Addiction treatment is highly variable. Some forms of treatment work better for some patients than for others, and rarely for the exact same reasons. Finding an addiction treatment that best suits you requires seeking professional help, and getting the opinion of someone with both hands-on knowledge on addiction, and the access to your information.This is because there are many ways to treat an addiction. Some people utilize spirituality, and art. Some require medication to help them wean off the drugs or an IOP treatment program to sober up. Some people go to therapy for years, and have issues besides addiction that need to be addressed.
Your treatment needs to reflect you, and your needs. It can never be a purely cookie-cutter program – which means you need to seek out a treatment that is both comprehensive and allows for patient consultations and specifications. Among many such treatments, you’ll find that an IOP treatment program can get you the help you need among other options such as 12 step programs.
Yet there are distinct differences between the two that generally make one better than the other.
What Is An IOP Treatment Program?
An IOP treatment program is one among several approaches used by most addiction treatment centers, although these approaches don’t detail the exact specifications of the program: rather, they’re the way in which a program is applied to a patient’s life.
Outpatient programs require a patient to regularly visit the treatment center, giving them the freedom to work, be with their family, and continue living their lives while coming in for therapy and more.
Inpatient programs, on the other hand, are also known as residential programs, or rehab. This is when someone moves into the facility, staying there for the long-term.
Some people opt for an outpatient program after completing their inpatient program, to have a structured guide to help them through their first few weeks of being reintroduced into the real world since sobering up in rehab. Others go straight to the outpatient program, due to time constraints and/or other reasons.
However, an IOP treatment program is another level in and of itself. While outpatient programs are meant to provide a certain level of support to people who want help staying on track with their sobriety, an IOP treatment program goes a step beyond to provide mental health checks and regular therapy for patients who do not need supervised rehabilitation. It’s not just an option for people who can’t afford to leave their work life or family behind for rehab – an IOP treatment program will work with you to provide you the best treatment possible without asking you to spend day after day at the treatment facility itself.
An IOP Is Right For You If:
IOP treatment programs are, as the name implies, intensive. They’re not necessarily meant to simply provide you with a minimum amount of support – they’re meant as primary treatment programs for drug addiction, meaning they can substitute a stint in rehab effectively if you work with the people at the treatment center and help them do their best. They’re right for you if:
- You need a primary treatment program to help you cope with sobriety and deal with addictive habits (including bad coping mechanisms, mood swings and behavioral issues, etc.)
- You can’t afford residential treatment for one reason or another, and need to be able to balance both your real-life responsibilities and your journey to consistent and successful sobriety.
- You want to “wean” yourself off a residential treatment program, without jumping straight into living a “normal” life again.
- You need help managing your urges and cravings, more than usual.
IOP treatment programs exist to bridge the gap between a regular outpatient program, and the fully-fledged residential treatment programs. However, they can also be used to bridge the gap between a residential program and confronting real life with a sober mind and no structured support program or post-rehab treatment plan.
How An IOP Differs From A 12-Step Program
A 12-step program is a relatively loose template of group therapy, based on the successful model first popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous as far back as the 1930s. Lauded by some as the only way to getting out of addiction, and argued by others to be the embodiment of everything wrong with addiction treatment, it’s a controversial program that ultimately works for some, and not at all for others. Its primarily philosophy is surrender to God, although it’s inclusive of all religions and even the lack thereof. While spirituality plays a heavy part in its doctrines and writings, most 12-step programs rely on the ability to communicate and provide therapy on a group level, keeping in-touch with one another and building layers of connection between group members through sponsor/sponsee relationships, and more.
A good 12-step program requires a good leader, and plenty good listeners. However, it’s very much dependent on the tolerance of the group, the attitudes of the members, and other possible limitations.
On the other hand, an IOP treatment program focuses primarily on you as the patient, but offers many options for connecting with other people in recovery.
A Direct Road To Self-Sustaining Sobriety
Residential treatment has its positive aspects, the biggest being that you get to live in an environment that is entirely free from any potential tantalization or temptation. Residential treatment is meant to take you out of all that, and help you remake your life.
But after rehab is over, you’re out of the facility and back in your life. Memories return, stronger than ever, strengthened by being in the places you used to be in and among the people you used to be with. Without a concrete daily schedule and strict rules, it becomes easy for life to fall out of whack, and hard for you to keep up the discipline to stick through it all without requiring some extra help. Even with the support of your family, professional help can go a long way towards improving your chances and heading off the potential for relapse down the road.
That’s the true key behind outpatient treatment. An IOP treatment program will give you the opportunity to seek out new therapeutic tools or continue the programs you went through during residential treatment, while weaning you off the idea of visiting a treatment center altogether, giving you a clear and consistent path to self-sustaining sobriety by arming you with everything you might need to stay clean, even through life’s hardest challenges.