5 signs you’re ready for an intensive outpatient program

5 signs you’re ready for an intensive outpatient program

Happy Lady on Laptop

When it comes to finding the right program for your recovery, it’s important to note that there are a variety of options available. While some programs don’t recognize things such as your previous experience in therapy, your demanding work schedule, or your commitments at home, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) does, and is a great option for someone looking to recover.

Intensive outpatient programs are full treatment programs that act as a great step up or down from where you currently are in your recovery. They are an accessible and affordable middle ground for people with mild-moderate symptoms of mental health or addiction who may not to to or be able to enter into a residential facility for treatment.

By determining whether an intensive outpatient program is right for you and your lifestyle, you are doing valuable research into the type of program that will benefit you the most. In this blog, we discuss some of the factors that can help you decide whether an IOP is the best choice for you. Keep in mind that not all the points listed below need to apply directly to you for an IOP to still be the right choice. Intensive outpatient programs fit into everyone’s recovery differently.

1. You recently finished inpatient treatment

Recovery is an ongoing process that doesn’t just end when you leave an inpatient program. Entering back into your everyday life presents its own set of challenges to tackle. IOPs offer a gradual step down from the work you have done in a residential facility so that you can maintain your growth with a steady support and education. Choosing an outpatient program that offers structure to your recovery will help you to better navigate the re-entry to your working and living environment and set you up for success in your long-term recovery. For those who have completed inpatient therapy and are asking themselves ‘what now?’ intensive outpatient programs are an excellent next step.

2. You can’t take time off from work or family

While inpatient treatments are an ideal environment for recovery, sometimes it is not feasible for you to enter into one when you are balancing work and family responsibilities. An IOP offers the flexibility you need to maintain your current duties, and the structure you need to meet your recovery goals.

While company assistance varies, there is an increased likelihood that employers will support employees in their rehabilitation process if they are able to continue working while they receive care. Many employers have policies in place to offer flexibility in these circumstances and it is always worth speaking with your boss to see if there is support available, whether it’s financial or otherwise.

Many IOPs can also be completed online, which removes more barriers for those who travel frequently or don’t have access to local outpatient services. Online IOPs allow for even more flexibility when trying to maintain the responsibilities of your daily life.

3. You have tried other methods of support but need more

If you have tried different methods of support such as medication, regular outpatient programs, inpatient treatment, counselling, or an app among others, but have found them to be ineffective on their own, an IOP is a great solution. By strategically bundling all the most effective elements of treatment together, IOPs can offer you a treatment plan that is cohesive and supportive. With individual counselling, group therapy, evidence-based techniques such as cognitive behavioural therapy, and an app to tie it all together, the components of intensive programs work together to ensure you have all the support you need. 

4. You need more structure and accountability

Recovery is an uphill battle. Without a set plan to prioritize your healing, it can become difficult to maintain your progress after completing a program. Recovery is a life-long fight that requires consistent attention and support. IOPs can offer the structure you need to support a stable recovery. By connecting you with the right technology, people, and resources, these programs can help you maintain accountability for your personal recovery goals and achieve success. An IOP can offer the support you need, while at the same time, providing the flexibility that you need to maintain your busy schedule.

5. You need more support from loved ones

Our loved ones can be huge factors in our progress and play an important role when it comes to your healing. Those close to us are often very willing to help but may not have the knowledge or understanding to do so. IOPs often include family education and therapy to provide your loved ones and those who support you with the tools they need to effectively support you along your recovery journey. This ensures there is mutual understanding across your entire support team, and that you are in alignment regarding the best course of action. What they learn is cohesive with what you learn!

Still not sure if an IOP is right for you? Take our self-assessment quiz!

If any of the reasons above resonate with you, then an IOP is a great plan to look into. EHN Online’s intensive outpatient programs offer the structure and support that you need to get on track and stay there! Beginning with eight weeks of intensive programming, participants will benefit from a combination of individual counselling, group therapy, family support, education about mental health and addiction, and access to our Wagon app to track progress and practice skills. With ten months of aftercare to follow, you can continue to track your progress on our app and learn from peers in weekly group therapy sessions. This network of assistance helps to ensure that you are never without support. Best of all, IOPs make recovery work with your busy schedule, no matter where you are!

 

EHN Online offers IOPs for substance use disorder, mood (depression) and anxiety, and workplace trauma. For more information about IOPs and if they are right for you, call us for a free and confidential consultation.

 

 

Online programs for substance use disorder – understanding your options for recovery

Online programs for substance use disorder – understanding your options for recovery

The decision to seek care for your alcohol or drug addiction is an important step towards recovery. By researching the differences in treatment options, you are already demonstrating self-awareness and initiative to make a change. Nonetheless, with so much information available online, the researching process can be intimidating. In this article, we will help you understand what online options are available so that you can make an informed decision about which course of action is the best for you.

One option when seeking online therapy is an intensive outpatient program (IOP).  This is an addiction or mental health treatment program designed for individuals who need more structure and intensive treatment than they can get from standard treatment options such as one-on-one therapy, medication, and support groups. IOP’s can either be in person or provided through an online therapy platform. 

Online therapy for mental health and addiction

Online therapy, also known as e-therapy, virtual therapy or teletherapy can be an effective treatment option for mental health and addiction support over the internet. This can occur via messaging, texts, video conferencing, or other digital solutions in real-time. This method can be beneficial to those struggling with mild to moderate addiction or mental health symptoms. It is important to note that online therapy can be very effective for many, but it is not a suitable replacement for inpatient programming if you are experiencing severe addiction symptoms.

Online therapy is an excellent solution if you live in a remote area, have limited access to quality substance addiction support or prefer to get help from the comfort of your own home. Programs that are strictly online typically have fewer operational costs and therefore can often offer more affordable treatment options. Online therapy is convenient and affordable – gone are the days of long commutes to therapy, missing work, or booking a babysitter to attend a session. 

How to have the best online therapy experience

Convenience is often reported as one of the greatest advantages of online therapy, however; this is contingent on the assumption that patients have access to a:

  • High speed internet connection
  • Laptop or tablet (preferable to a smartphone)
  • Private and comfortable space 
  • Solid support system or loved one to help maintain accountability throughout the program

Accessing online therapy for addiction

To begin the process of joining an online therapy program, decide which medium you prefer (text, video call, etc.) and conduct an online search. Find a place that resonates best with you and call or request an appointment. They may ask questions about your current mental state and demographic information to help match you with a compatible counsellor or program. Some additional factors to consider when choosing an online addictions program include: 

  • Therapist designation: If you want insurance to cover the cost of your therapy, make sure that the company has what you’re looking for. You will want to ask about if the therapists are Masters-level and registered, as most insurance companies have policies around this.
  • Schedules: Find out how flexible the individual and groups session schedules are to ensure they fit into your work and home life.
  • Evidence-based: Therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) have been researched and proven to help patients develop meaningful and lasting change in their lives. Ask the admissions counsellor about which methods their programs use.
  • Price: Determine how much the sessions cost and what your budget can support. It is also important to consider what else the program offers in addition to the therapy (i.e. family support, aftercare, etc).

Pricing and payment methods for online therapy vary. Some platforms might use a subscription structure, billing you bi-weekly or monthly, and some might have you pay yearly or by session. It is important to keep in mind which method works best for you when selecting a platform. Prices for online therapy typically reside between $60-100 per session, which is a nice contrast to the $150-240 average for an in-person therapy session.

Figuring out which program is right for you

Substance use disorders are classified as mild, moderate and severe. Use the following criteria to help understand where your symptoms stand. If you agree with 2-4 of the following statements, you likely have mild symptoms. If you agree with 4-6 of the following statements you might fall under the moderate category, and 7+ means you are likely experiencing severe symptoms of substance use disorder. Speak to a healthcare professional for a formal diagnosis.

  • Your substance use has created dangerous situations for yourself or others.
  • Your substance use has caused relationship problems or conflicts with others.
  • You frequently fail to meet your responsibilities at work or home.
  • When you stop using the substance, you experience withdrawal symptoms.
  • You have built a tolerance and have increased your use amount and frequency.
  • You’ve tried to cut back or quit entirely, but haven’t been successful.
  • You spend a lot of your time using the substance.
  • Your substance use has led to physical or mental health problems, such as liver damage or anxiety.
  • You have skipped activities or stopped doing activities you once enjoyed in order to use the substance.
  • You experience cravings for the substance.

Take our short assessment quiz to find out if online rehab is a viable option for your recovery.

 

Types of online therapy for addiction 

There is a wide variety of online therapy solutions. To determine which option may be best for you given the severity of your symptoms, see the checklist above. 

  • Individual counselling – One on one counselling with a therapist via secure video platform. Most effective for mild symptoms.
  • Self-help groups – AA or SMART Recovery groups via secure video platform. Most effective for mild symptoms.
  • Mental health and wellness apps – Websites/self-led apps dedicated to mental health and wellness. Most effective for mild symptoms.
  • Group counselling – Therapeutic support with peers led by a therapist via secure video platform. Most effective for mild/moderate symptoms.
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) – Intensive online treatment via secure platform. Most effective for mild/moderate symptoms. 

For those experiencing severe symptoms of addiction, inpatient therapy with medically assisted detox treatment might be a more suitable action plan for you.

How can an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) help you recover from addiction?

Have you tried individual counselling or self-help groups but feel you need more help? IOPs provide a more structured and intensive solution as they combine individual counselling, group counselling, family support and an app into one bundled package. Both intensive and flexible, IOPs are effective for those who are unable to take time away from family or work, but require more structure in their treatment process. 

IOP patients can maintain their daily routines and access therapy outside of work hours. Some of the most notable benefits for substance use disorder IOPs are:

  • Flexible scheduling to prevent interference with family and work time
  • Receive support and connection from others in a safe and non-judgemental space
  • Manage progress and prevent relapse with a structured aftercare program
  • Involve loved ones in your recovery for additional long term support
  • Receive immediate support with rolling intake and support on demand
  • Stay on top of your own recovery with progress tracking
  • Complimentary to AA and SMART Recovery
  • Evidence-based and use curriculum that is proven to work
  • Compatible with an easy-to-use online platform and app 

The IOP at EHN Online is eight weeks of intensive treatment, for nine hours a week, featuring both individual and group therapy. Studies show that group therapy plays an important role on the route to recovery as it creates a close-knit support network to give and receive information from peers with similar experiences, and provides an opportunity for increased self-awareness.[1] [2]

For ten months following treatment, patients participate in aftercare, with one virtual group meeting per week and access to the outpatient app, Wagon. This will allow you to track daily progress, achieve your goals, and better communicate with your counsellor. EHN Online’s in-house clinical team ensures full cohesion across the network, so your designated counsellor can join you throughout your entire journey to recovery. 

Accessing an Intensive Outpatient Program

To begin your journey with an EHN Online Intensive Outpatient Program, book an assessment with one of our IOP counsellors. You’ll discuss your symptoms, your history, and your goals for the future before you agree on a program that’s right for you. If you decide to go ahead, your counsellor will register you in that program during your appointment.

Many employee benefit plans cover treatment programs for alcohol and drug addiction. Contact EHN Online with the name of your employer and insurance provider so we can help determine your coverage and financing solutions.

Other IOP streams

EHN Online offers a variety of Intensive Outpatient Programs to help individuals reach their recovery goals:

How much does an IOP for addiction cost?

When it comes to cost, you need to take into account the chance of future intensive program needs. If your initial treatment does not have lasting positive effects and you need to re-enter a program, your total cost of rehabilitation will increase dramatically. It is more cost-effective to select a program that you feel will best address your needs, immerse you with a supportive group of peers, and keep you on track the first time around.

While your mental and physical health doesn’t have a price tag, you do have to consider what type of support can fit into your budget. Because of the bundled nature of IOPs, the hourly cost is actually far lower than a stand-alone individual therapy session or group. Here’s a simple cost breakdown: 

$38/hour for 173 hours over one year:

  • 9 hours of individual/group therapy sessions for 8 weeks
  • 12 available hours of family programming
  • 10 months of weekly aftercare 
  • Access to a digital app for corresponding materials and progress reports 
  • A detailed discharge meeting and summary 

Compared to traditional prices for individual and group therapy at about $60-100 per hourly session, an Intensive Outpatient Program provides a bundled offering for proven results and affordable prices. 

There is no single method of recovery that is the right solution for everyone. Individuals will thrive when they find a mixture of therapies, education, and lifestyle changes that works for them. A great place to begin is to use the severity classification method listed above to identify whether or not you would benefit from separation from your current surroundings and habits.

Congratulations on taking the first step towards recovery! Beginning the process is the most daunting part, and your initiative shows your willingness to make a change in your life. Whichever course of treatment you choose, recovery is around the corner!

Speak to a professional today to find out if an Intensive Outpatient Program is right for you.

 

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

[1] Fogger, S. A., & Lehmann, K. (2017). Recovery Beyond Buprenorphine: Nurse-Led Group Therapy. Journal of addictions nursing, 28(3), 152–156. https://doi.org/10.1097/JAN.0000000000000180

[2] Epstein, E. E., McCrady, B. S., Hallgren, K. A., Gaba, A., Cook, S., Jensen, N., Hildebrandt, T., Holzhauer, C. G., & Litt, M. D. (2018). Individual versus group female-specific cognitive behavior therapy for alcohol use disorder. Journal of substance abuse treatment, 88, 27–43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2018.02.003

[3] Inpatient vs. outpatient treatment: Recovery options. (2020, September 18). https://www.addictioncenter.com/treatment/inpatient-outpatient-rehab/

[4] Inpatient vs. Outpatient: Comparing Two Types of Patient Care. St. George’s University. (2019, June 18). https://www.sgu.edu/blog/medical/inpatient-versus-outpatient/.