Setting Expectations: 8 Universal Truths About IOP Programs

The abbreviation “IOP” stands for intensive outpatient program. These programs can be very helpful to those who are struggling with alcohol or drugs. They’re not for everyone, but they help many individuals get clean every year.

You might look for the right Orange County IOP program if you live there and feel that alcohol or drugs are becoming a problem. There are some universal truths you should know about these programs, though, so let’s talk about those right now.

They’re Difficult

This might sound obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. These programs can be extremely challenging, especially if you have reached the point of full-blown addiction. Still, if you stick with them, they can result in a better life. 

They Can Be Unexpectedly Fun

It might surprise you to learn that some of these programs can be fun as well. You’re there to do serious work, but you will often meet people who are incredible. They can be funny, wise, and empathetic. They will often prove to be the difference in whether you get clean or not. 

It Starts with Feeling That You’re Worth It

If you go into one of these programs feeling you’re not worth helping, it will be harder for you. Recognize your basic humanity. If you can say to yourself that you’re worth it and genuinely mean it, that will make the process easier. 

You Can Take a Time Out from the World

The world will be fine while you’re gone. Things won’t fall apart without you. If you concentrate on letting yourself heal, you can worry about everything else at the appropriate time.

If You Let Yourself Be Vulnerable, You’ll Heal

Many addicts or problem drinkers or drug users do not want to let themselves be vulnerable. They don’t want to open up. That’s understandable, but the sooner you’re able to let down your guard, the sooner you can start the vital process of healing. 

Routine Can Help You

Getting into a routine when you start on an IOP program is in your best interest. If there is a certain practical and beneficial thing you should be doing at every moment of the day, that can give your life the order it needs. Knowing where you should be and what you should be doing at all times can be a real lifesaver.  

Group Therapy is the Only Option

Some addicts or problem drug or alcohol users don’t want to engage in group therapy. They may feel embarrassed about their behavior. It’s helpful to hear other stories like your own, though. When you do, you will realize that you’re not alone. 

It’s Not Like Other Programs You’ve Tried

Many people who engage in an IOP say that it’s not like other programs they’ve tried. The word “intensive” is usually the main difference. 

These programs are invasive, and they’re meant to be. You’re meant to be breaking down every aspect of your life and then reconstructing it. That won’t be easy, but you should eventually see positive results.