Yes, patients in IOP treatment can work while in rehab. Unlike a fully inpatient treatment program, intensive outpatient program (IOP) patients do not reside on-site at the facility and therefore have fewer restrictions on their movements. This arrangement presents an effective alternative to inpatient addiction treatment that allows patients to seek help while also being able to continue with their work and family obligations.
The flexible nature of IOP also makes it a fantastic option for addicted persons who have a family to care for. Whether it be children or sick and aging parents that need to be attended to, it can make fully inpatient treatment an unviable option. With intensive outpatient, there is no requirement to stay overnight in a residential treatment center or rehab. A steady job/paycheck and satisfaction in your career are not only empowering but also essential for your success in the outside world.
Choosing The Right Level Of Care
Traditionally, drug and alcohol addiction treatment involves removing the person entirely from their existing environment in inpatient residential treatment. Doing so separates them from triggers and negative influences, as well as their access to the substance(s). For a long time, this was viewed as the only way for a successful transition to a sober life. However, the demands of modern life can make such an approach to addiction treatment unfeasible and unpractical. For many Americans, taking time off to go to rehab wouldn’t just cause a loss of vital income, but could potentially threaten their job security (despite the protections of addicted persons under the Americans Disabilities Act). As such, it’s one of the top reasons why someone struggling with drug or alcohol addiction chooses IOP.
Fortunately, addiction treatment programs have adapted to include different levels of treatment, making recovery more accessible to more people. IOP or intensive outpatient procedure is that perfect compromise for those who struggle with moderate to severe addiction but lack the time or money to partake in a fully inpatient program. Other options for those with moderate to mild levels of addiction might also consider a partial hospitalization program (PHP, or fully outpatient treatment (OP).
The lower the level of addiction treatment (also referred to as the ‘intensity of care’), the fewer hours per week the program will require and the more freedoms you will have while in treatment. Bear in mind, however, that lower levels of care can mean that the treatment program takes longer overall, spanning weeks or months to provide the same hours of therapy and counseling as a more intensive program could in a shorter period of time.
How Much Time Does IOP Treatment Require?
The hourly time commitment of an IOP program can vary depending on the facility but on average is about 15-20 hours a week. These hours are often flexible, giving patients the choice of attending day or evening sessions to best accommodate their schedule. At the Freedom Center, these sessions may combine therapy and counseling, medical check-ups, 12-step based meetings, and classes for practical help such as resume building, interview practice, child-raising advice and support, and more.
Making The Most Of Outpatient Treatment
Recovery from drug and alcohol abuse isn’t just about logging in hours at a rehab center. True recovery is about changing your way of thinking, correcting negative behavior patterns, and learning how to be more in control of your actions. For some people, this is something that can be accomplished by going to a meeting every few days. For others, they’ll need to be completely cut off from their social circle and safety net. Be sure that you’re choosing the right level of care, and for the right reasons (i.e. not just so that you can work while attending IOP).
The key to being successful in treatment is being honest about the level of support you need and how much self-discipline you have. To truly receive the benefit of a convenient outpatient rehab program, you’ll need to find ways to hold yourself accountable whether it’s friends or family, attending rehab far from home, or living in a controlled environment such as a sober house.
IOP at The Freedom Center
Choosing IOP can be scary when thinking about balancing your job with family life, or just moving back home after successfully completing an inpatient rehab program. Knowing that there are supportive clinicians and individuals, at The Freedom Center, who understand your challenges to sobriety can help you on your path to recovery.
Our Maryland intensive outpatient program is specially designed with support groups and case management protocols to help you balance finances, family, work, and most importantly a happy, but healthy social life. Having some form of structure, routine and responsibility will keep you engaged and confident in your day-to-day life; we also help show how you can begin to give yourself permission to enjoy life again, have sober fun, and try healthy activities you (and your loved ones) can feel proud of.