An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is an addiction or mental health treatment program designed for individuals who need more structure and intensive treatment than they can get from standard treatment options such as one-on-one therapy, medication, and support groups on their own. Best suited for patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms, IOP’s can be as effective as residential treatment for many people.
Coping with big life changes and stressful events used to mean going on week-long benders and binges with alcohol and drugs only to come out the other end even more stressed and even more unable to manage the situation. The unmanageability of active addiction creates so much chaos in our lives. For myself, when I was still drinking and using, I thought that was normal. I had never experienced a different way of living, thinking, acting, and coping. In recovery, managing stress and changes in life looks much different. Once the manageability of myself and my emotions came back, after much work, I was able to confront stressful situations and life changes head on.
“Self-care.” On paper the term is self-explanatory and straightforward, meaning to take care of yourself. By Google’s definition, it means, “taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.” Simple! Right? …well, if you’re anything like me, and you spent a significant period of your life doing the opposite of this, it can be challenging to develop an effective self-care routine.
At first, drinking was fun. Alcohol gave Tony confidence. Sober, Tony was a shy kid. But a few drinks changed all that. In his early twenties, Tony was married and running his own business in wedding video-photography. Tony’s drinking wasn’t fun anymore, and his alcohol consumption was becoming a problem.