Things to Know About Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment — more commonly referred to as OP — is a level of clinical addiction treatment that allows a recovering individual to take part in normal day-to-day activities such as work and school while attending treatment a few days a week. Outpatient treatment is generally utilized as a reintegration phase of recovery after an individual has completed a long-term continuum of care such as a medical detox and inpatient treatment. Some clients who may not be experiencing the more severe symptoms of addiction, however, may opt to try OP initially without seeking more intensive care. Outpatient programs consist of between three and four sessions of treatment every week, each for several hours.

At Guardian IOP we can help you or your loved one determine what level of care is appropriate as a first step in the recovery journey, and what your insurance provider is willing to cover.

For someone who is going to pursue the entire continuum of care, the order of the journey is as follows:

  • Medically monitored detox (between 2-14 days)
  • Inpatient addiction treatment (generally 30-90 days)
  • Intensive outpatient treatment “IOP” (approximately 1-3 months)
  • Outpatient treatment “OP” (generally lasts several months)
  • Sober living. Clients typically live in sober living while participating in IOP or OP. Clients can opt to continue staying in sober living even after IOP and OP are concluded.
  • Aftercare (which can include ongoing case management and therapy)
  • 12-step meetings (on an ongoing, routine basis)

As clients make the transition from inpatient treatment to IOP and OP,  they learn to navigate real-life situations while maintaining sobriety. They still undergo individual and group therapy sessions in a clinical program, but they return home or to a sober living home every evening. They are able to maintain part-time (or full-time) jobs or return to school, as the case may be.

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Comprehensive Outpatient Treatment

At Guardian IOP we offer a comprehensive outpatient program for men and women who have recently completed a higher level of clinical care. Our OP program might also function as a stand-alone treatment option for men and women who have been struggling with a very mild substance abuse disorder or who experienced a brief slip back into substance use after a period of sobriety. We provide clients with a combination of intensive therapeutic care, holistically-based treatment methods, 12-step program immersion and relapse prevention training.

According to an article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information titled, “Services in Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs,” every effective outpatient treatment program provides clients with a group of core services that include group therapy or counseling, individual psychotherapy, psycho-educational programming and Medication Assisted Treatment or medication management. At Guardian IOP we provide clients with the above-listed services as well as numerous others. Our main priority is ensuring that our clients are successfully transitioning back into day-to-day life and effectively working through all potential triggers in order to stay sober long-term. To learn more about our integrated recovery program, contact us today.

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10 Facts About Outpatient Treatment

While outpatient treatment might appear to be a relatively straightforward process, there are many interesting facts that people tend to overlook. We have compiled a list of 10 facts about outpatient treatment.

  1. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it is estimated that between 40 and 60 percent of all individuals who complete addiction treatment will experience a relapse. While the rate of relapse might seem high, a significant number of people get sober from drugs and alcohol after a relapse and remain sober for years to come.
Guardian Recovery Network offers intensive outpatient (IOP) and outpatient [OP] treatment services for addicts and alcoholics beginning recovery.
  1. NIDA reports that substance abuse costs the US upwards of $600 billion on an annual basis – If everyone who struggled with substance abuse committed to some level of care, whether that be inpatient rehab or OP, the economic impact would be reduced by billions of dollars.
  2. Celebrities often choose IOP – Many high-profile celebrities and working professionals opt for outpatient treatment because it offers more flexibility and a much higher level of personal freedom.
  3. The length of time a person stays involved in treatment directly affects how long he or she stays sober – For example, if a person completes medical detox, inpatient rehab and outpatient treatment, the risk of relapse is reduced significantly.
  4. Men and women who are introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous while in treatment have much higher success rates than those who are not – An article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information reported that people who did not continue with AA after treatment had between a 20 and 25 percent success rate. Those who were exposed to the 12-step method of recovery had success rates that were twice as high. Guardian IOP believes in 12-step immersion.
  5. There are a number of benefits that go hand-in-hand with outpatient addiction treatment – Men and women who enter into a comprehensive OP program have lower rates of homelessness, fewer arrests, fewer incarcerations, fewer psychiatric hospitalizations and lower rates of drug-related overdose.
  6. While inpatient treatment often comes recommended, it is not appropriate for everyone – Some people benefit more from outpatient addiction treatment. This might be the case if a substance use disorder is very mild and has not yet progressed to severe dependence, if an individual has no underlying mental illnesses or if an individual’s prior obligations (such as work) are critical.

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  1. Many OP programs offer pharmacological intervention as part of their treatment plans – At Guardian IOP we utilize Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) whenever necessary. However, at the outpatient stage MAT is often not a necessity.
  2. Outpatient treatment is not only for people who cannot quit on their own – In fact, OP is an ideal treatment option for men and women who are still sober, but who want additional support or an increased level of therapeutic intervention.
  3. Outpatient treatment is not just for men and women who struggle with substance abuse – It can also be extremely beneficial for people who struggle with mental illnesses like anxiety and depression, unresolved trauma or behavioral addictions like gambling addiction, sex and love addiction or compulsive overeating.

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A Comprehensive Program of Addiction Recovery

At Guardian IOP we offer a 3-stage outpatient treatment program that was developed by our team of highly experienced substance abuse and mental health professionals. Our OP program generally lasts for between 8 and 10 weeks depending on the unique needs of each individual client, and always includes intensive individual, group and family therapy with 12-step program immersion, relapse prevention and life skills training. The stages involved in our outpatient treatment program are broken down as follows:

Stage 1

Weeks one and two: During the initial week of our OP program clients are thoroughly evaluated by our clinical staff members. Personal treatment goals are uncovered and personal recovery plans are developed. Clients are introduced to the Disease Model of Addiction along with the Dislocation Theory, and they begin to thoroughly understand how and why substance abuse initially develops. In group sessions clients are introduced to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the 12-step model of addiction recovery. During the second week of treatment clients are introduced to Dialectical Behavior Therapy with an emphasis on Distress Tolerance.

Stage 2

Weeks three, four, five and six: During these core weeks of treatment clients continue with CBT and DBT as they dive deeper into the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. They learn the key differences between Eastern and Western approaches to addiction treatment and undergo a series of holistically-based workshops facilitated by licensed professionals. The fifth week of our OP program is entirely dedicated to our intensive 12 Step Workshop, during which clients go over each of the 12 steps, learn related principles and gain a thorough knowledge on what completing each step will look like. The sixth week of treatment focuses predominantly on mental health and on the relationship between substance abuse and mental illness.

Stage 3

Weeks seven and eight: The final stage of our OP program delves into the role that the family plays in active addiction and recovery, and offers a higher level of familial involvement. Clients learn anger management techniques and go over the importance of maintaining gratitude in recovery. They work on stress management skills and hone relapse prevention skills as they develop and finalize a plan for continuing care. Clients learn the importance of finding a sponsor who has ample sober time and who possesses qualities they admire. Any final questions or concerns are addressed in depth, both in individual and group sessions.

If you would like to learn more about our comprehensive, 3-stage outpatient treatment program, simply contact us today over the phone or through our website.

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Reviewed for accuracy by:

Anna earned her Masters of Social Work at Barry University in Miami, FL in 2017 and completed her internship in co-occurring disorders. Anna has a Bachelors of Art in Religious Studies from Naropa University and is a certified yoga and meditation instructor. Anna has received specialized training in somatic counseling with an emphasis on body-centered psychotherapy.