Here’s How You Can Beat Your Addiction With Intensive Outpatient Therapy

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

Roughly one in 10 Americans over the age of 12 (that’s 23.5 million people) are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Of these people, only about 11 percent ever actually receive help to overcome their addiction.

Often, people fail to seek treatment for their addiction because they don’t know all the different options that are available to them. They might think that inpatient treatment is their only choice.

There are many steps one can take to combat drug addiction, though, including participation in intensive outpatient therapy.

Read on to learn more about this type of treatment and why it might be a good fit for you.

What Is Intensive Outpatient Therapy?

Intensive outpatient therapy is a substance abuse treatment that involves attending regularly scheduled treatment sessions and counseling sessions. 

An individual who participates in intensive outpatient therapy will commit to attending these sessions to get the help they need, but they are not required to live in a treatment facility and receive 24-hour supervision.

This type of therapy is a middle ground for people who have completed detox and residential treatment but are not quite ready for the aftercare part of the recovery process.

It’s a good transition that lets them experience more independence while still having access to adequate support and care.

Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Therapy

There are lots of benefits that come with participating in intensive outpatient therapy. The following are some of the most well-known:

Stick to a Routine

When you’re participating in an inpatient rehab program, you stick to a strict routine every day.

Going directly from that strict routine, where every hour of your day is scheduled, to having total freedom over your time can be very jarring.

Intensive outpatient therapy provides a middle ground that allows for some flexibility but still gives participants a sense of structure and routine.

This helps them ease out of inpatient care and become more prepared to deal with life in recovery.

Receive Family Support

Intensive outpatient therapy provides participants with more opportunities to spend time with their family and loved ones, too.

A strong outside support group plays a key role in helping individuals overcome their addictions and maintain their sobriety.

An intensive outpatient program allows individuals to connect with their support group and feel more confident navigating life outside of treatment.

Provide Family Support

Besides, receiving support from their family and loved ones, individuals who are in intensive outpatient programs also are in a position to provide support to their family and loved ones.

That could be financial support, emotional support, or any other kind of support.

These programs provide the flexibility individuals need to fill other roles and continue caring for their loved ones while also taking care of themselves.

Save Money

Recovery can get expensive. Intensive outpatient programs are less expensive than other forms of treatment, though.

This makes them a great option for individuals who may not have the resources for long-term inpatient treatment. It’s also good for those who may not be able to take a lot of time off from work to receive treatment.

Stay in Touch with Your Community

It’s also important to have a support system outside of treatment. At the same time, it’s also important to have support in treatment.

When you’re part of an intensive outpatient program, you get to stay in touch with the friends you made while you were in treatment.

It can be very helpful to connect regularly with people who really understand what you’re going through and understand the challenges you’re facing.

Great Recovery Outcomes

Last, but definitely not least, intensive outpatient programs yield high recovery outcomes.

Participation in almost any kind of treatment program increases one’s chance of recovery, but these programs are especially effective.

Some research even shows that they’re just as effective as inpatient treatment programs. This makes them a viable option for folks who have transitioned out of inpatient treatment or cannot take part in it.

What to Expect

Okay, you can see that intensive outpatient therapy might be a beneficial treatment option for you. You might be a little nervous about what to expect from it, though.

When you take part in an intensive outpatient program, you can expect your experience to go something like this:

  • The standard length of treatment is around 90 days
  • You’ll receive treatment several days per week for a few hours at a time
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common practice
  • Many therapists also use techniques like motivational interviewing and the Matrix model
  • You’ll continue to take part in 12-step meetings
  • You’ll focus on subjects like relapse prevention and addiction education to learn to manage triggers and reduce your risk of relapsing in the future

You’ll likely be subject to drug tests, too.

The purpose of drug tests is not the “catch” you. It’s to make sure you’re sticking to the program rules and are taking your recovery seriously. It’s also meant to protect other program participants.

Choosing the Right Program

There are lots of different intensive outpatient programs out there, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Here are some tips that can help you make the best choice for your needs:

  • Make sure the location is convenient
  • Consider the price of treatment
  • Find out if your insurance covers the cost
  • Make sure the program is certified by The Joint Commission
  • Make sure they offer support for coexisting conditions 

Be sure to read the facility’s online reviews and online testimonials, too. This will help you get a better idea of what they offer and whether people are satisfied with their experience.

Learn More About Intensive Outpatient Therapy Today

Intensive outpatient therapy can be a great tool for individuals who are struggling with addiction.

Does it seem like a good fit for you? Are you ready to take the first step toward overcoming your addiction?

If you want to learn more about intensive outpatient therapy or other addiction recovery programs, contact us at 1st Step Behavioral Health today.

We’ll get back to you right away and help you figure out the best course of action so you can take back control over your life.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.