Should You Consider Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

office waiting couch and plant

Substance abuse intensive outpatient programs, or IOPs, are designed specifically for people with substance use disorder or co-occurring mental disorders. Additionally, candidates must not meet “diagnostic criteria” for inpatient substance abuse treatment or have been discharged from 24-hour care in an inpatient treatment facility. IOPs offer a different approach to treatment than typical inpatient programs. Their main goal is to create psychological support, as well as teach about relapse management and coping skills.

If you are researching treatment programs, you may take into consideration an intensive outpatient program. At Lakehouse Recovery, we strive to tailor treatment to your individual needs, empower you to have control of your treatment plan, and provide resources to aid in your road to recovery. You don’t have to stop your life to save it!

What Does an Intensive Outpatient Program Entail?

Intensive outpatient programs offer a higher level of care than most outpatient services. IOPs typically offer patients a certain number of hours per week consisting of structured individual and group therapy, as well as the option of family therapy. It also focuses on psychoeducation to teach and inform as much as possible about substance use and mental disorders. Here at Lakehouse, the primary focus is substance use disorders. If substance use is affecting a co-occurring mental disorder, however, we will surely provide and strive to address both issues.

A major principle in an IOP is to educate patients about both early-stage relapse management and coping skills. We ensure that the patient experiences psychosocial support and that treatment is tailored to your symptoms, needs, and circumstances. A typical IOP program here at Lakehouse will look something like this:

  • An individualized plan for each client comprises five sessions a week for the first 30 days. As time goes on, it may drop to three days a week unless more sessions are deemed clinically necessary.
  • Clients will work with their case managers who focus on relapse prevention counseling and other goals.
  • We require releases of information to communicate with family members, as we believe family can be a crucial part of the recovery- unless there are clinical reasons such as abuse in the family.
  • Group therapy includes a 10-week curriculum. Each week focuses on a different topic, ranging from family dynamics and cognitive processing therapy (CPT) to yoga, breathwork, and music therapy, all of which can be offered virtually.   

Intensive outpatient programs may look different from one facility to another. We require at least 30 days of treatment; however, on average, people stay for 90 days, and sometimes even longer. The main goal at Lakehouse is to respect all clients. We do not create expectations based on judgment, and we strive to help you feel empowered in your recovery. We want to ensure that your treatment program fits within your value system and supports where you want to be with your recovery in the future.

The Importance of Group Therapy and Case Management

Participation and interaction, even in virtual sessions, are essential for group therapy to be beneficial. Participating does not just help you; it helps the other people in the group session as well. Interacting keeps a sense of connection between you and your peers. This connection is important because it opens the door for you to talk with those in the group between sessions. You learn to be there and help each other.

Newly recovered patients may feel a sense of dissociation or disembodiment when first coming to Lakehouse. This is sometimes referred to as “floating head syndrome,” and the goal when you get here is to reconnect. Group programs can help with this. By practicing yoga, meditation, and breathwork, you learn to come back into your body, redevelop your sense of awareness, and take steps toward recovery and living a more mindful life.

Developing trust and keeping lines of communication open, not only with your therapists but also with your case managers, will help you in the long run. Our team will not only teach you about relapse prevention, but they will also help with any goals you have, such as practicing interview skills, finding employment, or helping with your relationships. They are there to help, and more importantly, they want to help.

Effectiveness of Intensive Outpatient Care

There has been a lot of evidence showcasing the effectiveness of IOPs to treat substance use disorders, thanks to a multitude of randomized clinical trials. As a whole, the studies have shown that intensified services and treatments can be effective for patients suffering from substance use disorders. These studies have compared the effectiveness of IOPs against the efficacy of more typical inpatient treatment programs.

How an individual responds to treatment is heavily dependent on them. Nowadays, IOPs have become necessary for individuals who need more intensive care. Much of the program’s effectiveness will be contingent upon the person engaged in treatment. Patients will benefit most when they are at a place of willingness, clear-mindedness, and are ready to commit.

Seeking treatment for a substance use disorder or co-occurring mental disorder may be accompanied by a lot of confusing thoughts and feelings. What’s most important is that you are seeking treatment. If you have been discharged from a 24-hour care facility, do not meet diagnostic criteria for inpatient facilities, or are searching for an alternative form of treatment, an intensive outpatient program may be right for you. At the Lakehouse, we prioritize individualized treatment for substance use disorder that focuses on psychoeducation, relapse prevention counseling, coping skills, and so many other topics designed to help you reconnect with yourself. We believe that your treatment plan should coincide with your values, beliefs, and strengths. We want you to feel empowered in your treatment plan. Our capable staff of therapists and case managers, as well as your peers within the program, are meant to serve as a support system. Call us at (877) 762-3707 to learn more or begin our program today.