, and developing strategies for coping with cravings and avoiding those high-risk situations.”
#6 At IOP, You Can Receive Specialized Care For a Dual-Diagnosis
According to the National Alliance for the Mentally ILL (NAMI), “Dual diagnosis (also referred to as co-occurring disorders) is a term for when someone experiences a mental illness and a substance use disorder simultaneously. Either disorder—substance use or mental illness—can develop first. People experiencing a mental health condition may turn to alcohol or other drugs as a form of self-medication to improve the mental health symptoms they experience. However, research shows that alcohol and other drugs worsen the symptoms of mental illnesses.”
If you have a mental health diagnosis (like Bipolar, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Schizophrenia, or an eating disorder) AND an addiction to alcohol or drugs, you have a dual-diagnosis that requires specialized addiction treatment. Many Intensive Outpatient Programs offer this type of treatment so that you can address your substance abuse problem and get help for your mental health.
If you have a dual-diagnosis, it is imperative that you receive help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA) reports that “the consequences of undiagnosed, untreated, or undertreated co-occurring disorders can lead to a higher likelihood of experiencing homelessness, incarceration, medical illnesses, suicide, or even early death.”
#7 You Can Maintain Your Family Responsibilities
As explained, IOP takes place only a few hours a day several times a week. You do not live at a facility when you attend an Intensive Outpatient Program. You are so much more than an addict or an alcoholic. You are a person with a family who loves you – and with that family comes some hefty responsibilities and personal obligations.
Whether you are raising children, taking care of aging parents, or caring for a sick relative, you are very much needed at home. You may be in desperate need of addiction treatment, but you have been putting it off because you know you can’t afford the time commitment required to stay at a treatment facility for thirty days or more.
Great news! IOP is the perfect solution for anyone who needs help for a substance abuse problem but cannot be pulled away from their family to make it happen. While attending an intensive outpatient program, you are only required to spend a few hours a night a few days a week away from home. This allows you to maintain your family duties and get the help you need for a drug or alcohol problem.
#8 Intensive Outpatient Is Affordable And Usually Covered By Insurance
Many people do not get rehabilitated from the disease of addiction because they are worried about the price tag. Inpatient treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars for a one-month stay. You don’t have to worry about that with IOP.
Intensive Outpatient Programs are very affordable and cost much, much less than a stay at a residential or inpatient rehab. Because you don’t stay at the facility round-the-clock and you receive fewer hours of therapy, IOP is very affordable.
Most outpatient addiction treatment programs are covered by insurance. This means you don’t have to pay out of pocket unless you have to cover a co-pay. Also, many IOPs will allow you to pay on a payment plan or will help you finance your treatment. Furthermore, a lot of organizations work on a sliding scale, which means you only pay what you can afford.
#9 You Will Forge New, Health Relationships in IOP
One of the great things about addiction treatment is that you don’t have to do it alone. You simply cannot recover from the disease of addiction without help from other people.
You have probably felt very isolated as your disease has progressed and you may have cut yourself off from the outside world. Attending an Intensive Outpatient Program allows you to connect with other recovering people who are experiencing the same things you are. You will make new friends and your friendship will be based on recovery, not addiction. Having this level of support is very comforting. It helps you realize you are not as “weird” as you think you are.
Get Help For Your Addiction – Before It’s Too Late
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2016, there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in the United States. This represents the highest number of drug-related deaths in a single year in all of American history.
There has never been a greater need for addiction treatment services. More people are dying from addiction than breast cancer, car crashes, and suicide. Sadly, addiction is a treatable disease and every one of the nearly 64,000 addicts who died in 2016 could have been saved if they would have gotten help.
If you are abusing alcohol, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, prescription opioids or other dangerous drugs, GET HELP! We have given you nine reasons why an Intensive Outpatient Program could be a great fit to reach your recovery. Take care of yourself and get the treatment you need to find freedom from the vicious cycle of addiction. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
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