Substance abuse is at critical levels across the country, and many people of all age groups, income brackets, backgrounds and demographics have felt the effects of substance abuse at some point.
The millennial generation has grown up acutely aware of the potential harm drug abuse can cause, but they also face some of the highest risks of developing substance abuse issues thanks to the fast pace and high demands of everyday life.
Finding the best substance abuse treatment programs can seem like an insurmountable challenge for many young people struggling with addiction, but new forms of treatment could offer millennials the best chances to overcome substance abuse.
What Is Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)?
Intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment is typically one of the best ways to overcome addiction, but a traditional recovery program may not work for everyone. IOPs provide a more intensive level of care than traditional outpatient programs.
Intensive outpatient recovery programs are highly specialized and work with different schedules. Some clients may choose to enter an IOP after a successful detox, or select it as the primary form of care. Others may choose an IOP as an aftercare program after successfully completing an inpatient addiction recovery program.
How Does IOP Treatment Work?
An intensive outpatient addiction program works differently than traditional residential programs. First of all, the patient is not required to live at the treatment facility for the duration of treatment. An IOP typically allows patients to return home after every session. Sessions usually last two to four hours per day, three days per week.
The main goal of any IOP treatment program is to teach people struggling with addiction how sobriety can fit into their lives. These programs teach the coping skills and strategies needed to manage cravings and prevent relapse, and they use scientifically proven methods for treating addiction in today’s younger generations.
The freedom to go about one’s regular life eases the stress of recovery and provides a sense of normalcy during a very difficult time. Patients in IOP treatment are free to carry on with school, work and other obligations of daily life with an ongoing support structure and easy access to resources and lifelines when needed.
Why Are IOPs Good for Millennials?
Millennials and younger generations are accustomed to flexibility and fast-paced lifestyles. For many millennials struggling with addiction, the thought of entering an inpatient or residential treatment program can feel like going to prison. While most inpatient recovery centers focus on patient comfort and recovery, they can still produce feelings of entrapment and isolation in young people accustomed to personal freedom.
An IOP fits into a person’s schedule when he or she needs it, and most IOP treatment services mirror those of typical inpatient recovery programs. For example, individual, group and family therapy sessions play crucial roles in both traditional inpatient programs and IOP treatment programs.
Millennials typically have very socially driven mindsets, and the isolation that may accompany a residential treatment program can make recovery more difficult. IOP opioid rehab and other IOP addiction treatment programs help young people stay engaged with their normal, everyday lives as they learn new strategies for managing cravings and preventing relapse.
A residential program may prove to be highly effective, but the isolation may make it very difficult to readjust to normal life after completing treatment. Meanwhile, an IOP aims to provide comprehensive addiction therapy with minimal disruption to everyday life.
Other Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment
Health insurance coverage is another major area of concern for young Americans today. Not every plan offers coverage for substance abuse treatment, and many plans only offer partial or minimal coverage. IOPs are generally more flexible with insurance than standard inpatient programs.
Some IOPs will also offer detox services to individuals at low risk of serious withdrawal symptoms. Other IOPs will refer prospective patients to detox facilities before admitting them into their program.
For example, IOP heroin treatment typically helps patients manage their cravings and develop coping strategies for living in sobriety. Heroin addiction often entails severe withdrawal symptoms, so an IOP may recommend that a prospective patient visit a reliable detox facility before being admitted into the IOP treatment program.
Specialized Treatment for Other Issues
Many people struggling with addiction also suffer from mental health issues, as well. These “dual diagnosis” cases require specialized treatment that addresses both issues at the same time.
In virtually every dual diagnosis case, substance abuse and mental health problems feed into one another, creating a powerful cycle of addiction. A dual diagnosis intensive outpatient program may involve standard IOP treatment services and referrals to mental health professionals.
Additionally, IOPs are fantastic as supplemental treatment and aftercare programs for “low-risk” patients, or patients who have already completed residential programs.
Why Choose the IOP at Maryland Recovery?
Maryland Recovery requires IOP applicants to complete a detox program before admission, and some applicants may need to complete a residential treatment program as well. There are many affordable alcohol rehab centers and other substance abuse treatment facilities in the area. We happen to work closely with a large network of professionals to refer patients to best possible care centers.
Once we determine an applicant has clinical preparation and feels internally motivated to complete our IOP program, we will develop a personalized treatment plan that offers a sense of normalcy and support in recovery.
Ultimately, IOP treatment aims to remove the shock of entering rehab and make the transition into recovery and sober living less jarring. Although IOPs are generally less restrictive than standard residential treatment programs, the standard of care remains constant. Patients can also expect the same quality of treatment as they would in typical inpatient programs.
Reach out to the Maryland Recovery team if you would like to learn more about our IOP treatment options.
Dr. Bhalavat is Board Certified in General Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, and provides inpatient evaluation and consultation services at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital, Maryland Recovery Partners, and Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Bhalavat’s background includes treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, substance abuse and dementia.