Sober living is hard for anyone with a history of addiction, and the period following in-patient treatment or intervention is critical to lasting recovery. Intensive drug and alcohol detox is only a start. The real work comes later. Recovery outpatient programs come in many forms; some are more successful than others.
With a relapse rate confirmed to be between 40 and 60 percent, it is essential to find a better way to help individuals bridge the gap between in-patient detox programs and lasting rehabilitation and recovery.
Patients now have the option of an Intensive Recovery Outpatient Program (IOP) that offers new hope to those who either don’t need in-patient detox or have completed that phase of treatment. Supportive family members benefit as well from this “new idea” — a personalized therapy designed to enable the client to return to a more normal routine as quickly as possible.
Continuing rehabilitation requires integration back into family and work routines. And that is difficult, to say the least. Recovery outpatient programs offer hope for a new start to individuals who are committed and determined. It is a lonely time; intensive individual and group therapies are designed to provide support. In order to build a lasting commitment to sobriety, it is necessary to undo old patterns and to address underlying anxieties and emotions in addition to dealing with mental, physical and financial needs.
The model for this type of success is “real life.” Recovery outpatient programs, particularly a uniquely personal IOP, recognizes the benefits of establishing a sustainable lifestyle, but at the same time emphasizes the need for support from an understanding community of professionals. By relying on a specialized team of medical doctors, behaviorists, case managers and primary therapists, recovery is facilitated through an individualized regimen.
The IOP requires commitment in both directions — from clients and their families as well as from the professional oversight team. The specialized curriculum relies on a multi-pronged approach:
- Individual counseling;
- Group counseling sessions;
- Relapse prevention training
- Family therapy;
- Dependency education;
- Introduction to 12-step recovery methods.
Individuals enrolled in the program are expected to devote several hours four-five days a week to their own progress, in addition to keeping up with work, school or family obligations. In part, it is the “intensity” of the routine that contributes to its success.
Alcohol and drug addiction treatment requires a “progressive” approach, according to many experts. A new generation of recovery outpatient programs employs that approach. They are evidenced-based and experiential; they focus on the individual; and they are client-directed.
It is a new world — offering much new hope for recovery. Intensive outpatient programs are an exciting adjunct to other addiction treatment efforts.