It is widely known that struggling with a substance use disorder is difficult. Getting sober and staying sober are difficult feats that require a great amount of effort. Nobody can do it alone. The disease of addiction seems to understand the fact that nobody is able to overcome it without some form of support. So it breeds the familiar symptoms of isolation: shame, guilt, depression, anxiety, etc.
The best way to combat the insidious symptom of isolation is to introduce community. IOP or Intensive Outpatient is a form of therapy by which those early in recovery are able to form a peer group of others navigating similar journeys. This dynamic enhances traditional one-on-one therapies by providing added accountability, new perspectives, encouragement, as well as the opportunity to practice love, tolerance, and understanding.
Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits of Intensive Outpatient for those working towards overcoming substance use disorders.
Treatment without sacrificing your job or school.
The most well-known benefit of intensive outpatient as a primary substance use disorder treatment method is that it allows professionals and students alike to access substance use treatment with minimal changes to their daily lives.
One of the most common reasons for adults not seeking treatment for drug or alcohol substance use disorders is the fear of inpatient treatment disrupting their lives too much. Sometimes inpatient treatment is required, especially when individuals have not fully detoxed from substances. IOP is a viable option for anyone who has already completed a medical detox, for whom a detox was not necessary, or anyone who has been medically cleared to attend group therapy.
IOP stands for Intensive Outpatient Program, so by its very definition, it is an outpatient treatment option. This means those individuals enrolled in IOP are not viewed as “admitted” to a medical facility. IOP sessions typically last 3 hours, with a break in the middle of the programming. Group sizes can range greatly but the ideal size is the one that is most conducive to beneficial conversation and growth among members.
IOP is typically held in the evenings, starting around 5 or 6, and ending around 8 or 9. There is typically a requirement of attending 3 sessions per week. With a total of 36 sessions in a full program, to successfully complete IOP. For this reason, an IOP program typically takes about 3 months or 90 days to complete.
Being able to stay working at your job, and/or enrolled in school while obtaining treatment is an enormous benefit of IOP. But the very nature of the programming also makes an extraordinary difference as well.
Peer Accountability & New Perspectives
As we discussed previously, addiction is a disease of isolation. It is a disease that tells the afflicted that they are terminally unique. That nobody else would understand what they are going through because of the inherently nonsensical thought patterns addiction produces in order to protect itself. It is a common experience for people to end their first IOP session in shock as they realize they are not alone and that many others can truly empathize.
While one on one therapy is important to any mental health treatment plan, intensive outpatient provides the unique opportunity to learn from peers. As people encounter new triggers, problems, and successes in their day-to-day life, they are able to bring those emotions with them and process them alongside the group. By sharing these experiences, it gives the group a chance to consider new perspectives, share their own, and grow both individually and together.
As IOP groups regularly meet, individuals tend to form bonds. This type of camaraderie encourages peer accountability and support. These types of dynamics are important in early recovery as it can take time to learn how to trust others, and put yourself out there without the use of substances.
IOP For Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill
Advaita Integrated Medicine is conveniently located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Our IOP groups are made up of professionals as well as adult students from Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.
With a combined experience that ranges decades in addiction medicine, the AIM team is here to help support you across your substance use disorder recovery and mental health journey. We know and love North Carolina, and the many challenges those seeking recovery can face. The programming in our IOP is specifically curated to address these challenges.
If you or a loved one is seeking information about our IOP and if it would be right for you, reach out today. We would love to hear from you, and we are happy to set up an entirely free consultation.
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