Does it ever feel like your drug or alcohol addiction is a life sentence? Are you looking for an affordable treatment option that doesn’t require losing time from work?

There are more than 20 million Americans with substance abuse issues, but only a small fraction seek care. You might want to detox, but you may not be able to drop everything to attend a 90-day inpatient program.

If you’re ready to seek treatment for your addiction, this article’s for you. We’ll give you the inside scoop on what to expect from an IOP or intensive outpatient program.

Outpatient vs. Inpatient Treatment

No matter how long you’ve had a drug or alcohol addiction, you’ve got treatment options. The first step toward recovery is to meet with an intake counselor. They will run your insurance, give you a physical and a drug test, and evaluate your mental health.

The intake counselor will also run your insurance and help you decide whether you need an inpatient or an outpatient program. Here are a few key differences:

  • Time Commitment. Most inpatient programs last at least one month, sometimes going as long as six months to a year. Do you have that kind of time? If you want to keep your job while you recover, intensive outpatient treatment might be the best choice. Most outpatient programs meet three times per week for eight to 16 weeks.
  • Therapy Options. Depending upon the severity of your addiction, you may meet with support staff every day for the first few months. IOP treatment options can include group therapy, individual therapy, and family therapy. Your counseling schedule will be customized to your needs so that you’re not losing time with your children or family.
  • Support Networks. Do you have any family or friends that you can talk to about your recovery? Are your work colleagues rooting you on? IOP therapy works best when you have people to talk to in addition to your therapist. Outpatient and inpatient programs may require you to attend AA meetings or keep a personal journal.
  • Success Rate. The relapse rate for drug and alcohol addiction hovers between 40 and 60 percent. It’s not an encouraging figure, but customized intensive outpatient therapy can help make you a success story instead of a statistic. If you relapse, your IOP therapy network will help you detox and get recommitted to your recovery.

Are You Ready for IOP Treatment?

How can you tell if you’re ready for recovery? Is getting clean as easy as making up your mind to change?

If you can check off three or more items on this list, you’re probably ready to seek treatment for your addiction.

  1. You’ve had severe financial problems due to your addiction.
  2. You’ve lost time from work or been fired from several jobs.
  3. Your family has staged an intervention and you think that they may be right.
  4. You have a mental health diagnosis and are ready to take medication.
  5. You sincerely believe that you can get clean and stay clean.

If you have been using drugs or alcohol for many years, you may need to start with medically-assisted detox. You would enter a hospital facility for three days to one week and take FDA-approved medications like Suboxone and Vivitrol.

The good thing about medically-assisted detox is that it takes you safely past withdrawal symptoms like hallucinations and dangerously high blood pressure. Stopping “cold turkey” isn’t a good idea if you’re a long-time user.

You could end up having seizures or even a heart attack.

Does Intensive Therapy Really Work?

After you detox, you’ll have access to a wide range of therapeutic support. Even if therapy isn’t your cup of tea, you should still give it a try.

Group therapy can help you feel less isolated, even if it’s a little bit intimidating. You’re not required to share your recovery journey, but you might want to step out of your comfort zone.

You might find that your story is inspirational to one of your fellow group members.

One-on-one therapy can be helpful, but you have to trust your therapist. They may want you to discuss personal things like your finances and relationships. They’re not just trying to pry: they’re trying to address taboo topics so that you can discover lasting solutions to your problems.

Look for intensive outpatient programs that offer holistic therapeutic options. You may find that going to the gym helps you maintain your peace of mind. That’s not traditional “talk therapy” but it’s effective.

Other holistic therapy options could include:

  • yoga and deep breathing
  • acupuncture
  • sports massage
  • meditation
  • volunteering in your community

The good news is that while recovery is a challenge, there are several ways to help it along.

Do You Need an Inpatient Program?

As you progress along your healing journey, your team may recommend that you participate in an inpatient recovery program.

You would receive therapy, medication, and supervision by a team of experts. Where outpatient therapy goes up to four months, inpatient programs typically end after 90 days.

If you have a dual diagnosis or are struggling with homelessness, an inpatient program could help you manage your mental illness and find housing.

You can always transition into one of our outpatient programs after you’ve completed your inpatient stay.

Find an Intensive Outpatient Program Near You

If you think that you’re ready to change your life, you need to take the next step. Call or email your local addiction recovery center and make an appointment to meet in person.

We are committed to providing you with compassionate care that meets your needs. We can help you talk to your family or to your supervisor at work, and we’re more than happy to help you make travel plans.

If you would like to talk to us, please call us at any time. We have a helpline that’s open 24/7, even on holidays. We are Golden Seal Approved and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

We look forward to meeting with you and helping you develop a long-term recovery plan!