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.

How An IOP Rehab Can Benefit You In Early Recovery

If you or a loved one is just starting out in their recovery journey, you may be comparing treatment options in order to find the best fit. Intensive outpatient (IOP) rehabilitation is an increasingly popular option, especially among working adults and individuals with responsibilities at-home. IOP rehab can benefit you during early recovery in a variety of different ways. For starters, it offers a more structured format than traditional outpatient treatment without the residential requirements that inpatient rehabilitation and partial hospitalization maintain. This characteristic makes it easy to work into your busy schedule. Learn more about the unique advantages IOP offers below.

How IOP Works

Outpatient rehabilitation operated on a part-time basis. However, some people may need more time and individualized services than a traditional outpatient program can provide. IOP was designed to fill this treatment gap. It typically operates for a longer duration and is characterized by more frequent meetings and hours spent in treatment each week. Most IOP plans span 30 hours a week in the early recovery phase then gradually reduce over time as goals are being met by the client.

In addition to this, IOP rehabilitation offers an in-depth psychosocial assessment. During it, a specialist reviews an individual’s mental health history as well as treatment history if applicable in order to develop the best treatment plan possible for their needs. It takes behavioral patterns into account as well which ultimately allows the specialist to customize therapies to each client. For example, some people may thrive in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) while others may find more success participating in a mixture of individual counseling and group therapy sessions.

What to Expect

IOP treatment follows a highly structured format that evolves around a few different key components. They consist of the following:

  • Assessment and detoxification
  • Treatment engagement
  • Early recovery

Treatment engagement is the second step in the process that marks the beginning of therapeutic services and group activities. Outpatient treatment relies heavily on a mixture of individual and group processes, both of which have their own perks. Individual services that as one-on-one counseling, meetings with a specialist and other forms of therapy center around each client’s current feelings, behaviors and needs. Group-based services address the community as a whole while encouraging members to share their stories and feelings in a productive way.

Early recovery marks the point at which educational services and relapse prevention strategies are introduced to each client. It focuses on skill acquisition, especially when it comes to developing new behavioral patterns and coping methods to combat cravings and urges to use. Loved ones may be encouraged to participate during this stage. Family therapy and meetings are often available to educated loved ones about the true nature of addiction as a chronic disease and mend hurt relationships caused by it.

Aftercare

Aftercare follows the early recovery stage of IOP. Typically it involves participating in treatment on a less frequent basis. For example, hours may be be reduced to 10 or less per week and continue to drop from there as goals are being met by the client. Aftercare helps individuals ease out of treatment without cutting all serviced entirely. This fading process empowers clients to apply what they have learned in a real world setting while still having access to professional support as needed.

Rehabilitation centers encourage clients to maintain an active role in their recovery regardless of how long they have maintained sobriety. This can take place in many different ways. Community-based groups, hobbies and developing new friendships are all excellent options. One of the most important components of successful relapse prevention is to avoid going back to the behaviors, settings and people that led to the formation of addiction. For this reason, treatment and aftercare plans suggest new interests and social opportunities. Fortunately, many rehabs provide on-site activities.

Choosing a rehabilitation program can feel overwhelming, but is well worth the investment. With an individualized plan, you can gain the skills and confidence you need to maintain lifelong sobriety. If you are struggling with finding the right treatment center for your needs, our counselors are here to help. Ready to get started?