If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, you may have been trying to deny it for a while. But now, you know you need help. This is the best thing you can do for yourself and others. However, going away to live at a rehab in a residential treatment program might not be something that you and your family are prepared to deal with. This is why intensive outpatient programs exist.
Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) can provide high-quality, productive treatment for your long-term recovery. Additionally, an outpatient program makes an excellent step-down program from a higher level of care.
What Is an IOP Rehab?
Intensive outpatient programs are designed to implement behavioral, psychological, and social support therapy to patients while they live at home. This allows them to continue participating in work, school, and family obligations while going to treatment during the day or in the evenings. An intensive outpatient program in Austin differs from a regular outpatient program in that it requires more days at the treatment facility and more hours per day.
What Does an IOP Rehab Treat?
IOPs are mainly used to treat these disorders:
- Unipolar depression
- Bipolar disorder (including mania)
- Eating disorders
- Substance use disorder (SUD) after detox or that doesn’t require detox
- Transitional treatment for individuals who have just been released from psychiatric treatment
- Individuals who have completed a higher level of addiction treatment
What is an Intensive Outpatient Program Like?
An IOP is a type of treatment program that operates on a small scale and doesn’t use residential or partial day services. They’re services for people with substance abuse disorders who can function independently and don’t meet the diagnostic standards for residential or inpatient treatment.
Likewise, IOPs are appropriate for people who have been discharged from 24-hour care in a residential facility. These people still need more support than the weekly or twice-weekly sessions provided in traditional outpatient care. A dual diagnosis intensive outpatient program in Austin is geared for patients who have mental health issues and a drug or alcohol dependency.
People who take part in IOPs have the opportunity to use therapy services to be able to recognize and understand the patterns in their lives that are causing them difficulties. This helps them restore their roles and functions in their lives. Similarly, it helps them reconnect to the supportive elements in their community.
There is a set of basic services that is essential to all intensive outpatient programs. These services are standard parts of the treatment package offered to every patient. Some programs provided enhanced services such as child care or organizing transportation based on the individual’s needs. The core services of IOP rehab are:
Groups typically form the most important part of an intensive outpatient program in Austin. The latest studies have shown that for relapse prevention, the group setting is as effective as one-to-one therapy. It allows programs to keep the cost lower compared to the more expensive individual counseling. This approach supports individuals by:
- Allowing the person to develop communication and socialization skills–particularly useful for someone whose socializing was basically only with others who used drugs or alcohol.
- The experience of being part of a group establishes an environment where people help, support, and even confront each other when necessary.
- Being part of a group introduces structure and discipline into the lives of people whose lives have previously been turbulent and undisciplined.
- Group therapy provides norms that encourage healthy ways of interacting in a supportive, healthy environment. This is needed in recovery.
- Individual recovery may be advanced for some members who are further along in recovery and can help other members.
- Members of the group can provide new information, teach new skills, and help other members while they practice new behaviors.
In an IOP, individual counseling is an important addition to group therapy but not the primary type of treatment. Even so, psychiatric interventions and addiction counseling are appropriate for people with co-existing substance abuse and mental health disorders, also known as dual diagnosis, as mentioned above.
In treatment, a primary counselor will be assigned to the individual to build a collaborative, confidential relationship. Generally, individual counseling addresses the immediate problems caused by the individual’s SUD and their current attempts to achieve and maintain sobriety. Individual counseling sessions are usually scheduled at least weekly during the early treatment stage.
The counselor will help the person review their reactions to group discussions. They will evaluate treatment plans and coping strategies. Any issues that are too sensitive to discuss in group sessions will be addressed in individual counseling. Individual counselors also help patients get access to services they need that are outside the program’s abilities and help plan the transition to another level of care or discharge.
Medication Management and Pharmacotherapy
These elements are critical to effective substance abuse treatment. Medications target specific and limited features of SUDs. Pharmacotherapy doesn’t change lifestyles or repair normal functioning. Programs that require attendance 3 to 5 days per week are perfect for identifying people that require medication and monitoring their acceptance. These services help in several ways, such as:
- To aid in detoxification and relieve withdrawal symptoms when needed.
- To help prevent relapse by reducing cravings.
- To reduce the medical and public health risks from the use or injection of illicit drugs.
- To relieve the original disorder that may have contributed to the substance use disorder.
- To supervise the treatment of some medical conditions connected to substance use disorders.
Despite far-reaching lab research and clinical trials, there isn’t any convincing evidence of effective medications for treating dependence on:
- Cocaine and other stimulants
However, research does back the effectiveness of medication assisted treatment for alcohol and opioid use disorders.
Frequently, individuals who go into IOP treatment have a dual diagnosis. Those with moderate-severity disorders can be treated in programs that are designed for clients with SUDs. Such a program works in coordination with mental health services. Moderately severe co-occurring disorders include stable mood and anxiety disorders. High-severity disorders include:
- Mood disorders with psychotic characteristics
- Borderline personality disorder
Drug and Alcohol Monitoring
Routine monitoring of the patient’s drug and alcohol consumption is done to determine if the therapy being followed has the desired effect. Occasionally, programs rely on the patient’s self-reporting, but most programs use the objective method of testing specimens.
By monitoring the patients, clinicians can determine the need for changes in the treatment, help families restore trust, and help the individual avoid relapse. Plus, it discourages them from substituting a different drug or alcohol for their drug of choice.
People who abuse substances are likely to have other corresponding problems in addition to their substance abuse. Services to help in these areas may be scattered across several agencies. It is sometimes difficult to get access to help without the assistance of a case manager who is familiar with service providers and who can help patients access these services. Case managers help people prioritize the needs that can’t be helped by the IOP rehab.
- Providing a basic set of social services that include assessment, advocacy, and monitoring.
- Give the patient a single contact person to be responsible for finding the resources they will need.
- Respond to the patient’s necessity for individualized help.
- Advocate on behalf of the patient when dealing with providers.
- Concentrate on immediate ways to meet the patient’s needs—for example, clothing or shelter.
Although detox is considered the first step in recovery, many IOPs don’t provide a medically managed detox program. However, in the intensive outpatient program in Austin, TX, you can go through detox at the treatment facility. You won’t need to find a separate detox center, or worse, try to do it at home before entering a treatment program.
What Is Detox?
Detoxification is generally viewed as the first part of the rehab process for recovery from addiction. Detox is the process of removing the toxins from the body of a person who is dependent on a substance of abuse. It’s meant to manage the symptoms of withdrawal that follow the stoppage of substance use.
When a person uses alcohol or other drugs for a long period of time, their body becomes used to and dependent on the substance. The brain gets used to the effects of the drug and adjusts so it can try to function normally. Over time, the person develops a tolerance for the drug and needs to use higher doses to feel the same effects.
Tolerance leads to dependence which means the body begins to require the drug to be able to function normally. When the person stops using the drug, the body reacts negatively. This may lead to headaches, vomiting, fevers, and other side effects called withdrawal symptoms. Not the least of which are strong cravings for the drug.
Medically Assisted Detox
Cravings and other withdrawal symptoms make it extremely difficult to refrain from using alcohol and other drugs. Fortunately, a medically managed detox can get patients through withdrawal safely. After a period of time, the body relearns how to function without the drug, and the cravings decrease.
Although there are no FDA-approved drugs specifically for the treatment of certain substances, medications can be prescribed to treat many of the symptoms of withdrawal. Some of the drugs that cause dependency and require a supervised detox include:
- Opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and heroin
- Benzodiazepines such as Valium, Xanax, Halcion, and Ativan
- Stimulants such as cocaine and crystal meth
- Prescription stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall
- Synthetic drugs such as Spice, K2, and bath salts.
- Drugs that contain THC, such as marijuana or hashish.
Is an IOP Rehab Right for You?
An intensive outpatient program for drug or alcohol addiction can be very successful. This is especially true if the person is willing to participate in all it has to offer. They can be as effective as residential treatment for most people.
A good intensive outpatient program offers a comprehensive program of detox, psychological and behavioral therapies, and aftercare. And because addiction affects the entire family, we are proud to offer a family program. Our staff understands that treatment means treating the whole person, mind, body, and spirit. Don’t wait any longer. Contact us today. Your future is waiting.