When you realize it’s time to begin seeking treatment, you quickly learn that there are many different options available. This may make it difficult to decide which would be best for you. Fortunately, with some information about the different treatment types, you can make a decision you feel confident about. You may also choose to consult with professionals in the field of mental health treatment who can help you assess your situation and decide what would help you most.

What Is Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

One study describes intensive outpatient programs (IOP) as services for people with substance use disorders or mental disorders who do not need to be admitted into a 24-hour care detox center or who have recently been discharged from one. According to American Addiction Centers, IOP can be used to address addiction, depression, eating disorders, and other mental health conditions that do not require around-the-clock care.

Who Is a Good Candidate for IOP?

If you attend an IOP, you will receive treatment at the treatment site, but unlike inpatient or residential programs, you will not live at the site. Instead, you will live on your own and follow a program designed by your treatment team.

Therefore, the best candidates for an IOP are people who are willing and able to attend appointments, therapies, and counseling sessions at the treatment site. Attending an IOP would require you to have reliable transportation as well as the accountability and motivation to not miss any of your meetings. Some programs require daily attendance, others may have meetings only a couple of times a week, and the whole program may last anywhere from a couple of months to a year. Regardless of the frequency of meetings at an IOP, you must be sure that you have supportive people around you and transportation to get you to and from your appointments. You must also not let any relapses prevent you from being accountable and attending treatment on schedule.

The status of your living environment is also incredibly important if you want to choose an IOP. If you don’t have a healthy and supportive living situation, it may be very hard for you to succeed in an IOP. As an outpatient treatment program, IOP requires you to do most of the work of healing and creating new habits outside the walls of treatment, which will not work if your current environment is not conducive to sobriety. Going home to a place that doesn’t allow you to practice what you’re learning and further your healing will not be beneficial.

If you do have a positive home situation and reliably attend your IOP meetings, IOP treatment can be just as effective as inpatient or residential treatment. For good candidates, IOP can also have certain advantages over inpatient or residential treatment.

How IOP Prepares You for Success

Typically, when you add things into your life gradually and in a way that aligns with your lifestyle and responsibilities, the additions are more sustainable. When you can still work and take care of your other duties while being involved in treatment, you may not have to make as great of a sacrifice to recover. As long as you are careful not to get overwhelmed, the practice of managing your recovery journey alongside the other demands of your normal life can equip you to maintain lifelong recovery.

Unlike many inpatient or residential treatments, an IOP is a part-time treatment, which allows time for people to attend to other areas of their lives. This often creates a smoother transition into recovery. Although this also creates a greater opportunity for temptations that could lead to relapse, people who take their relapse prevention plans seriously may have an easier time avoiding relapse later in their recovery journeys because they have already had practice avoiding it toward the beginning. After all, residential or inpatient programs decrease the amount of temptation and outside triggers, but once someone leaves one of those programs, they will need to be able to handle those things. People who leave IOP often have an easier transition into their post-treatment lives.

IOP tends to be more applicable to daily life. It’s more realistic to develop habits and coping mechanisms alongside other responsibilities because your life post-treatment will not be completely focused on sobriety. Treatment that entails completely removing yourself from your day-to-day life makes it a bit more difficult to continue with everything once you leave the treatment center.

IOP at 449 Recovery

Don’t equate outpatient treatment with a lack of support or accountability. There are several ways to keep clients accountable inside and outside the walls of treatment. 449 Recovery has a team of professionals dedicated to assisting with treatment and ensuring clients are heading in the right direction. Weekly meetings with therapists, counselors, and medical professionals are encouraged throughout the treatment program.

There are also plenty of activities and events held by 449 Recovery and staff that support sobriety and recovery throughout the program. Whether it is going to group therapy sessions on the beach with other clients or traveling to different locations to hear people speak, you will not feel disconnected or unsupported if you choose IOP at 449 Recovery.

Choosing the best treatment option for yourself or a loved one can be difficult, and sometimes guidance is needed. The first step is understanding how IOP works and how it differs from other forms of treatment. To say that one form is the best for everybody would simply be untrue. At 449 Recovery, we understand that our form of treatment will not suit everyone, but we are happy to help people regardless of whether they are considering treatment with us or not. If you are interested in IOP, don’t expect it to be easier than a residential or inpatient program. The work is still done within yourself, and accountability is still present. Community is important to us, and we aim to create one that best supports client goals.  If you want to discuss your situation or learn more about treatment options, call 449 Recovery at (949) 435-7449.