Addiction recovery options are more numerous than ever, ranging from residential or inpatient treatment to outpatient treatment and intensive outpatient treatment. When the people receiving care live at home and attend treatment at a rehab facility or therapist’s office, they are considered outpatient. Outpatient programs for recovery from substance use disorders are an excellent choice for anyone with a rigid work or school schedule, access to a reliable support group at home, and not previously relapsed or been diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder. An intensive outpatient rehab program is somewhere between residential and outpatient.
In choosing an outpatient drug rehab, you can consider the benefits of an intensive outpatient program (IOP) in light of your particular clinical needs and life circumstances. Generally speaking, though it does not require full-time residence, it takes up more time than a regular or low-intensity outpatient program because it meets a higher level of need.
Choosing an Outpatient Drug Rehab
It is understandable that when they are choosing an outpatient drug rehab, people wonder about the disruption to their lives. You’ll soon realize that no treatment program will disrupt your life more than an addiction does, but maintaining relationships and meeting some of your key responsibilities are important considerations.
What happens at outpatient rehab is very similar to inpatient, at least in terms of the staff and evidence-based therapies available to you. The difference is that in outpatient rehab, you can maintain your life outside rehab while still devoting yourself to your treatment.
Low-intensity outpatient rehab offers more flexibility than an IOP to keep going to work or school and meet other obligations. If you are leaning towards outpatient rehab, you will need to look at the pros and cons of each of the outpatient options.
Benefits of an Intensive Outpatient Program
An intensive outpatient program is a middle ground between inpatient and regular outpatient. There are some of the benefits of an IOP if you are needing that higher level of care but do not want to or cannot reside at the rehab facility. Some of the benefits of an intensive outpatient program include:
- IOPs require more hours per week and also tend to be of longer duration than low-intensity outpatient programs. More contact time in treatment is linked to improved recovery outcomes.
- The retention rate for IOPs is higher than for other outpatient addiction programs. This means you have an even greater chance of long-term success.
- The intense immersion that takes place in an IOP is why clients form such deep, secure bonds with their peer group. It is important to note that peer support is linked with positive recovery outcomes and that the peers you connect with deeply in rehab are often the core of your post-rehab support group and can stay with you throughout life.
- There are benefits to family healing in an IOP because when you are engaged intensively in your outpatient recovery program, you are still connected to home. In real-time, you can apply skills learned in rehab to your family communications as well as your behaviors.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab
When it comes to inpatient vs. outpatient rehab, how do you know which is best? Consider your home environment. If you fear that aspects of your home environment might trigger a relapse, outpatient rehab will be much more challenging. Another potential obstacle is the distance from the rehab center. If you can’t make it to the treatment center for your outpatient obligations, complying with the IOP requirements will be hard.
However, if your diagnostic criteria are well-suited to an IOP, you have a solid support network at home that is available to you, and you can get to and from your rehab every day, intensive outpatient treatment may be ideal.
Unfortunately, there is no checklist somewhere to determine the exact best option for you. That’s because there is inevitably more than one excellent choice you can make. Getting the advice of professionals who treat addiction is an excellent first step. Reach out to your local addiction treatment facility to talk to someone who can help you make a choice based on your own circumstances, the nature of your addiction, your support network, insurance, and financial status, and more.
You do not have to do this alone. Help is available.