The debate regarding the effectiveness of inpatient addiction treatment versus Intensive outpatient treatment rages on. The truth is that inpatient treatment is almost always going to be the best alternative. Why? It offers the addiction sufferer the safest environment in which to recover from their addiction illness. While in inpatient treatment, clients put a lot of work towards their recovery. They do so without having access to destructive forces on the outside. They live under the observation of addiction treatment professionals who are dedicated to making sure they don’t use drugs.
As an extra layer of protection, they have to submit to random drug testing. With a lot of pressure to succeed, most clients in an inpatient setting will put forth a good effort. They have to focus on the task at hand because there isn’t much else for them to do. For a variety of reasons, some people are unwilling or unable to go through an inpatient treatment program. The high cost of inpatient treatment is a major issue. For these people, an outpatient option like Intensive Outpatient (IOP) is a viable alternative. With the exception of having access to the outside world, some experts believe a good IOP program is just as effective as inpatient treatment.
Therein lies the debate. Any form of outpatient treatment is only going to be as effective as the client’s ability to stay away from drugs and alcohol. For some people, that’s a real challenge for the following reasons:
- They lack good support at home
- They live in and among homes with other drug users and dealers
- They aren’t fully committed to getting clean
- Their addiction is very progressive
- They have unfettered access to drugs/alcohol
Looking at this list, it’s clear that inpatient treatment would be a far safer option. However, inpatient treatment is not always suitable for everyone due to logistical, time, and financial considerations. In order to adequately assess the effectiveness of the IOP option, it’s important to understand exactly what happens during IOP treatment.
What Happens in an IOP Program
Upon entering an IOP program, the client is told they must follow a very strict set of rules in order to remain in good standing. The rules include:
- Zero tolerance for substance abuse
- Willingness to submit to random drug testing
- Showing up for all scheduled appoints on time, every time
- Must show good progress in terms of recovery
If a client successfully follows these rule, they have a good chance at recovery. By the way, outpatient treatment programs are classified based upon the amount of time the client is required to attend therapy sessions. With IOP treatment, the client is usually required to attend sessions 3 to 5 times a week for at least 4 hours a day. In some cases, clients have to be in therapy for up to 6 hours a day. With time requirements being the main difference between inpatient treatment and intensive outpatient treatment, here are a couple of the similarities.
The Individual Therapeutic Process
As part of both treatment options, clients have to devote much of their time to individual therapy. This is the client’s opportunity to learn about the real causes of their addiction. Through open and honest communication with their therapist, each client gets a chance to talk about their innermost issues. At the end of the process, they get a chance to develop better coping and life skills. These are the skills they will use in the future to stave off any potential relapses.
Family members are often part of the addiction problem and can almost always be part of the recovery process. For that reason, both inpatient and IOP clients are given access to family therapy sessions. These sessions give clients an opportunity to make amends with the family members they may have harmed while in the throes of addiction. Family members get a chance to better understand the illness that captivates their loved on, which often turns out to be the basis for family members being able to be supportive during their loved one’s recovery.
Regardless of which option you need, we hope you are ready to come in for treatment. If you are ready, we are here to give you all of the help you might need. For more information about our addiction treatment services and the facility, we ask you to please contact one of our representatives at the following number: 302-842-2390.