Intensive Outpatient Programs: Are They the Right Choice for You?

intensive outpatient programs

Seeking addiction treatment is the first and most important step you can take toward building a better future. But with so many options to choose from, it’s not always easy knowing which program is right for you. Between hospitalization, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs, it can be difficult to know which will work best. Everyone has their own needs, and we all learn and grow in different ways. Not each program will work for everyone, so it’s important to understand how an intensive outpatient program works before signing up.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

An intensive outpatient program is a powerful addiction treatment option that helps you maintain your regular life while getting treatment. Unlike hospitalization or partial hospitalization, you aren’t staying at a facility for the entire time you’re in treatment. Instead, individuals attend meetings and counseling sessions for a portion of the day and then return to their normal routines. 

How Long is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

Addiction takes time to overcome. It’s not as simple as quitting cold turkey and then being good to go. Getting clean and staying clean requires time and effort. An intensive outpatient program typically lasts six weeks and requires attending sessions three to five times a week. Sessions are usually three hours long and can include a mix of individual counseling and group education. Because the focus is on letting individuals continue with their lives while seeking treatment, sessions are offered both during the day and the evening, and you can mix and match times to work with your schedule.

What Happens During a Session?

Individuals participating in an intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization program will attend the same types of meetings and counseling. Successful addiction treatment is based on knowledge and education, using science based research to help individuals overcome their addictions. During your group education sessions or individual counseling appointments, you’ll come to have a deeper understanding of the underlying causes of your addiction. You’ll then be able to use that knowledge to find the tools and techniques needed to overcome your addiction and stay clean in the future.

intensive outpatient programs

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What are the Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs?

Being in an intensive outpatient program allows you to continue with your life while still getting help with your addiction. Hospitalization and partial hospitalization can have a major impact on your financial and family life. Being unable to work or take care of their loved ones for an extended period of time can be a major roadblock to seeking the help one needs. But with an intensive outpatient option, individuals can maintain their work schedules and still provide for their families while also providing for themselves.

An intensive outpatient program also helps reduce the chances of a relapse. A hospitalization stay removes one from their regular environment. This can be extremely beneficial for getting clean, but it doesn’t always help people stay sober moving forward. By attending counseling and education sessions while living your normal life, you can more easily identify triggers and stressors in your daily routine that might prove challenging to staying clean in the future. You can learn how to deal with these while you have the support of your peers and treatment professionals.

Are Intensive Outpatient Programs Right for You?

The benefits of an intensive outpatient program certainly make it seem like it would be the best choice for most. But not everyone goes through addiction the same way, and not everyone needs the same addiction treatment. An intensive outpatient program may seem ideal, but it won’t work for everyone. Some individuals will need the extra care and attention that partial hospitalization or other program types provide.

An intensive outpatient program may work well for you if:

  • This is your first time seeking addiction treatment
  • You can’t afford to take time off from work or school
  • You won’t need medical monitoring for withdrawal

An intensive outpatient program may not work well for you if:

  • You’ve failed to finish addiction treatment programs in the past
  • You struggle with chronic relapse
  • You need medical attention when suffering from withdrawal

When you first contact an addiction treatment center, you’ll have an initial meeting with a professional addiction treatment coordinator to assess your individual situation. They’ll help you determine which course of treatment will work best for you and can help you coordinate your schedule and session times to work with your needs. You don’t have to suffer through addiction alone, and you don’t have to decide the best treatment option alone, either.

Other Treatment Options

An intensive outpatient program isn’t going to work for everyone, but there are still other ways you can get sober and learn to overcome your addiction. One of the next best treatment options is partial hospitalization. These programs run five days a week and require the individual to be on-site at the addiction center from morning to afternoon. These extended days at the addiction center help those who need additional monitoring and medical attention get the treatment they need while still returning to their homes to maintain their lives and learn how to stay sober after their treatment is complete.

Finding Intensive Outpatient Programs

At The Bridges of San Diego, we’re dedicated to providing high quality and science based addiction treatment to anyone seeking our help. At our state of the art addiction treatment center, we provide both partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs to help any individual find their way to a better future. Seeking addiction treatment isn’t always easy, but we’re here to help. Call us today at 619-639-1458 to schedule your initial meeting and learn how our treatment options can help you live the life you want.