Intensive Outpatient Treatment Plan

Intensive Outpatient Treatment Plan | Hopelinks

When a person is diagnosed as dependent by an addiction treatment center, the recovery plan is often an intensive outpatient plan or program. Outpatient plans are usually eight weeks, which allows time to cover basic issues of addiction (alcohol, drugs, other substances) treatment. Some may be longer or shorter, depending on the treatment center selected.

A basic intensive outpatient plan curriculum requires dealing with:

  • Family Roles & Codependency
  • Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Self Esteem (Including Communication)
  • Pharmacology & Disease Concept
  • Denial During Grief & Loss
  • Shame and Guilt

In alcohol and/or drug treatment, when you study these topics and follow the advice or worksheet suggestions, you graduate from intensive outpatient treatment. If you have a suspended license you will often receive it back after successfully completing Intensive Outpatient Treatment. The programs take approximately eight weeks in a group setting, which are usually three days a week.

At the conclusion of an intensive outpatient plan, people are usually required to present an updated version of the ‘first step’ to a trusted independent person.

It may be suggested to enlist the help of a friend in sobriety, who is willing to set aside time to allow the person entering recovery to share and ‘talk through’ the ‘first step’ plan. Part of the healing process is becoming honest about previous choices, and their effects. (Many AA meetings consist of this principle.)

An intensive outpatient treatment plan outlines the process of releasing shame and guilt to beginning a new, more productive life.

By the time a client has completed the plan they should be able to have a Greater Strength, they feel comfortable with, and may decide to find a sponsor for the completion of a rehabilitation program. A sponsor can be benefitial to assist with the steps of AA, NA or even a more individualized plan. They may also be able to offer comfort and/or security during the time it takes to become involved in meetings and other sober activities.

After the presentation of the ‘first step’, a sense of accomplishment or feeling of relief at letting go of past issues is often present. Types of change or ‘ways’ a person has changed since entering treatment are usually discussed. Questions regarding the health of chosen relationships are also addressed on many occasions.

Changes Which may be Associated with an Intensive Outpatient Plan

People are encouraged to become assertive through the addiction rehabilitation process.

Those who come from a family still needing assistance with alcoholism or drug addiction, may be required to develop new relationships to fill needs for family and belonging. Sometimes the family of origin is unable or unwilling to make necessary changes.

Being polite is encouraged, but there is no obligation to attend functions or please family members. On occasion, a complete change of life or lifestyle is necessary to overcome addiction, which can include finding ‘new’ family members. Starting new traditions with children can ease transition to new choices and habits.

In cases where feelings of resentment are held, meetings may be advised and can be highly benefitial. As new, supportive friendships and acquaintances are developed anger with respect to loss and lack of attention from the family of origin usually lessen.

People receive what they ask for, even in recovery.

When sharing a ‘first step’ people are usually encouraged to request feedback rather than criticism. It is often times advisable to inform the party assisting in the presentation of the plan the expectation is to be congratulated and encouraged on the willingness to leave shame, guilt and negativity behind. Engaging in positive situations may be suggested to assist in building feelings of being rewarded. Many times counselors will give a token of intensive outpatient plan completion, such as a marble (to symbolize restoring the mind), or a shell (as a symbol of seeing a new life).

The Intensive Outpatient Plan is merely a starting point. Overcoming alcoholism, drugs or substances is usually lifetime issue. Life changes, and while people come and go, one key challenge faced by those is recovery is seeking and securing relationships without substances or drugs of abuse.

Treatment and rehabilitation are processes.

Those in recovery should usually be encouraged to persevere in the face of adversity and become self-assertive with sayings such as: “I am not willing to compromise.” It may also be advisable to remind those in recovery if one door shuts God opens another. God’s doors are supportive and gentle, yet strong and assertive.

Life is work and unless an effort is made to secure a Greater Strength as a positive connection, relapses to old behaviors or patterns can become habit.

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