When someone is looking for a heroin addiction treatment program, there are a variety of programs available depending on the severity of the case. The options are inpatient or residential, intensive outpatient, or outpatient programs. Which one would work best will hinge on the specific needs of the person. There are benefits and drawbacks to each kind of program.
If the client in need of treatment is personally motivated to achieve recovery, but their personal situation makes it impossible to commit to inpatient treatment, then an intensive outpatient program may be the best solution.
What Is IOP?
Intensive outpatient, or IOP, is a level of care between residential and outpatient programs. Under this program, the client will have a strict schedule of therapies and medications that they will need at a drug addiction treatment center. Once their treatment is finished for the day, they can then go back to their own home. This type of treatment is ideal for someone who has a mild addiction or has already gone through the majority of their detox. They no longer require around-the-clock care, but they could still benefit from more attention than what can be provided by an outpatient program.
What Are the Benefits of IOP?
If the patient has a stable and supportive home, an intensive outpatient program may be a good option for the following reasons:
- IOPs are less expensive than a residential treatment program, making them good options for those who wish to attain sobriety but could simply not afford to check in to a rehab facility for 30, 60, or 90 days.
- Flexibility in terms of schedule. Same as costs, not everyone can drop everything to attend to their recovery. Responsibilities in work, school, or their families can make it inconvenient for them to be away for extended periods.
- An intensive outpatient program teaches the patient more personal responsibility. While they are outside the treatment facility, they are responsible for avoiding falling back into old, destructive patterns.
- Being in the real world after addiction treatment allows them the opportunity to practice skills that they learned in therapy. This is good practice for maintaining their new sober lifestyle.
- Not living in the treatment facility allows the client more privacy, especially from their peers.
- Most IOPs include access to group therapy and support networks that are available outside of a treatment facility. These kinds of support groups are helpful to someone working on long-term sobriety.
- Clients are able to better adjust to outside responsibilities while simultaneously working on their recovery.
Is It Best to Get Outpatient Treatment for Heroin Addiction?
Given the benefits of IOP, which people are best suited for this level of care? Here are a few points to remember when thinking about entering an intensive outpatient program:
- The patient will continue to be exposed to people and places that were triggers for their substance abuse. They may also have access to alcohol, heroin, or their drug of choice.
- They could be distracted from their recovery by things happening around them.
- Support and counseling, while still available, would not be accessible 24/7 as it is in a residential or inpatient program.
- They would not spend as much time with their peers in treatment, which is detrimental to building the foundation of their sober support network.
- Due to the decreased amount of time in treatment, IOP takes longer to achieve recovery than a residential or inpatient program.
- An intensive outpatient program will only work if the patient is a willing participant who is actively working to achieve sobriety.
Even with these drawbacks, any step towards health in sobriety is worth the effort. Finding the treatment program that works best for you is the key to successful recovery. If you believe that IOP may be the best course of action, please discuss this with your health provider as your preferred option.