group therapy

You have completed an inpatient rehab, and you are finally able to return home and get back to your life, clean and sober. Things are going great, you feel wonderful and life is full of promise and possibility. Before you leave your program, though, your counselor tells you she is recommending that you go to an intensive outpatient program (IOP) after you graduate.

But why? You are sober, you are feeling confident about your recovery and you are finished with treatment, right? What is the benefit?

Before you dismiss the idea of continuing treatment, it may help to learn more about IOP and what it has to offer, and why you would want to participate in a program after treatment.

What Is An Intensive Outpatient Program, Anyway?

group therapy session for drug abuse

Outpatient treatment is just what it sounds like Drug and alcohol treatment that is not residential. You go to your sessions and then leave when they are over. The difference between outpatient and intensive outpatient is that an IOP often has daily sessions that may last several hours whereas regular outpatient may only meet once or twice per week.

Each program is different, though, and most are individualized depending on your situation. There may also be daytime sessions and evening sessions to accommodate work, school or family schedules. Outpatient treatment programs may offer many of the same therapies and activities that inpatient does, but in a more limited fashion.

An intensive outpatient program may also offer other services such as family counseling, employment assistance, housing assistance, parenting classes, life skills training, referrals to legal services and other services and resources that are helpful to people who are trying to get on their feet.

How Long Does An IOP Last?

The length of the program will vary. Some IOP’s last just a few weeks, and some up to a year. It depends on client need and other factors. In the beginning phase, you may attend groups, counseling and other activities daily for the first month or so, and then transition to one or two days per week. It depends on you, your needs and the nature of that particular program.

Why Should I Go To An IOP?

drug and alcohol treatment group therapy

While you are probably excited about getting out of treatment and eager to get on with your life, early recovery is a vulnerable time. Everyone is different, of course, but many newly recovering addicts relapse soon after treatment. There is a variety of reasons for this. For some, they simply weren’t ready, and were just biding their time until treatment was over.

But many people who were excited about getting sober, who gave 100% to their program and who left treatment with no intention of using are often shocked when they relapse. What happened? How could it have been prevented?

It helps to understand that inpatient treatment is a protected environment. Everyone is clean and sober. There are no drugs or alcohol available. You are in a new environment, away from people, places and things that you associate with using.

You are also away from many of the harsh realities of life. In treatment, you have a roof over your head and meals are provided. Sure, conflict occurs, and you have bad days, but there is always support available, and you are in a safe, secure setting.

Then you leave treatment, and suddenly everything is different. Maybe you have to move back home, and there is drinking or using there, or conflict with family members. Maybe you have to try and find a job but aren’t having any luck. Maybe old friends are calling you and asking if you want to go out and have some fun. Suddenly, you are barraged with temptations and responsibilities.

While this is not the case for everyone, it highlights some common issues that can face newly recovering addicts. Without support, encouragement, and resources, it can be all too easy to give up and slip back into old habits.

How An Intensive Outpatient Program Can Help You Stay Sober

While an IOP won’t solve all your problems, it can help you to stay focused on your recovery, can give you a safe place to go and can give you the support you need to stay sober when things get tough.

Just like in inpatient treatment, you will have a counselor or case worker who will meet with you on a regular basis to see how you are progressing, and to help you address any problems or concerns you may have.

You may participate in individual therapy, group counseling, and educational groups. Some examples of helpful groups may include relapse prevention, anger management, parenting issues, relationships in recovery and more.

In addition, if you are struggling financially or having trouble finding housing, you may be referred to other programs that can help you. These types of services can be a huge help for the recovering addict just out of treatment trying to rebuild.

For many people, just knowing that they will be able to go to their program that day can help them stay focused and sober even when things are difficult. There is a sense of community and support, you know you are not on your own.

Finding Help At An IOP

If you have recently left treatment and are struggling, or if you are looking for an IOP for after inpatient treatment, Sound Recovery Solutions can help. Offering individualized treatment solutions in an outpatient setting, Sound Recovery Solutions intensive outpatient program can give you the tools and support you need to succeed. Call 561-666-7427 today for more information.

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