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3 Essential Elements of an Intensive Outpatient Program

3 Essential Elements of an Intensive Outpatient Program

Support groups with different models fit recovery not just during treatment, but even after it ends

Outpatient recovery from addiction is usually a step down from inpatient recovery, but it has also been a common alternative to inpatient treatment programs due to their nature and flexibility. This treatment option allows patients to keep their normal routines while receiving addiction help at the same time, which means people can learn to break addiction while they also address whatever issues for which they are responsible. For whatever reason you are seeking outpatient addiction recovery, there are important factors to consider, so keep in mind some essential elements before committing to any recovery program.

An Effective Intensive Outpatient Program

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is an addiction program that allows patients to return home or to a sober living home at the end of the day’s treatment. When a patient, his family or a physician considers different types of rehab, he might find this option to be good as long as he qualifies for this kind of treatment instead of inpatient care. In other words, the nature of the addiction and the available support influence the kind of treatment that will work best for each recovering user.

The American Psychiatric Association lists the following two requirements that someone must meet to choose an IOP instead of residential treatment:

  • Addiction that does not need detox
  • Addiction that does not need 24 supervision

It is also stated that some of the main objectives of an IOP are giving the patient the necessary coping skills for relapse management and to provide adequate psychosocial support.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) also evinces an IOP’s efficacy when conducted in the right setting and for the right patients. For example, an effective treatment approach can be planned with a patient who visits a clinic or rehab center at regular intervals, perhaps during business hours, and then coming back home at the end of the day.

In this study by the NIDA on treatment approaches for drug addiction, addiction specialists recommend a continuous assessment of the treatment plan to rate its effectiveness and continue accordingly. It is also stated that, for a treatment to be effective, the treatment professionals must remember each patient’s different needs, not just the drug addiction.

3 Essential Elements of Outpatient Addiction Rehab

In an extensive publication on the National Library of Medicine website, a list of core services in an IOP make it as effective as possible.

Among this list are the following three important elements that an outpatient program needs:

  • Therapy and support groups – Psychological attention has been a core element of any treatment program for drug addiction. The main objective of regular therapy sessions is helping patients regain mental health by addressing underlying causes for substance abuse and emotional issues. Likewise, support groups must be an essential element in IOPs. In a different research by the NIDA, support groups with different models fit recovery not just during treatment, but even after it ends.
  • Monitoring substance abuse – As stated before, it is important to determine if outpatient addiction rehab will have good results or if the patient should consider other types of rehab. Regular monitoring and testing, when applied correctly, can be good incentives for the patient to continue with sobriety. The results can also help professional continue adjusting the treatment plan according to the needs of the patient. Such care further reinforces desired behaviors instead of inducing shame after relapse occurs.
  • Education – Education in an IOP ranges from coping skills to deal with anxiety and strategies that will help people avoid relapse. These counseling sessions can also teach patients the dangers of addiction and the consequences not only to the drug users, but also their friends and family. Some outpatient rehab programs also offer family counseling to help all the members in the household understand what addiction implies and how they can encourage recovery.

These three examples are only part of what an effective outpatient treatment program must include to help a patient as much as possible without residential treatment.

Every case is different, so choose what type of rehab you need according to your particular issues and the recommendations of your physician or main healthcare provider. Whatever treatment program you choose, much will depend upon your determination and the support you receive. To recover from addiction, seek help both to get and stay clean from drugs.

Help Finding an Intensive Outpatient Program

Call our toll-free helpline, 24 hour helpline now to receive counseling on where to find the right program for you or your loved one. Our admissions coordinators offer free assistance and advice on topics such as intervention services, family counseling, a national network of rehab facilities and health insurance for substance abuse treatment. Give recovery a chance and call today; one of our specialists will be happy to help you.

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