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What does a Quality, Comprehensive Intensive Outpatient (IOP) Addiction Treatment Program Look Like?

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What does a Quality, Comprehensive Intensive Outpatient (IOP) Addiction Treatment Program Look Like?

August 11, 2016
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Here at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center (MARC), we have two distinct programs that we offer to treat patients with addiction and dual diagnosis issues. The first is our extended care Community Living Treatment (CLT) program, where patients come to us from detox, residential treatment or as a step up in care from outpatient. In the MARC extended care, patients receive full day treatment while living in our fully staffed community while receiving “in vitro” treatment, life skills, and support away from our clinical treatment office.

The second program is our intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment program. IOP is an outpatient treatment level of care that typically is appropriate for several types of patient populations: patients in aftercare following a 28 or 30 day inpatient or residential treatment stay; patients in need of intense treatment but that have life barriers such as still working full time or taking care of children that would prevent an inpatient or residential treatment stay; or a patient that has been working on issues with an individual therapist or psychiatrist that may need a slight step up in intensity of treatment because individual sessions just aren’t working.

So what does a quality, comprehensive intensive outpatient (IOP) addiction treatment program look like? That’s a good question. In terms of IOP, the state of Maryland (and most other states) mandates at least 9 clinical hours for an IOP level of care, which means that typical IOPs offer three-hour groups three days or evenings a week, totaling nine hours. Here at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center, we just don’t believe that is enough hours nor comprehensive enough an approach to effectively treat the chronic, progressive disease of addiction.

Our approach is much more comprehensive. First, we believe that a therapeutic alliance and trust between a patient and therapist is key for treatment to work, therefore every patient in the MARC IOP is given a primary therapist, a Master’s Level clinician that they meet with weekly. Additionally, we believe that in any form of addiction treatment a key to success is transitioning and integrating a patient from treatment back into the everyday world. So the most intensive MARC IOP (our day IOP program) begins with 5 three hour groups a week, Monday through Friday. These are process-oriented groups, not lectures, dealing with real issues such as underlying causes and conditions, trauma, gender and sexual issues, self-esteem and the like. Patients are engaged in treatment, rather than passive attendees to lectures or what feels like a school setting. Patients then step down based on their own progress and success. There is no curriculum or time table because addiction and alcoholism don’t work like that and neither can treatment and recovery. Each patient separately sees our psychiatrist and nurse practitioner for any psychiatric or medical issues they may be dealing with, which can be weekly or as needed after an initial session. Finally, one of the core pillars of the MARC IOP is our family piece and the engagement of a patient’s family in the treatment process. If addiction is a family disease, which we wholeheartedly believe it is, then we must also be treating the family unit as best we can. Family sessions take place regularly based on each situation and a family is taught and coached how to effectively support recovery-oriented behaviors while learning to set healthy boundaries and not support or enable addictive patterns or behaviors. We also aid the family in receiving their own help and getting on their own recovery path, be it through seeing an outside therapist or clinician, attending our Caron Treatment Centers/MARC family support group every other week or going to self-help groups such as Al-Anon. Recovery outcomes increase exponentially when the entire family unit is engaged in treatment and on a path of recovery. We do not believe in separating a patient from family, allowing a patient to compartmentalize their treatment or allowing a loved one to drop their addict/alcoholic at our door and say “fix them and we’ll be back to pick them up when they’re better.” That is not a recipe for success and is not setting a patient and their family up for a successful treatment and recovery outcome.

It is the belief of Maryland Addiction Recovery Center that the addiction epidemic in America is getting worse and therefore we as treatment providers must make every attempt at offering those in need the most comprehensive treatment services possible. Doing just enough isn’t good enough. It is through this belief and philosophy that we have created our comprehensive intensive outpatient (IOP) dual diagnosis addiction treatment program and we believe it offers patients and their families the very best in terms of creating for the patient and family the necessary foundation for a long-term sustainable recovery from addiction.

If you or someone you know is in need of help because of drug and/or alcohol abuse or addiction, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at info@marylandaddictionrecovery.com. For more information on all of our drug addiction and alcohol addiction services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.