Drug and Alcohol

The Ins and Outs of Intensive Outpatient Programs

Although you may have chosen to change your life so that it no longer includes drugs or alcohol, this doesn’t mean the world will stop. You’re definitely to be commended for having made this difficult decision. Drugs and alcohol have an incredibly powerful effect on the human mind and body. They’ll make you believe you need them.

Life is hard. Changing your life is harder. You may not have the time to go to a drug and alcohol treatment facility every day, much less put your life completely on hold to stay there for an extended period of time. You may want to consider one of the many different types of intensive outpatient programs local to you. Depending on your schedule and the amount of responsibility you’re willing to accept for your own recovery, this may actually be the best solution for you. Take a look at some of the ins and outs of a good drug and alcohol intensive outpatient program.

How Are Intensive Outpatient Programs Structured?

Outpatient programs are made to give the same kind of support and medical treatment without the patient actually having to attend the treatment facility physically. This can work out well for the patient who’s busy with other responsibilities, especially if the closest inpatient treatment facility is outside of the local area. However, the patient must be sure the treatment is intensive in order to put the right kind of pressure on him to uphold a balanced lifestyle and stay sober.

Relapsing back into drug and alcohol use is always a temptation for people who’ve found themselves victims of addiction. However, an intensive outpatient program will give a patient the leverage he needs to stay sober while providing an emotional backbone that’ll support the decisions being made on a day-to-day basis.

The structure of an intensive outpatient program is scheduled just as intently as an inpatient program. However, instead of the patient being escorted to medical treatment and monitored directly during the social and counseling aspects of the program, the patient will be trusted to do these things with remote monitoring from sponsors within the program. Depending on the type of program that’s being incorporated, sponsors may actually meet with the patient during the program or just communicate via phone. One of the greatest compromises that has been offered to many patients is the video chat, combining the best aspects of convenience and a personal touch.

In a well-organized outpatient program, a team of staff members will serve as sponsors, creating a more effective network for the patient. Because patients should be able to call a sponsor any time of the day or night for emotional support, a team will ensure that a patient will always be able to reach a staff member. Temptation doesn’t have a body clock, and relapse can come at any point.

The medical support of a good outpatient program will be structured to minimize the withdrawal symptoms the patient will undergo. After all, the patient will likely be attending work, school or other social functions. Many of these functions may even have alcohol or drugs at the location. However, the right medical program should also minimize the physical addiction a person has to drugs or alcohol, curtailing the pull a person feels towards these substances because of the physical proximity to them.

What to Expect From Treatment

The Ins and Outs of Intensive Outpatient ProgramsThe outpatient treatment program should be successful if there’s a plan in place that everyone follows. The patient shouldn’t be pressured into thinking he’s in this alone, nor should the full brunt of the responsibility be placed on the sponsor staff members. With both sides working for each other’s benefit, the patient should expect to create habits and receive training that’ll allow him to eventually tackle the daily temptations of staying away from drugs and alcohol without a safety net.

There’s no such thing as a “cure” from drug or alcohol addiction, especially for people with certain biological traits. However, the behavior of a human being can always be changed, and this should be the true goal of the treatment program.

A modern drug and alcohol treatment program should also provide relief from the most debilitating physical symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms will often bring a great physical burden on a patient, a burden that can be a huge temptation to relapse back into substance use. The short-term effect of such substance use will be relief from the symptoms; therefore, one of the first things a drug treatment program should consider is creating viable alternatives to relapsing back into the use of substances.

The treatment program will also provide a new social circle for a former drug user. Part of drug use involves the people with whom a person keeps company. With a new lifestyle comes a new circle of friends. Because sponsors will suggest new activities for the patient that don’t include any drug or alcohol use, the patient should eventually be able to form new friendships with people who won’t uphold the use of drugs or alcohol. The sponsors will also serve as a part of the patient’s new social circle.

800-447-9081 is the hotline for intensive outpatient programs that can help you move away from a lifestyle of drugs and alcohol. Trained operators can help no matter how far away you may live from an actual facility. You have a life to consider, and treatment professionals want to make your return to a balanced life as convenient as possible. Call the hotline today.

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