Outpatient addiction treatment is a viable option for many people.
One of the primary reasons individuals participate in intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) is they’ve already completed inpatient rehabilitation and can benefit from having continued high-level care. In other circumstances, people might also choose an IOP because it allows them to receive the care they need without leaving their jobs, families, and other responsibilities.
Outpatient treatment gives people the opportunity to learn more about managing daily life in sobriety without being untethered from professional help. Many outpatient facilities offer substance abuse education, individual and group therapy, life skills, employment and financial management, and community support.
Outpatient Services: A Chance to Grow
When someone continues the initial stages of recovery through outpatient treatment, it might be because it’s recommended as part of a continuum of care plan after detoxification and rehab. By no means is this an indicator that someone didn’t make it through a residential program effectively.
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) reinforces the progress accomplished in the inpatient phase of treatment. A hard truth for some people—individuals and loved ones alike—is that most people don’t become addicted overnight. So it stands to reason that treatment doesn’t magically make everything better in 30, 60, or even 90 days. However, medically-supervised treatment is a vital catalyst to a sober life, and each stage of the process should be respected for how it helps the journey progress.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reinforces that effective treatment is personalized, consistent, and addresses an individual’s multiple needs—especially those not related to drug or alcohol addiction.
In an outpatient program, a person learns to avoid relapse by:
- Evolving through quality therapeutic care.
- Managing co-occurring conditions more effectively.
- Attending support groups, such as 12-Step programs.
- Forming strong bonds and friendships with people in recovery and rebuilding valuable family and friend relationships.
- Developing better ways to identify and handle toxic emotions, compulsive behaviors, and potential triggers.
- Integrating into the community through volunteer service and employment connections.
Most IOPs have meetings a few times weekly. They often have cozy, home-like atmospheres, as some may also serve as extended care treatment centers. Outpatient services are confidential and frequently more cost-effective, too.
Making Outpatient Care Successful
Most clients participate in outpatient services throughout the day and evening but return home at night. This allows a lot of flexibility for attending counseling sessions, aftercare programs, 12-Step groups, and other recovery activities.
To make this kind of program a successful extension of your addiction treatment, it’s important to:
- Partner with your treatment supervisor on an evolving aftercare plan. Your needs will continue to change as you move further into sobriety. It might be easy to think that after a few weeks, everything is fine. Develop guidelines of progress and address critical components quickly so every stage brings you closer to lasting wellness.
- Maintain a progressive attitude about the outpatient process. This is especially important if you’ve completed a long-term residential treatment program. Remember: addiction didn’t happen right away, and neither will sobriety. Each step you take in recovery matters, and everything you do to continue improves your health.
- Be committed, or ask for support in this area. The first year of sobriety is often the most crucial time. A flexible program may be helpful for scheduling, but if someone is prone to procrastination and time management issues, believes there’s no need for a counseling session or a group more than once a week, or neglects to make outpatient care a priority, there might be a need for sponsor or counselor accountability.
- Trust the process. Studies continually reinforce the effectiveness of IOPs for treatment and relapse prevention. The more you’re involved in the program, the more you’ll get out of it, for as long as you need it. You’ll also develop a connection to resources that will be valuable for a lifetime.
Outpatient Services Provided by Twin Lakes
We have two intensive outpatient treatment facilities. Our Athens center is near the University of Georgia, and our Gainesville location is close to Northeast Georgia Medical Center. You can count on receiving the same expert attention and care at both facilities that you would if you chose to stay at our Monroe-based residential campus. Speak to one of our admissions advisors to learn more.