IOP stands for intensive outpatient program, and you may be wondering why you need to attend so many hours of therapy for your substance abuse treatment in Albuquerque. Intensive outpatient describes a minimum of nine hours per week of programming, and even the insurance companies recognize it as an established unit of care for which they process reimbursement.

The reason for such a focused and demanding regimen of therapy relates to the complexity of drug OR alcohol addiction issues. The National Institute of Drug Abuse tells us that addiction may start out with a person’s misuse of drugs or alcohol—the simple act of taking a substance for non-medical purposes. The person then loses the ability to control the alcohol use or drug-taking behavior for a variety of reasons.

  • Long-term substance misuse affects areas of the brain involving the reward pathway as well as our ability to control behavior, and also areas affecting emotional development, memory, and learning.
  • Co-occurring mental health disorder sometimes accompany a substance use disorder. In some cases, the mental health issues lead to the substance use disorder and sometimes the substance abuse triggers the mental health difficulties.
  • Substance abuse over time creates compulsive behaviors that the person must learn to overcome.
  • It affects the person’s relationships with his family and friends.
  • It often creates stresses in the person’s life by involving them in the court system, affecting employment, disrupting childcare issues, creating health problems, and in many other ways.

Your counselor overseeing your substance abuse treatment at Turning Point will assess exactly what your specific needs are and will direct you to the services that will address those needs. In addition, there is a more simplistic reason for such intensive programming: Research has shown that participation in fewer hours of therapy per week is not generally sufficient to treat a person with a substance use disorder if they’ve already tried and failed at simple weekly counseling.

When you begin substance abuse treatment, you will not start at “Lesson One of Treatment.” You will become part of the therapeutic community that already participates in IOP, joining the program in progress, so to speak. The best IOP programs last for at least ten weeks, and over that time you will be exposed to a variety of topics. The counselor will then be able to assess your specific knowledge areas and your readiness to make changes in your life.

In addition to the nine hours of treatment per week, we also include some one-on-one time with the counselor assigned to your substance abuse treatment.  You will be assigned a counselors that leads the group sessions, as well as your one-on-one sessions.  They will guide you individually on the issues that affect you.

You did not develop the chronic medical disease of addiction overnight, and you will not learn how to control it in just a couple of weekly sessions. Consider IOP as the kind of intensive care that a cardiology patient needs following a heart attack. Once the heart attack is resolved, the person must learn about his medications, his diet, stress factors, and how to develop an exercise regimen. In much the same way, intensive outpatient programming educates you about all aspects of this illness and provides you with the tools to manage it so that you can live a long and healthy life.

As you become engaged in substance abuse treatment in Albuquerque, you will discover an increasing fascination with the many facets of substance use disorders and how they affect your life. You will also be able to find a treatment center that schedules IOP to fit your demanding work schedule. If you’re on the fence about going into treatment for alcohol or drug addiction, it’s time to give it a try. It will change your life for the better.