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complete an intensive outpatient program

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Intensive Outpatient Program?

Do you abuse drugs? For some of us, this may be the most important question we ever ask ourselves. How we answer and what we do about it could have a major impact on the direction our lives take. Drug addiction does more than damage our health and immediate well-being. It also has a great many unseen and peripheral effects.

It has been said that no man is an island. What that really means is that how we live our lives has consequences not only for us but for the people we care about and even people who just happen to be in our proximity. It all matters.

So, if you’re asking yourself whether you abuse drugs, take that seriously. The answer is important and it’s crucial that you find a way to be as unflinchingly honest with yourself as possible. There are good reasons why one of the core tenets of any addiction treatment is admitting that you have a problem.

Once you realize that you have an addiction, seek help. But how? What recovery program is best and why?

Understanding Levels of Addiction Treatment

One thing to understand about addiction treatment is that the types of help you can get are categorized according to something called levels of care. Basically, levels of care are a way to explain the intensity of the treatment a patient is receiving at any given time during recovery.

The levels of care a person needs will evolve during the recovery process. In the beginning, a patient might need high levels of care involving 24-hour medical supervision with medication management.  By the time they are nearing the end of their addiction treatment, their levels of care may have dropped. The individual might be in a sober living environment, attending outpatient therapy, and working or going to school part-time.

You may have heard the term “intensive outpatient program”, or IOP. IOP is one a level of care that allows the person to continue living at home while they undergo addiction treatment.

What Is An Intensive Outpatient Program?

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a form of addiction treatment that offers comprehensive care while allowing the client to continue living at home. Typically, clients visit a treatment centre a few days a week for several hours at a time. During this time, they attend a variety of individual and group treatment sessions.

Usually, clients will participate in a morning or an evening intensive outpatient program. The animating idea behind IOP is to let clients apply the principles they’re learning in treatment to their daily work and home lives. This is one of the reasons they’re so commonly used to treat addiction disorders: IOP teaches the life skills you need for long-term sobriety while allowing you to continue to meet your work and life responsibilities. One of the benefits is that you can immediately apply what you learn in treatment instead of waiting to complete an inpatient program.

Recovery doesn’t happen in a vacuum. As you already know, life will continue to throw challenges your way, whether you’re sober or not. But if you’re participating in an intensive outpatient program, you’ll have ample opportunities to apply what you’re learning to real-world situations and make immediate positive changes in your life. At the same time, you will have the support of your IOP treatment provider if you find yourself in a position of stress.

How Long Do Intensive Outpatient Programs Last?

The short answer to this question is “it depends”. That might not sound satisfying, but an IOP is designed to help clients achieve long-term sobriety. And to accomplish this, the IOP must be customized to fit your unique needs. That’s why it can be hard to assign a number to the average length of an IOP program– there are far too many variables.

That being said, the time IOP takes depends largely on the patient. Determining factors include how far you’ve progressed into addiction, and how much work you’re willing to put into your recovery. While there is a lot of variability from one person to the next, most clients who take the recovery process seriously can expect to finish IOP within about 90 days.

The important thing to understand about IOP is that it can be designed around your living situation and work needs. While undergoing addiction treatment in an IOP, you can continue to live at home and work to support yourself and your family. In many ways, this is an optimal situation for the newly recovering person who does not need the high levels of care offered by inpatient programs.

Are You Ready For An Intensive Outpatient Program?

ready for intensive outpatient program

How can you tell if you’re ready for recovery? Is getting clean as easy as making up your mind to change?

If you can check off three or more items on this list, you’re probably ready to seek addiction treatment.

  • You’ve had severe financial problems due to your addiction.
  • You’ve lost time from work or been fired from several jobs.
  • Your family has staged an intervention and you think they may be right.
  • You have a mental health diagnosis and are ready to take medication.
  • You sincerely believe that you can get clean and stay clean.

If you have been using drugs or alcohol for many years, you may need to start with medically assisted detox.  You would enter a hospital or detox facility for several days, where medical staff would manage and treat withdrawal symptoms as they arise, sometimes with the aid of medications like Suboxone and Vivitrol.

This part of the recovery process involves a high level of care. Unsupervised withdrawal can be dangerous in many circumstances. Once your detox has been safely completed, you will be ready to enter a rehab program. If you are a suitable candidate for outpatient treatment, you will be able to start as IOP.

Benefits of Choosing Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

Intensive outpatient programs are designed for clients who are struggling with addiction but do not require inpatient treatment. Importantly, an IOP tends to work very well with people who have not lost their family, friends, and jobs to their substance abuse. The success rate is high for people who have strong self-motivation and a solid support system of friends and family members.

In general, an IOP consists of approximately twelve hours of treatment a week for about three months. During this time, you’ll learn the recovery skills you need for long-term sobriety without giving up the freedoms involved in your daily life. Regardless of the length of an IOP program, you’ll emerge from the experience enriched and ready to live a life of sobriety.

Getting Addiction Treatment

Does it ever feel like your drug or alcohol addiction is a life sentence? Are you looking for an affordable treatment option that doesn’t require losing time from work?

There are millions of people around the world with substance abuse issues, but only a small fraction seek care. You might truly want to get help yet be unable to drop everything to attend a 90-day inpatient program. At Addiction Rehab Toronto, we offer customized intensive outpatient programs that do not require you to step out of your life.

Recovery starts with the first step. Whether you are calling for yourself or a loved one, reach out to us and begin the conversation today.