Getting sober is a challenge, but for most people, staying sober is an even bigger challenge. Completing detox or residential treatment is an important step in the recovery process, but it’s only the beginning. After returning home, you’ll come face-to-face with triggers, cravings and temptations that could lead to relapse. Ongoing support from an intensive outpatient program (IOP) can help you cope with difficult situations and work toward your recovery goals without disrupting your daily life. If you or someone you love has recently completed residential treatment, here are five excellent reasons to continue with IOP after rehab.
Further develop your coping skills
Residential treatment provides a great foundation for your recovery, but you don’t automatically master all of your new coping skills upon discharge. This is something that takes time, and it won’t be easy at first. In fact, most people relapse in the first year of recovery due to stressors and triggers that they aren’t properly equipped to handle. When you’re enrolled in IOP, you’ll have ongoing support to help you overcome these challenges with your sobriety intact. You’ll also learn how to implement effective strategies for healthy living, including changing negative thought patterns, problem solving, and ways to rebuild or maintain your relationships. Instead of trying to “hit the ground running” after rehab without any help or guidance, IOPs help you adjust to a sober lifestyle and keep you connected with peers and professionals who want to see you thrive in your recovery.
Opportunity to address underlying issues
Addiction is complex. While in recovery, you’ll face the obvious challenge of staying sober, but you may also struggle with other issues that could derail your progress. For example, untreated mental health problems often lead to relapse, while you might feel like giving up if you’re unable to find housing or employment opportunities. While daunting, overcoming these challenges is the first step to successfully reintegrating back into society and building a foundation for a sober, healthy lifestyle.
IOPs can help you address the issues that stand in the way of your recovery, providing varying levels of support based on your needs and circumstances. If you’re struggling with mental illness, your treatment provider can develop a plan for managing your symptoms and connect you with specialists in your area. If you’re struggling with housing or employment, many IOPs offer sober living and job-related assistance to help you get back on your feet. No matter what you’re dealing with, staying involved with your rehab facility through an aftercare program ensures that you have the support and guidance to keep moving forward.
Keeps you connected with recovery-oriented peers, professionals and treatment providers
Recovery from addiction is not a solo venture. It’s a process that depends on the support and motivation of others to be successful. You don’t go to rehab, get clean, and then go back to your life as if nothing’s happened. We can tell you from experience, that won’t work. To achieve lasting recovery, you need to integrate yourself within a community of like-minded peers and professionals who care about your sobriety. That’s exactly what an IOP provides — ongoing support from those who understand your problems and are willing to help you overcome any obstacles you might face.
In IOP, you’ll continue to go to treatment a few times a week and participate in activities such as individual or group therapy, 12-step meetings, relapse prevention planning and drug or alcohol monitoring. Unlike residential care, scheduling is more flexible and lets you work toward your recovery goals without interfering with responsibilities to yourself, your career or your family. If you’re having a particularly bad day or just want to talk, IOPs also keep you connected with others who have been in your shoes. From them, you can gain valuable insights and feedback that will help reveal any blind spots you may have and empower you to keep taking meaningful steps toward the life you’ve always wanted.
You’re more likely to stay sober
Research shows that relapse is most common in the first year after rehab, when you have less sober experience and fewer opportunities to utilize your new coping skills. IOPs offer support when it’s needed most to help you get through the early stages of recovery. Whether you’ve been through treatment before or not, ongoing care better equips you to navigate real-world challenges and gain the confidence to take on more freedoms or responsibilities. As you become comfortable with your sobriety, your treatment providers can also help you start working toward your personal or professional goals for a more fulfilling and satisfying life.
These kinds of positive changes are crucial to your success in recovery. IOPs help you build a strong foundation for a healthier lifestyle and make it easier to break the cycle of addiction. And by staying involved with your sober community, you’ll move further away from drugs or alcohol and realize that you’re capable of so much more than you thought you were. Eventually, your decision to get clean will feel like second nature, and you’ll know exactly what to do if confronted by old triggers, temptations or cravings.
Comprehensive yet flexible treatment plans
Everyone progresses in recovery at their own pace. Some people come into treatment ready to leave drugs or alcohol behind, while others might be unsure of what they want or how they feel about getting sober. And that’s okay. We all come from different backgrounds and have our own baggage to unpack, so the best pathway to recovery is one that meets clients where they are and utilizes strategies, tools and techniques that work for them.
That kind of individualized care is exactly what IOPs provide, with an emphasis on issues like relapse prevention, life skills training and community support. While enrolled, you’ll also continue with individual and group therapy to learn how to cope with unhealthy behaviors, negative thought patterns and high-risk situations. The goal is to meet your needs as you progress through the stages of early recovery and ensure you’re equipped to maintain your sobriety no matter what challenges you face.
Enrolling in IOP after completing a residential program will give you the tools, confidence and resources to achieve lifelong sobriety. At Choice House, we understand that recovery is a process, so we offer outpatient services to support clients as they further develop their coping skills and transition back into their daily lives. Contact or call us today at 303-578-4975 to learn more about our treatment programs in Boulder, Colorado, and how they can help.