Substance abuse and eating disorders lie on a spectrum. That's why there are different levels of care to address the severity and nature of the condition, as well as the mental health of the individual. Each person's needs are unique to them and the disorder they suffer from, requiring their care to be similarly personalized.
Intensive outpatient (IOP) is one of those levels of care, and is largely made available to help people live their day-to-day lives while still receiving treatment. Here's more information on what IOP is and who the program is designed for.
What's the difference between outpatient and inpatient?
As the name indicates, IOP is an outpatient program, which is different from inpatient. Outpatient programs do not require that those in recovery stay at a facility. Instead, individuals in the program are allowed to live at their own home or an approved, safe location. This framework generally entails commuting to and from treatment while balancing daily obligations like class or work. However, the ultimate goal is the same: full recovery.
What is IOP?
Intensive outpatient falls somewhere in the middle of the care spectrum. It is less involved than an inpatient program requiring admittance, for example, but no less rigorous or focused on sustained and stable recovery. In this program, patients — whether suffering from a substance abuse or eating disorder — are given the chance to live at home and commute to treatment. The time commitment may vary between programs, but patients are generally expected to participate in treatment for a few hours between three to five days a week.
What does IOP treatment look like?
Most IOP programs begin with an evaluation. This assessment documents symptoms, medical histories, personal needs, environmental factors and other variables. The information is then used as the basis to design a recovery plan.
A main objective of IOP is to empower those who attend with tools to self-management and mindfulness. This is often done through counseling, as IOP includes participation in both individual and group sessions. Psychoeducation and resulting counseling conversations may help patients better understand their behavior, feel less alone, or learn about tips and strategies that promote recovery.
Who is IOP for?
IOP is an option for many patient populations, these include:
- Those with substance abuse or eating disorders: Addictions and eating disorders are difficult to beat alone. The mental health problems associated with those disorders add complexity to that endeavor. Whether you or a loved one suffer from substance abuse or an eating disorder, IOP can help address both the physical and psychological symptoms.
- Those transitioning from care: IOP is often used as a bridge between residential programs and a gradual decreasing of time and living commitments. Those who make progress in recovery while receiving inpatient treatment may use IOP as the transition to resuming normal live.
- Those just becoming interested in treatment: Conversely, individuals who have not previously sought treatment are also right for IOP. They may use this time to assess their personal situation and relationship to substances or food. Some may choose to continue with treatment, while others may use what they gain in returning to life.
Are you interested in more information about IOP programs and their specifics? Contact Fairwinds Treatment Center today to learn more about the levels of care.