If you’re ready to start your recovery journey now, you may think the first step is an inpatient facility. Inpatient substance use disorder (SUD) treatment programs are the lifeline that some people need, especially if they have other medical or psychiatric issues, a high risk of withdrawal symptoms and/or a need to be in a 24-hour structured setting.
According to SAMHSA, though, studies show that an Intensive Outpatient (IOP) treatment program actually works just as well as inpatient for most people. In many cases, IOP has extra advantages, too.
1. A Manageable Schedule
Like inpatient treatment, IOP is (by definition) intensive as well as comprehensive. However, it usually requires 10 – 12 hours per week over the course of 18 months rather than 24 hours per day for 30 to 90 days. Many people don’t feel like they have the option to step away from their lives for an inpatient stay of one to three months. IOP programs are flexible enough to let you continue taking care of things at home that need your attention.
2. The Tools To Succeed
In IOP treatment, you set individualized treatment goals that address your own specific challenges. You and your counselor work through these during your one-on-one sessions, and you also attend group sessions where you learn recovery skills, relapse prevention strategies, problem-solving skills, cognitive skills and more. These are the exact same tools you’d get at an inpatient facility. In IOP, though, you’re learning them in your community, so as a bonus, there’s a good chance that some of the people in your groups will become long-term peer support.
3. A Chance To Practice Recovery Skills
Inpatient takes you out of the environment where you were using and gives you space to learn skills for recovery. With IOP, you’re likely still dealing with the environment where you developed or continued your substance use. However, you’re taking the skills home from treatment with you and putting them right to work. You’re not doing it alone, either, as noted before, because you have local supports who are actively engaged in your recovery journey with you.
Placement in IOP generally depends on the outcome of your assessment and other factors. If you’re ready to schedule an appointment for an assessment, you can contact our Admissions Coordinator, Michael Allen, SUDP, at 360-876-9430, email email@example.com, or fill out a Request For Services.