IOP vs Outpatient

Drug addiction is a condition that affects millions of people in the United States and even more when you add in their loved ones. When you abuse drugs, you don’t just hurt yourself; you also hurt those around you and those you care about. Addiction can make you behave in ways you never thought you would and lead you to lie and steal. It can also lead you to engage in risky behaviors such as having unprotected sex with multiple partners or driving while under the influence.

We understand that the road to recovery is difficult, which is why we want you to consider all your options. Some of the more common treatment methods offered by our professionals include outpatient and intensive outpatient programs. Both methods can get you on the road to recovery and help you get by all those little bumps you’ll encounter along the way. It’s very important that you understand what each method entails and how the treatments compare to each other.

What Is an Outpatient Program?

An outpatient treatment program is one that provides help without taking you away from your daily life. Most people who use drugs have other commitments and responsibilities. They may need to care for their elderly parents or their young children while handling other responsibilities at home and work. Often, you may need to do things at home every day that you cannot do while in rehab.

Outpatient programs give you the freedom to seek help and still go home every night. The programs include classes and therapy sessions that you complete during the day. Some programs offer classes and sessions later in the afternoon and at night for those who work full-time jobs on weekdays. These programs are often best for users who are committed to getting better. As the program puts more on you and asks you to do more on your own, you must be willing to commit to your sobriety.

Outpatient programs are a good choice for those who never experienced addiction before. You might have a close friend or a relative who recently admitted to abusing prescription drugs. These programs can provide that individual with help and the tools to recover from the addition without checking into a rehab center. Others who can benefit from outpatient treatment include users who recovered and later relapsed. Those with close ties to supportive family and friends and anyone who successfully completed an inpatient program but still needs a little more help are also good candidates.

What Is IOP?

An alternative to traditional outpatient treatment is an intensive outpatient program, or IOP. A standard program only provides you with support when you show up or ask for it. An IOP, though, lets you get more help and support every day. It often includes an assessment to determine your overall needs. Doctors and other health care professionals will take a medical history to see if any diseases or conditions run in your family. They will also talk with you about the substances that you used and which you used most recently. The assessment determines what you need now and what you might need in the future.

IOPs include intensive elements and activities that you do each day. These activities are designed to help you stay on track toward recovery. You may need to come to the center each morning for a private therapy session and return later for group counseling. Most programs include multiple elements designed to help you focus on your recovery. Some elements may include classes on turning your life over to a higher power and lessons that teach you coping mechanisms.

Some of the things you can learn in an IOP include:

  • How to identify withdrawal symptoms that you might experience
  • What you can do to reduce your risk of relapse
  • How your disease affects your family and friends
  • What you can do with your loved ones as you recover
  • The changes that you’ll go through as you recover from an addiction

Does Treatment Include Detox?

One of the most important steps in recovering from addiction is the detox stage. Detox allows you to get through the first hours and days after you stop using a substance. It’s important that you go through detox in a safe place and that you give yourself time to wean your body off that substance. As your brain develops an addiction to a drug, it forms a connection that makes you think you need it. Detox is the best way to break that connection.

Detox can take several hours, but you may experience cravings much longer. Though you can detox at home, it’s highly recommend that you go through detox in a treatment center. Not only is professional detox safer, but it is much more effective. If you detox at home, you might give in to your cravings and immediately begin using drugs again quickly. With the right treatment program, you can focus your attention on other things and learn how to cope with your cravings.

Both IOP and outpatient programs can include detox. If you opt for a professional detox, you will check into the center and fill out all the required paperwork. The health care professionals working in that center will need a medical history because they need to know whether there are any medications you must take or any conditions that can interfere with your detox. Once you finish the detoxification process, you can begin the next stage of the program.

A Note on IOP vs. Inpatient Programs

You might be wondering what the differences are between an IOP and an inpatient treatment program. Inpatient treatment is for those who need to reside at a facility full time until they get clean. Inpatient treatment programs can last anywhere from  a month to six months or more. Depending on the severity of your addiction, an inpatient program might be preferable over an IOP if you feel that you need to withdraw in a safe environment and commit to a longer period of recovery time.

Reduce Your Overdose Risk

Recent statistics found that the number of drug overdose deaths increased significantly between 1999 and 2017. Nearly 17,000 people died of drug overdoses in 1999, but this number increased to more than 70,000 in 2017. This includes both men and women of all ages.

Though you might think that a loved one is safe because he or she is only using a prescription medication, that individual still has a risk of dying from a drug overdose. In fact, more than 17,000 people suffered overdoses of prescription drugs that led to their deaths in 2017. Treatment programs help those who abuse drugs recover from their addictions and learn what they can do to prevent their risks of relapsing or suffering an overdose.

Treatment and Relapse Prevention

One of the more common issues that you face after treatment is a possible relapse. Relapse occurs when an addict begins using drugs again after going through detox and withdrawal. Both IOP and outpatient programs teach you the skills to move forward with your life without using. Relapse may occur when you:

  • Can’t stop thinking about and craving drugs
  • Have stresses at home and work
  • Stop following the rules you set for yourself

Some users also suffer relapses because they decide to try using those drugs just one more time. The tolerance that you built up to that substance in the past changes once you complete a treatment program. When you use drugs again, you may find that you try taking the same dose or amount that you did before. That can trigger the connection in your brain and lead to you using more and more of the drug later. Treatment programs are the key to ensuring that you understand the risk of relapse and that you prevent yourself from becoming a relapse statistic.

Is Addiction Treatment Effective?

Drug addiction treatment is more effective than you might think. Approximately 40 to 60 percent of drug addicts recover from their diseases without relapsing. The number of addicts who relapse is similar.

If you have a close friend or loved one who relapses, it might be the push that he or she needs to finally get help. Alcoholics refer to this as “falling off the wagon.” It can happen days after leaving rehab or years down the road. The number of addicts who relapse and then successfully recover is quite high. Even if you go through treatment and have a stumble later, you can still become a happy and successful person who doesn’t use drugs.

Finding the Right Program

Some of the more common symptoms of drug addiction include:

  • Higher tolerance to the substance
  • Feeling as if you cannot get through the day without that drug
  • Keeping a regular supply of the drug hidden in your home
  • Using the drug regardless of how it impacts your life
  • Experiencing any of the signs of withdrawal when you don’t have access to the substance

It’s also important that you understand other physical and behavioral signs that a loved one has an addiction. They can include:

  • Lack of personal hygiene, grooming and care
  • Lack of interest in hobbies and other favorite activities
  • Changes in the way the person acts or who the individual hangs out with
  • Sudden and/or unexplained money problems
  • Acting out for no known reason

Whether you want to escape the hold that a substance has on you or you want to help a loved one break that bond, you must choose the right treatment program. Luckily, Center City Recoveyr makes it easy. Our programs range from inpatient options that require a deep commitment to outpatient and IOP options that offer more freedom.

One key question to ask yourself is how much freedom is too much freedom. Do you feel confident that you can handle living in the same house in the same neighborhood with your dealers and other users just a phone call away? If you worry that the lure of that drug is too much for you to handle on your own, you need more help than an ordinary outpatient program can offer.

IOPs are more intensive and can include a hospitalization stage. This stage gives you a safe place to complete the detox phase and to withdrawal from your substance(s) of choice. You can opt for an IOP on its own or after you finish an inpatient program. Many addicts find that these treatment programs are effective if they don’t feel confident that they are ready to live at home. It can benefit anyone who needs a little extra help as they recover.

If you have questions about IOPs and how they compare to outpatient programs, a recovery professional can give you the information you need. Center City Recovery can help you pick the right one for you or a loved one. No matter the stage of your dependence issues, know that help is always available and in several forms.