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IOP Program

Serving all of New Hampshire
including in-person IOP – 
Seacoast, Southern Maine and Northern Massachusetts. 

Telehealth options now available. 

Taking Control of Your Recovery With Our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Whether you’re beginning or continuing your recovery, the intensive outpatient program (IOP) here at Addiction Recovery Services (ARS) can help guide you. Trying to decipher all of the definitions for which program does what can be a difficult task. Recovery is already complex and scary, so getting started with it shouldn’t be.

Our goal here is to always have the resources someone needs to steer their life in the direction they know it should be going. So much of the struggle with addiction is also a struggle with control. IOP at ARS is set up to help everyone involved achieve control again.

Our principles of care are what guide us through every stage of your recovery. When you enroll for treatment at ARS we want you to be prepared for what comes next. There may be some bumps in the road, but we know long-term recovery includes preparing for how those moments are handled.

Choosing outpatient rehab can be the first step someone takes toward recovery, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s just as viable as a next step for someone who has enrolled and completed an inpatient rehab program already. Before we go any further, let’s take a look at the differences between those two programs.

Staying Overnight for Inpatient Rehab

This is a treatment program that requires someone to enroll and stay on-site. Depending on the person and their needs, the enrollment could last a month, but could last for as long as two. That all depends on the individual and their needs for recovery.

Inpatient rehab may include a period of detoxification (usually shortened to “detox”) where someone is abstaining from a drug or substance. That can be a stressful, uncomfortable, and even dangerous period of time, so detox should always be medically supervised.

Some facilities don’t make a distinction between detox and inpatient rehab, but someone who has enrolled into an inpatient rehab program may not need to detox. However, if someone has completed detox they would most likely benefit greatly from an inpatient rehab program.

They would sleep at the facility, wake up and eat breakfast, and utilize some form of therapy. Sometimes there is a mix of individual and group therapy sessions; that also depends on the individual. Almost universally, each of these programs is aimed at giving the person in treatment the skills to continue living a sober life as safely as possible.

Sleeping at Home for Outpatient Rehab

The differences between inpatient and outpatient are not all boiled down to where you will sleep, though that is sometimes the easiest way to explain them. There are more similarities than there are differences, which of course makes it easier to use the sleeping example.

For instance, the intensive outpatient program (IOP) at ARS utilizes group therapy and education for three hours a day. This is similar to some inpatient programs. Sessions are scheduled at ARS four days a week, and run for a total of five weeks.

This is not necessarily the only length for our program, however. We conduct clinical assessments of every person who enrolls and know that each one may need something different. That means we can extend treatment past the five weeks, depending on individual needs and progress.

Along with that, our IOP includes a weekly consultation with a board-certified addiction psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner at no additional charge. It’s one of the ways we set ourselves apart from other programs, which normally don’t offer this.

Another aspect we know is important to address is the continuing management of possible cravings and relapse. You’ve maybe heard of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which normally begins during an inpatient treatment program. It can also be continued after a person has checked out of inpatient rehab.

Medications such as Suboxone®, Vivitrol®, Campral®, and naltrexone can help someone continue their recovery. Along with those options, prescriptions that help manage mental health struggles and symptoms can be accessed quickly when needed. 

Another great aspect of the IOP at ARS: there are no waiting lists to access services. All of our IOP services are also provided by licensed and experienced therapists, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners.

The IOP at ARS Checklist

We want someone to know right away whether they could benefit from the IOP at ARS. Here’s a checklist with some quick facts about who could enroll for treatment and the benefits they would find:

  • People returning from an inpatient detox or residential program
  • People who wish to continue working and living at home while in treatment
  • People who are seeking help for the first time or are uncertain of the amount of help they might need
  • People with untreated mental health symptoms contributing to their substance use

Treating Mental Health and Addiction

As you’ll see in our principles of treatment below, we pride ourselves on treating the person. That’s because all our lives are unique and the factors that influence how each person is struggling with addiction can be very different.

Things like relationship conflict, difficulty with emotions such as anger, sadness, and boredom, and negative thinking can lead to the use of drugs and alcohol, but also to problematic mental health symptoms. All these factors can shift how treatment will unfold for someone. We want to make that process go as smoothly as possible.

With that in mind, groups at ARS include discussions and skill-building activities about communication and improving relationships, changing our thoughts, identifying and coping with our emotions, and having fun. All of us have emotions, but each of us use them in different ways. We always address the unique inner landscape of someone we are helping.

The Way Our Principles Define Our Treatment

The IOP at ARS utilizes therapy, medication when needed, and even can move into continuing care. The ways we utilize these treatments are all guided by our principles, things we hold as deep beliefs and will not compromise.

We respect each and every person who is struggling with addiction and wants to enroll in treatment. In order for our counseling to have a lasting impact and prepare you for the road ahead, trust and respect have to be there from the start.

Listening is important. We want to hear how you feel, we want to hear how you are doing and see how that plays into your recovery. By listening, we want to demonstrate our respect and to highlight your dignity throughout the entire process. It doesn’t matter what goals you have in mind for recovery or how your belief in yourself manifests: we’ll be here, listening.

Treatment results show definitive improvements when someone has sought help and found themselves in a setting that encourages choice. Taking responsibility for the path of recovery and seeing the results from decisions made during treatment really does make a huge difference. 

That’s why we give every person we treat information about the resources we utilize and encourage them to make choices about their best route forward. All the coping skills, community resources, and medications are here and ready to be one more part in your way forward. You will be the one deciding what resources you utilize.

And that word, “you,” it’s so short but encompasses so much. No one could possibly know all the hidden parts of you. Each of us is a “you,” and we’re all different, even on the days when we feel like we’re not. An effective treatment has to take those three letters into account more than anything else: Y-O-U.

We approach treatment as a way to empower you. We want it to help you to build your overall health and wellness, and do so by starting to alter ways you process certain thoughts. Similarly, your emotions will start to shift because they are closely tied to thoughts. So, it makes sense we always want to help you deal with troublesome emotions.

Your thoughts and emotions affect how you interact with the world and the other people in it, so we also set out to help you with your relationships. Transitioning from a life of struggling with addiction to one of sobriety and long-term recovery can be tough. We want to teach you all the ways your life will benefit from sobriety and then give you the tools to choose that new path.

Harm Reduction Means We Help Rather Than Punish

But life is life, right? It’s not always a smooth road. So what happens if you hit a bump and your treatment goes off track for a bit? Well, we help you figure out what track it should be on, and then get back to it. 

We know changing your entire life, way of thinking and feeling, and relationship structure is not exactly a small task. It takes some time. It goes back to the respect we hold for you. We’re never going to use shame as a tool in your recovery. We don’t turn our backs if you’re continuing to struggle. 

One of our core treatment philosophies is to utilize what is called harm reduction. It basically means If you do relapse you’ll just be encouraged to come right back for the next scheduled session and go over what happened. We want you to get back to recovery, we do not want to punish you. 

If you continue struggling with relapse then we can start looking for other ways to support you and reach your specific recovery goals. Like we said, the road to recovery is not always smooth and it’s not always as short as we’d like. We’re here to help you no matter what that road looks like.

Your Continuing Recovery, Our Continuing Commitment

Coming to the end of your scheduled IOP sessions is a big deal and a reason to celebrate. Recovery isn’t a simple process though, it’s not as easy as marking off a list and when the list is completed you’re done. Once you are done with IOP your recovery continues.

We utilize aftercare support to help you keep the forward momentum you gained from IOP. Our aftercare group can be utilized by every person to finish one of the intensive treatment groups we offer. So, anyone who has enrolled in and completed our IOP is eligible.

We don’t turn people away from this group. There is a small cost to join, only $10, but if you can’t pay we’re not going to shut the door. Your recovery is the most important thing to us!

Along with that, we host alumni engagement services. This allows people who have successfully moved into long-term recovery to stay on top of their health and well-being and allows us to see the results going forward.

We also know that not everyone needs or likes the same style of recovery. So, if you’re an ARS IOP alumni and are interested in getting more support without being in a group setting, call (978) 965-8112. We always want to support you.

Choose Your Recovery at ARS

We hope you can make an informed choice about your recovery now, after seeing all the ways we utilize our treatment for IOP. We respect you before, during, and after your treatment. That includes respecting the path you choose to take to long-term recovery.

Our mission is not to make you feel like a failure, no matter if that is when you enter or when you are enrolled in IOP. It’s hard to begin and it can be hard to maintain long-term recovery. We focus on harm reduction because we believe it’s been shown to help people recover effectively.

If you or someone you know is ready to begin recovery, let us know. ARS has multiple pathways to recovery, each defined and chosen by what the person in recovery needs. Give us a call at 978-228-5853 and let’s see about starting you on the way to recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Level of Care Is Outpatient?

Outpatient care is usually considered a continuation of care, though that doesn’t take into account the people who may begin their recovery in outpatient care. Because there are some whose situation dictates they can start with outpatient care, deeming it a certain level will exclude a lot of realities. The best way to think of outpatient programs is as a benefit for someone who is ready for their treatment to potentially take place on a shorter timeline, while staying at home and continuing to work their daily job.

Which Is Better, Inpatient or Outpatient?

They are treatments that are beneficial for the person who needs them, so defining one as better than the other is impossible. If someone needs to enroll in a program that utilizes a medically-supervised detox, then they will almost always be enrolling in an inpatient program. If a person needs a shorter program that allows them to sleep at home and continue to work, then an outpatient program would suit them. There are similarities between the programs, but their differences are what defines them.

What Is Considered Outpatient Treatment?

Treatment that lasts for shorter periods of time—generally between three and five hours—and is scheduled throughout the week. When the outpatient treatment ends the person enrolled goes home and would return for the next session, whether that’s the next day or in two days. ARS, for instance, schedules four sessions a week, for three hours each day. When the program has ended (unless it needs to be extended), it will have gone on for five weeks. This means a person would have completed 20 sessions, or a total of 60 hours outpatient treatment.

What Is Outpatient Treatment for Mental Health?

A program that utilizes therapy and potentially other treatment methods, like medication assisted treatment (MAT) on a “part-time” schedule. Rather than a person checking into a facility for treatment and sleeping there, they would visit a facility for a given schedule, leave to sleep at home and continue their regular work schedule, then return for another treatment session whenever it has been scheduled.

Additional Resources:

Where to find help - Local Resources

by John Iudice, ARSNH | Fosters

Evidence-based group therapy, family education
and medication management with a unique focus
on the mental health symptoms accompanying addiction.

Seacoast Offices | Portsmouth/Greenland NH

Seacoast, NH Headquarters

603-433-6250
Day IOP: M, T, TH & F 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Evening IOP: M, T, TH & F 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Contact ARS

To schedule an admission interview with the intake counselors at Addiction Recovery Services, or if you have questions, feel free to call or text us at (978) 228-5853. We can also be reached via email at admissions@arsnh.com.

If you are looking to speak to someone regarding absences or tardiness to an IOP session, please call the office lines directly.

Addiction Recovery Services

Intake & Admissions:  (978) 228-5853
Office Phone: (603) 433-6250
Fax: (603) 433-6350

 

Telehealth support services are available throughout New Hampshire for those who are unable to physically make it to our in-person IOP. Please inquire for more information on remote support options. 

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