3 Essential Elements of an Intensive Outpatient Program

Deciding to enter addiction treatment is a major choice that should not be made lightly. Fortunately, there are numerous ways people can seek help for their cocaine addiction, so they need not conform to a single treatment approach to get and stay clean from this powerful drug. However, different treatment programs entail different levels of both support and responsibility; these programs may be more or less suited to any individual, which would depend upon each person’s lifestyle and severity of addiction. The ideal program for anyone will change as the addiction itself changes. To find out if intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) is best for you, then research what the program offers to see if it would meet your unique needs.

What Are Intensive Outpatient Programs?

IOPs are designed to meet the needs of people who suffer from a substance use disorder that requires more help than a weekly counseling session, but not residential care. The program monitors addicts several times per week by scheduling supportive group meetings that typically meet at least three times every week. Such meetings usually occur either during the morning or evening for roughly three hours. Participants are expected to attend three to eight weeks worth of classes, with four weeks being the average. Included in the following list are some of the key elements of every IOP:

  • Intake assessment and evaluation
  • Individualized care plan
  • Group therapy
  • Family involvement
  • Continuing care plan and referrals

In addition to helping people overcome cocaine addiction, IOP treatment is appropriate for people who have a mild to moderate co-occurring mental health condition, people who have high levels of stress and those who, despite their previous attempts in a traditional outpatient setting, failed to maintain their sobriety.

IOPs are intended for people who are willing to commit to a structured program that will require regular attendance in addition to active participation. Such programs work, because they address addiction at both fundamental and individual levels. Because each individual initially began using drugs for different reasons, each treatment center should develop treatment programs that are client-driven. Clients will be assigned to a treatment specialist, who will work one on one with the addict to develop a treatment plan and to help her through it. This program offers intense treatment while allowing recovering addicts to live independent lifestyles that have less supervision—in other words, these programs help recovering addicts prepare to integrate back into their communities.

IOPs should not be confused with other methods of addiction treatment, such as residential inpatient programs and partial hospitalization programs. Residents in both of these programs live and receive treatment in the same facility for approximately 30 days. In the case of partial hospitalization programs, recovering addicts often receive intense treatment during the day, but they often go either to a fully and/or partially supervised off-site housing facility for the evening. As the lowest supervised level of treatment, an IOP is not recommended for someone who needs structure and/or supervision. For instance, if a recovering cocaine addicts is prone to self-harm, is in the early days of recovery or struggles greatly with relapse, then he needs to avoid IOPs.

During the assessment stage, addicts are evaluated to see which program would meet their needs best. If someone could benefit from an IOP, then addicts meet with clinicians to develop a treatment plan, which helps them know what is expected of them as well as what lies ahead. Once the treatment plan is established, recovering addicts will attend group meetings. Unless specifically needed, most recovering addicts in IOPs do not receive individual counseling.

Family is often integrated into treatment, because addiction impacts each loved one in different ways. This type of treatment helps loved ones voice their concerns and address the pain they endured during the days of regular drug abuse. Furthermore, treatment programs should offer a referral service. This service could include connect recovering addicts with local counselors, which can be a backup plan if a recovering addict believes he is on the verge of relapse.

Each recovering addict is unique and has worries about her sobriety. The unknowns of sobriety can be overwhelming, which means they cause people to experience emotions they have not experienced since they started using drugs. Although the process of addiction for each individual is similar, each person has the right to address her concerns and to receive positive feedback from her support group.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one is suffering from a cocaine addiction, then please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and to help you find the best treatment available for your unique needs. Calling is the first step, so make the call now to let us help you!

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