Struggling with drinking keeps you trapped in an endless loop of impossible, illogical situations: You don’t want to drink, but you do it anyway. Alcohol makes you feel sick, so you drink more to feel better. Or, this: You know you need to get help before drinking destroys your life; but, you can’t take a break from your life in order to get help. It can feel like the only choice is to check in to rehab for 90 days or continue trying to white knuckle it on your own. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Intensive outpatient programs for drinking can help you heal the wounds and unlearn the habits that cause you to drink — all on a schedule that works for your life. Here’s how it works.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program for Drinking? 

IOP stands for intensive outpatient program, a form of addiction treatment. You may not know this until you enter addiction treatment yourself, but there are many different ways to get help. Residential addiction treatment, aka rehab, is the most comprehensive, and requires clients to live 24/7 at an addiction treatment center for several weeks while receiving care. Residential addiction treatment is best for individuals who have a serious substance use disorder, or who have medical difficulties or an unsafe home life. 

Intensive outpatient programs for drinking, on the other hand, offers the same type of healing and education that you receive in rehab, without the residential component. IOP requires clients to attend sessions of a few hours or more several times per week — usually around 9 to 15 hours in total. Each session includes a mix of therapies intended to help you heal from the roots. For example, one session might include a presentation on relapse prevention tips. Another might include a one-on-one counseling session with your therapist. In another, you might learn how to meditate, or how to use DBT (dialectical behavior therapy).

In between IOP sessions, you are free to return home, to work, to attend school, and to take care of all of the normal tasks of daily life. That has pros and cons, however. A more flexible schedule gives you the opportunity to receive treatment without interrupting your life. You also will learn how to implement your new recovery skills in real time as you learn them. With that freedom comes responsibility and risk, though. If you have trouble staying clean and sober for a stretch of time, have an unsupportive home environment, or have serious medical or mental health issues, IOP may not be a fit for you. 

If it is a fit, an intensive outpatient program for drinking can be every bit as effective as residential treatment. Studies have shown that IOP shows comparable outcomes to residential treatment — at a lower price and with a lower time commitment. It works to heal your body, mind, spirit, family, on many different levels: by healing the emotional wounds that cause you to drink, by teaching you skills you can use to stay sober, and by walking you through the challenging days of early recovery. Plus, going to a local Louisiana IOP helps you build your recovery network in your own backyard from the start. Once you finish your program, you’ll have sober friends and a support system already in place.

Paying for IOP 

Intensive outpatient programs for drinking are much less expensive than residential addiction treatment, and many are covered by insurance plans. Every plan is different, but yours may cover IOP entirely, or require you to pay a small copay, like $10 or $15 per session. Longbranch Recovery accepts most insurances and is in-network with Aetna, Beacon Health Options, Blue Cross Blue Shield, ComPsych, FirstHealth, Gilsbar, Humana, Magellan Health, Optum, Tricare, TRPN, Zelis, and more. Call our team today or send a chat to learn what your insurance plan could cover. 

In recovery, the impossible becomes possible. You can go from feeling stuck where you’re planted to healing from the roots in just a few weeks. The decision is yours, but we’re here to help when you’re ready.

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