While inpatient addiction treatment is usually preferred, more people are starting to look at outpatient options because of issues related to the overpopulation of rehab facilities. That brings into question whether or not an outpatient option like Intensive Outpatient (IOP) will serve as a good replacement for residential treatment. Before discussing this issue, it would seem prudent to describe the most prominent outpatient options, of which IOP would be one.
What differentiates the three main outpatient options is the amount of time clients have to devote to treatment. Remember, outpatient clients, are allowed to reside at home and handle their everyday business. Their treatment consists of reporting to the rehab facility at prescheduled times for their therapy sessions.
Here are the three primary outpatient options with the time requirements included: (note: they are list in order of restrictiveness with the most restrictive option first):
- Partial Hospitalization (PHP): Clients spend 5 to 7 days a week in the rehab facility for 6 to 8 hours a day
- Intensive Outpatient (IOP):: Clients spend 3 to 5 days a week in the rehab facility for 4 to 6 hours a day
- General Outpatient (OP): Clients spend 1 to 2 days a week in the rehab facility for 1 to 2 hours a day
Note: The General Outpatient option is usually reserved for clients who have completed their treatment but need a little extra counseling. As for the details related to the IOP option, clients spend the greatest majority of their time in individual therapy. The focus of therapy is working with a therapist to figure out exactly why the client feels the need to abuse drugs or alcohol. Finding the root causes of the addiction is an essential part of the treatment process. As the client digs into their soul, they will get a chance to see the truth if they are open and honest with their therapist.
After discovering the truth, the client gets a chance to start working on solutions. At a minimum, clients will go to work on their coping skills. If they can learn to cope better in difficult situations, the hope is they can navigate around any temptations and their personal triggers. A solid set of coping skills is the best defense against a lifetime of chronic relapses. The question at hand is, “is IOP as good an option as inpatient treatment if the client has good support at home?”
Is IOP as Good as Inpatient Treatment?
At first glance, you might expect that inpatient treatment would always be the better option. After all, clients tend to get more out of treatment when they are confined to the rehab facility. However, the fact someone has a really solid support system at home is very relevant. The biggest danger to an outpatient client is their exposure to negative influences around the home and neighborhood.
If family members and friends are adding an extra layer of protection against bad influences, that increases the likelihood the client will be able to stay on the path of recovery. With that extra layer of protection, it is quite possible that a good IOP program could be just as effective as inpatient treatment. You need to remember that IOP programs have very strict rules. Here is a sampling of these rules:
- Absolute zero tolerance for substance use without a doctor’s prescription
- Must submit to random drug testing
- Must report for all scheduled appointments on time
- Must continue to make good progress throughout the treatment process
If a client can do these things, there is no reason to believe they would do any better in an inpatient treatment program. However, patients who are not able to follow these rules are usually given one of two choices. First, they can choose to move up to an inpatient program for the duration of treatment.
If they are unable or unwilling to do that, they might be asked to seek help elsewhere. Regardless of what type of addiction treatment program you need, it’s time for you to start working on your recovery. The truth is you cannot afford to wait any longer. When you are ready to start working, you can give us a call at 833-610-1174. We would be glad to tell you about our facility and treatment programs. With us on your side, there is a real good chance you can fully recover from your addiction illness.