Drug or alcohol usage is a chronic condition called addiction. For many, another typical aspect of addiction is treatment relapses, or returning to drug or alcohol use after a duration of sobriety. Unfortunately, 40-60% of those recovering from addiction relapse at some point. Relapse rates for substance abuse disorders are comparable to those with chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.
After a period of sobriety, relapsing can be dangerous for two reasons:
- It might begin the harmful cycle of addiction
- Relapsing may more easily result in an overdose
For instance, because of the ensuing decrease in tolerance, someone who has abstained from opioids like heroin or painkillers for a sizable amount of time may be more prone to overdose when resuming their customary dose. In essence, their body can no longer tolerate the level they had grown accustomed to during the peak of their drug use. Such an overdose could be fatal in certain circumstances.
However, every effort should be made to avoid recurrence because it harms a person’s rehabilitation and health. An intensive outpatient program (IOP) can be highly helpful for a prolonged recovery. This kind of program can also be used as a first line of defense in the case of a relapse, which frequently denotes the requirement for fresh or modified therapeutic approaches.
How Can An IOP Facilitate?
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a type of addiction treatment for those who might benefit from greater support than what is offered by more conventional outpatient therapy but doesn’t require round-the-clock inpatient care. An individual completing a 24-hour inpatient treatment setting, such as residential rehab, may want to transfer to IOP treatment to continue receiving intense care during the day as they prepare to move back home, which could be a challenging transition.
Many intensive outpatient programs offer at least nine hours of treatment per week over a period of 3 to 5 days, while the precise number of hours may vary based on the person’s needs and the specific program. Relapse prevention is a crucial aspect of IOP therapy. Training in relapse prevention aids individuals in developing non-drug and alcohol-based coping mechanisms for cravings and triggers. Intensive outpatient programs instruct participants in relapse prevention techniques through group and individual therapy sessions.
IOPs give participants weekly intense care while also allowing them to handle their obligations at home in between sessions. To more effectively exercise relapse prevention and coping skills, they can experience the expected triggers and other stressful events in regular life. They can then talk with their counselor about their triumphs and mistakes.
As a person advances in their recovery, various IOPs may gradually become less intensive in terms of the number of therapy sessions and weekly time obligations. A person may go to a comparatively lower level of care, such as regular weekly outpatient therapy or counseling, once they have achieved their treatment objectives in their IOP.
What to Expect in an IOP
Intensive outpatient programs employ several strategies to assist clients in achieving and maintaining long-term sobriety. One or more group, individual, couples, or family therapy sessions may be part of a normal IOP treatment day. The mainstay of IOP treatment is group therapy. Although the length of IOP treatment varies, a typical program lasts roughly 90 days.
Continuum of Care
Maintaining treatment continuity is crucial for preserving sobriety. People who take part in ongoing treatment fare better than those who don’t. An effective aftercare strategy may involve ongoing care and social assistance.
Individual counseling, psychoeducation, and relapse prevention are likely to be included in some combination as part of outpatient treatment for substance abuse rehabilitation, just like IOPs. The level of service intensity makes a difference. You might anticipate that more common outpatient options would include one to two treatment sessions each week or, as necessary planned appointments. The objectives of this level of care include preserving sobriety, honing drug refusal techniques, establishing relationships with sober individuals, enhancing psychological health, and resolving remaining concerns that could otherwise provide difficulties to the individual.
Participation in self-help groups is crucial both before and after IOP treatment. Self-help groups for persons in recovery offer a chance to interact with other recovering individuals who are in varying stages of recovery. Twelve-step organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous assist individuals in seeing their addictions as diseases, forging a spiritual connection, and atoning for past transgressions.
Some people discover that collaborating with religious or faith-based organizations can be helpful in addition to the 12-step program. If the concept of a “higher power” does not appeal to you, there are also mutual aid organizations like SMART Recovery, which are more secular and scientific.
A detailed relapse prevention plan can help people who have moved from IOP treatment to a lesser level of care. Many treatment programs offer worksheets and education on relapse avoidance that can be used as resources even after the program has ended. Regularly updating the plan with fresh data can also be helpful.
Finding techniques to avoid relapsing is essential for your well-being and rehabilitation. You can acquire the skills required to maintain your sobriety by enrolling in an intensive outpatient program. If you or someone you love needs some support in their addiction, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our highly trained and compassionate staff at Aquila Recovery Clinic today for details and further information.