When you live in Washington State and need help for an addiction, admitting you have a problem and asking for help for your drinking or drug use are the first, most-necessary steps to learning how to manage your disease.
But what if the obligations and other areas of your life make it difficult for you to just “check into” an inpatient rehab program? What if going away to residential treatment isn’t an option for you because of:
If that is the case, then you need to contact a local Washington outpatient drug treatment center.
What Is Outpatient Drug Treatment?
Outpatient drug treatment is when an active substance abuser who wants to recover can get the structured, professional help and support they need while still living at home. As part of the program, they will be required to attend several hours of drug treatment every week and submit to mandatory random testing.
Most people realize the most benefits when they participate in an Intensive Outpatient Program – (IOP).
What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program?
As the name implies, an IOP is an in-depth program of drug/alcohol rehabilitation, provided on an out-patient basis. The best Washington State treatment centers offer IOPs that are so thorough that they are virtually indistinguishable from residential programs, in terms of most of the services provided.
Typically, an IOP will consist of 15-18 hours a week of a wide range of treatments:
- Individually-crafted treatment plans
- Comprehensive, integrative service strategies
- Evaluation by a mental health professional and/or addiction specialist
- Treatment by and access to licensed medical, mental health, and addiction recovery professionals
- Education about the disease of addiction
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Individual psychotherapy
- Peer group counseling
- Trauma processing – dealing with shame or guilt
- Treatment for any co-occurring disorders – PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc.
- Couples/family sessions
- Effective communication
- Stress reduction & relaxation techniques
- Effecting lifestyle changes
- Positive recreation
- Trigger recognition & avoidance
- Relapse prevention
- Vocational assistance
- Drug screening
- Coordination with Court officials, Probation officers, or social workers
- Where necessary, referral to other medical or mental health professionals
- Holistic treatment options that focus on the “total wellness” of each client:
- Nutritional instruction
- Pet and equine therapy
- Art and poetry therapy
In fact, the biggest difference is between most inpatient drug rehabs and the best outpatient drug treatment centers in Washington State is the monitoring that is provided in a residential therapeutic setting – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What Kind of People Benefit Most from IOPs?
Depending upon your personal situation, an IOP for drug rehab can seem tailor-made for you. An IOP is perfect for people who:
- Have a minor-to-moderate substance abuse disorder
- Are making their first efforts at recovery from addiction
- Have school-age children
- Are currently in college or vocational school
- Have demanding careers
- For any reason, believe that they can’t get away for several weeks/months that inpatient treatment requires
- Feel that they have inadequate insurance coverage to pay for residential drug rehab
Are There Any Advantages of an IOP over Inpatient Drug Rehab?
Actually, there are several –
The biggest advantage is you get to live at home and participate in your own life while you are getting better:
- You sleep in your own bed.
- You have dinner with your family.
- You can see your children every day and be there for their activities – games, recitals, school programs, etc.
- You can stay in school and not jeopardize your academic standing.
- You can apply what you are learning in therapy to real-world situations in your life.
- When you are having issues in your life, you can discuss it in therapy.
- You have the daily support of your family and friends.
There are also advantages to your career:
- You can continue working with little to no negative impact on your career.
- You don’t lose any progress you have been making toward a raise or promotion.
- You can complete any projects or goals.
- You don’t have to use up any accumulated vacation, personal, or sick time.
For some people, the biggest advantage of an IOP is the savings – outpatient drug treatment in Washington State is a fraction of the cost of residential rehab. Even if you have good insurance, the difference is substantial and can be in the thousands of dollars.
Making drug treatment more affordable removes what may have been your biggest barrier to getting help.
Finally, although an IOP is not as immersive or as monitored as a residential rehab program, it is of much longer duration. While the typical inpatient drug rehab lasts a few weeks – three months at the most – IOPs are of much greater duration – usually, 6 to 12 months.
Studies have shown that the longer a person is in treatment, the better their chances of successful recovery.
If I Choose to Participate in an IOP, What Do I Tell My Employer?
Actually, unless you work in a job that impacts public safety or requires a security clearance, you don’t have to tell your employer anything. Your privacy is protected.
Most top outpatient drug rehabs in Washington State offer IOP services in both morning and evening sessions, so it is usually pretty easy to work your program around your job, with very little accommodation needed.
However, you may want to consider telling your employer anyway, for several reasons.
- It makes it easier for your employer to grant any accommodations when they know the reasons why you need them.
- It gives them the time they need to reallocate any resources and personnel to accommodate your needs.
- It demonstrates to them that you are willing to put in the work to reclaim your life – including your career.
Don’t be afraid to confide in your employer – in all reality, they probably already knew that something was wrong, even if they couldn’t pin the problem down. But by keeping them “in the loop”, you show that you respect your employer and the company where you work.
If your job performance was slipping because of your substance abuse, you may have even saved your job by being proactive. Because substance abuse is a federally-protected disorder, you cannot be fired because you are in drug treatment.
But – you CAN be fired if you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol while at work, or if you have some sort of incident – an accident or injury, for example.
Showing you are taking responsibility for your illness and taking steps to mitigate its impact upon the rest of your life demonstrates to your employer the true measure of your character.
Again, don’t worry that your reputation within the company will suffer because of your participation in an IOP – your employer is also bound by confidentiality laws not disclose your personal medical information.
What Does All This Mean?
For you, it means that you have another option when it comes to looking for a drug treatment program near you. Instead of having to leave your home, you can attend outpatient drug rehab without withdrawing from other areas in your life. You can regain your life while still living it.
Because of all the advantages, it is well worth your time to start looking into an IOP as a viable alternative to residential drug rehab. You will save time, money, your relationships, and possibly your LIFE.