Because it involved learning how to replace an all-consuming drive for an addictive substance with a full, healthy, and balanced life, recovery from addiction can be a very difficult process. The good news is that there is a variety of methods and ways that can support the addict, groups of people who can help him or her get sober and regain control of life.
One method that has shown a lot of promise for some is called Intensive outpatient programs, or IOPs. Combining many of the positive aspects of intensive detox retreats with those of long-term group meetings, IOPs can offer a lot of promise in helping someone have a successful recovery.
Outpatient treatment is distinguished from inpatient treatment, in which you live in a facility under continual care by treatment professionals. By creating a safe support structure and places you 24-hour a day in a new environment focused on your recovery, inpatient care takes you away from your old environments into new ones where you can reorient your life.
However, sobriety imposed over a short period of time in a radically new environment sometimes has difficulty sticking without addressing issues related to the normal places where you live, work, and have relationships. To deal with these issues, outpatient care allows you to "drop in" to a treatment center several times a week, receiving a lot of the same holistic care and support as a detox center, but one that is part of your community, and that allows your life to continue as you pursue sobriety.
IOPs often involve group therapy as a very important component, allowed the shared experiences of people in recovery to provide support and wisdom for each other. However, unlike other support groups, a good IOP will be headed by a team of qualified treatment professionals, who facilitate the meeting and counsel people to pursue recovery in the best way possible.
This promising and exciting addition to the group therapy model allows it to have more success and benefit to participants. In a group, between 10 and 20 people, all mostly new to the recovery process, will offer support, empathy, and encouragement to each other through "checking in," followed by a time of educating and going over different aspects of how best to lead a sober life and deal with challenges. Skills built in the IOP include physiological healing, development of real-life skills, and building and repairing intrapersonal relationships.
Length of time for IOP stay
The IOP is called intensive since it involves a high level of work for a limited period of time, during which the person in early recovery makes tremendous growth. Most IOPs meet around 4 or 5 times a week, for 3 or 4-hour meetings, over a length of 8-12 weeks in total. Outpatient care facilities strive to be a part of their community, and make themselves available and convenient to people living in a neighborhood.
Often, both day and evening programs are available, so that you can accommodate your schedule. The goal of this is that your treatment plan would not be seen as an "escape" from your normal life, but rather something that will support you allow you to live a sober life complete with the work, relationships, relaxation, and responsibilities you always had, or find new and healthier ones around you.
Effectiveness of IOPs
If an IOP is truly able to offer a supportive and informative environment, it has been shown to have a very high success rate. While in the program, participants receive a steady stream of qualified encouragement as they allow self-esteem boosts to overpower anger, anxiousness, and cravings. After completion, it provides an experience that stays with a person and makes a strong impact, that can provide a profound boost to someone hoping to overcome his or her addiction.