How Flexible Is an IOP Program if You Have an Unpredictable Work Schedule?

It’s critical that when someone needs help for an addiction problem that they can get that help no matter what. That’s one of the reasons the drug and alcohol addiction treatment community offers so many treatment alternatives.

In the majority of the cases, people need residential treatment. Their lives are falling apart, and they need a safe place to rest their head while they get the treatment they need. Residential treatment also provides clients with the opportunity to focus their treatment efforts in a lesser amount of time. While residential treatment is often the preferred addiction treatment option, not all prospective clients are willing or able to commit to a full residential treatment program.

Here are a few common reasons residential treatment might not be a suitable option:

  • The individual would suffer financial harm if unable to work
  • The individual has responsibility for the primary care of an adult or other family member
  • The individual has work or school responsibilities they cannot avoid
  • The individual cannot cover the cost of residential treatment
  • The individual has a moderate addiction issue that does not require residential treatment

When residential treatment is not a viable option, the next best alternative is outpatient treatment. While participating in an outpatient treatment program, clients are permitted to reside at home while reporting to the rehab facility for scheduled appointments during the week.

If a client decides to go the outpatient route, they will generally have three options from which to choose. Those three options are (with time requirements):

  • Partial Hospitalization of PHP: (5 days to 7 days a week for up to 8 hours a day)
  • Intensive Outpatient or IOP: (3 days to 5 days a week for up to 6 hours a day)
  • General Outpatient or OP: (1 day to 2 days a week for up to 2 hours a day)

At this point, we want to focus on IOP as the middle of the road option.

How Flexible Is an IOP Program if You Have an Unpredictable Work Schedule?

As the name indicates, the IOP program exists to allow clients to focus on intense individual therapy. This will typically include going through counseling and participating in special workshops. All of this is done with one objective in mind; helping the client learn the truth about the circumstances surrounding their addiction. What is the truth? For most clients, the truth has to do with the underlying reasons why they feel the need to constantly self-medicate away from their personal issues.

Their personal issues might involve coping with trauma or trying to deal with mental health issues. Regardless of what is driving their need to use drugs or alcohol, clients need a reckoning. Once the real issues come to light, clients can begin working on the coping and life skills that will help them deal with their issues. These coping and life skills will ultimately form a line of defense against relapses caused by temptation or their personal triggers. The real value of an IOP program for many clients is the flexibility it affords them. This flexibility is very important to people who need to keep working.

Here is how therapists set schedules for someone who is working. Instead of setting appointments over a prescribed amount of days, therapists will instead designate a certain amount of hours for treatment. If a therapist believes a client needs 20 hours a week of therapy, it’s incumbent on the client to work their schedule to fulfill their treatment obligation. If that means coming in on weekends for 10 hours a day, so be it. Maybe, the client can do a couple of hours a night after school/work and then fulfill the rest of their treatment requirement on weekends. The flexibility is there.

However, most therapists will require that a consistent schedule be set to establish structure and a way to measure responsibility. If for any reason your work requirements block you from committing to residential treatment, you now know you have outpatient options.

Should you be willing to commit to an IOP program, scheduling can be worked out around your other responsibilities. All of this is something with which we can help you. Here is what you need to do. When you are ready to start treatment, you can call our facility at 833-820-2922. From that call, we will create a treatment program that works for you.