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Is Intensive Outpatient Treatment More Effective Than Typical Outpatient Care?

Making the decision to get treatment for an addiction is a huge decision. Most people do so without a clear understanding about the addiction treatment process. An informed decision demands that the right person has all the facts before making any decision. When it comes to addiction treatment, there’s a lot of ways a treatment facility could administer treatment. Long gone are the days of assembly line treatment methods where everyone gets the same type and level of treatment. Modern-day drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers offer a wide range of treatment options and modalities.

Here’s a list of common treatment options a prospective might encounter at a high-level rehab center:

Standard Outpatient

Intensive Outpatient

Partial Hospitalization with outpatient follow ups

Inpatient – primary care (30-90 days)

Inpatient – extended care (over 90 days)

Dual Diagnosis treatment for co-existing conditions (psychological/addiction)

Behavioral and holistic (art, music, writing therapy) modalities

The treatment selection process is handled between the patient and the treatment facility’s staff members. During the selection process, several aspects of the addiction and the patient’s circumstances are taken into consideration. The criteria used includes:

The substance being abused by the patient

The depth and length of the patient’s addiction

The patient’s financial circumstances

The patient’s living circumstance and responsibilities

The patient’s current mindset and ability to function

For the most part, everyone wants to select the least invasive treatment option. For addiction treatment, that would be the outpatient and intensive outpatient options. The following discussion will focus on these two options and what a prospective patient can expect from the process.

Is Intensive Outpatient Treatment More Effective Than Typical Outpatient Care?

This is an interesting question. The truth is both types of treatment can be equally effective depending on what the patient actually needs. At the lowest level, clinicians will prescribe outpatient treatment under certain circumstance. If the patient’s addiction is moderate and they seem capable of maintaining some level of responsibility towards treatment, an outpatient program would probably suffice.

If money is an issue, an outpatient program might be all that the client can afford. If the patient can’t submit to residential treatment because of ongoing responsibilities at home (childcare), work or school, an outpatient program might be the only option.

Once the clinician and patient agree on using the outpatient approach, it’s just a matter of deciding if the patient needs intensive care instead of standard care. As for the effectiveness of either program, that will be determined by the patient’s ability to find and maintain recovery. Both options can be extremely effective if matched properly with the patient’s specific circumstances.

The following will discuss both options in more depth.

Standard Outpatient

A standard outpatient program makes sense when the patient doesn’t need detox and exhibits the ability to act with a higher level of responsibility. This type of program will usually require the patient to report to an outpatient facility several times a week. During the 2-3 hours they are at the facility, they will undergo therapy and counseling in both individual and group sessions. As long as they maintain sobriety, make all scheduled appointments and show progress, there’s a great chance a standard outpatient program will be very successful.

Intensive Outpatient

This type of program exists for patients who actually need residential care, but can’t afford it or those patients who have extenuating circumstances that would prevent them from being able to submit to residential treatment and living.

Intensive outpatient programs require a high-level of responsibility on the part of the patient. The facility’s staff will usually require a patient to be in-house for at least 6 hours a day. During that time, the patient will participate in some very intensive therapy programs, both individual and group sessions.

If the patient does not show good process or encounters relapse issues, an important decision has to be made by all concerned parties. The choices are moving the patient into residential treatment program or asking the patient to leave the program altogether. Obviously, the last option would be a last resort decision.

We hope this helps clarify the outpatient treatment process. If you would like more information about our outpatient and intensive outpatient options, we invite you to call us as soon as possible. Regardless of your circumstance, we have a treatment option that will work for you.

When Intensive Outpatient Treatment For Addiction Is A Better Option

Intensive outpatient treatment is a structured treatment program for addiction. Bridging the gap between inpatient treatment and traditional outpatient plans, intensive treatment provides more stability while allowing patients to continue to live at home. An intensive outpatient program (IOP) can help patients who don’t have the resources or time to receive inpatient treatment.

An IOP offers many of the same benefits of inpatient treatment without the restrictions. Treatment sessions are often scheduled in the evening to allow patients to attend work and take care of their families. The program may combine traditional outpatient options like a 12-step program with options usually reserved for inpatient sessions, such as group or individual therapy. The result is an effective program that allows you to seek treatment without disrupting your life.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment Creates Options

Many people know they are suffering from addiction but feel like it is impossible to get help. Inpatient treatment can be a barrier to success if you know you simply cannot leave your life behind. Perhaps you will lose your home if you miss consecutive days of work. Perhaps you are a single parent with children to care for. Maybe your insurance won’t pay for your treatment. Intensive outpatient treatment gives you the flexibility you need with the added structure to beat addiction. An IOP may include the following options.

Group therapy

12-Step programs

Individual therapy

Mental health treatment

24-hour crisis support

IOPs are different from other programs because they combine the best of both worlds, offering a targeted plan to kick your addiction. They are helpful for those suffering a dual diagnosis and patients who do not require detox or professional medical care.

Is Intensive Outpatient Treatment Right for You?

If you have been seeking an addiction treatment that will allow you to continue your daily responsibilities, an IOP may be the answer. It is important to consider all of the factors that might make IOPs successful. Intensive Outpatient Treatment is best for patients who meet the following criteria.

You suffer an addiction but cannot take time off from work.

You suffer an addiction that is not serious enough to require detox.

You have already completed an inpatient program.

You have a family.

You have an addiction but do not need 24-hour supervision to avoid using.

You cannot afford inpatient treatment.

Traditional outpatient treatment is not consistent enough for your needs.

If your situation fits two or more of the criteria, an IOP may be right for you. It is important to realize that each individual is different and there may be other unique reasons for you to consider intensive treatment. Only you can understand your exact needs and it is vital to recognize your abilities and lifestyle when seeking treatment for addiction.

When it is not a Good Fit

Not every patient can fully benefit from intensive outpatient treatment. Addiction treatment varies widely and there are some reasons to consider other programs. Reasons an IOP may not be right for you include:

Addiction to a substance that will cause withdrawal.

Past unsuccessful experiences with outpatient treatment.

Lack of self-control required to stay clean during the hours you spend at home.

A work schedule that follows non-traditional hours. Since IOPs often operate in the evenings, a partial hospitalization program might better fit the needs of a patient who doesn’t work during the day.

Intensive outpatient programs utilize some of the treatments used in both inpatient and outpatient treatment. However, it is different from each of these options. For treatment to be successful, it is important to understand what available. IOPs differ from traditional treatments in the following ways.

Inpatient treatment provides around the clock care by licensed healthcare professionals. Doctors are always available for emergencies and therapists are usually available for crisis management. Medicines may also be used to help patients step down from addiction. Intensive outpatient treatment often includes some of the same therapy options. However, the same 24-hour care is not available.

Traditional outpatient treatment provides group therapy and accountability with unlimited flexibility. Intensive treatment offers some flexibility but requires more attendance and structure. Intensive treatment may also include additional treatment options not included with traditional outpatient plans.

If you are suffering from addiction, don’t suffer alone. There are many successful treatment options available. Our treatment counselors are available 24 hours a day to help you find your personalized plan to get your life back on track.