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How Do I Know if Adolescent IOP Is Right for My Child?

Knowing the right treatment for your child can feel intimidating. There are so many options and factors to consider.Luckily, we’re here to help. If you’re wondering if an adolescent IOP is right for your child, you’ve come to the right place! Before we discuss if IOP is the right choice, we first need to examine what it is and what its benefits are.

What Is an Adolescent IOP?

An adolescent intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a treatment that is specifically created for young people who are struggling with substance use or mental health. Each IOP will be different based on their certifications, resources, and the clinician’s licenses and specialties. Additionally, each IOP may have their own eligibility requirements. To qualify to attend an adolescent IOP, there may be an age requirement that your child must meet. Additionally, admission will probably depend on the severity of their substance use or mental health disorder.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) confirms, “The minimal length of drug treatment depends on the type and extent of the adolescent’s problems, but studies show outcomes are better when a person stays in treatment for 3 months or more.”

Adolescent IOPs typically meet multiple times a week and often use a group therapy model. This allows the patients to engage with other like-minded peers, as well as encourage one another through their struggles and victories.

Benefits of an Adolescent IOP

Your child may benefit from attending an adolescent IOP if they are struggling with:

Moreover, if your child’s personal, social, familial, physical, or mental health is struggling as a result, it’s time to get some professional help. You can begin with contacting your primary care physician and they will be able to point you in the right direction. If you are concerned about your child’s safety or think they might be in danger, please contact emergency services immediately.

Another benefit is that IOPs allow the patient to live at home while they attend treatment. This is very important for adolescents since they usually attend school during the day. Adolescent IOPs typically meet in the evenings, so as to not disturb their lives unnecessarily. However, each IOP’s operating hours will vary, as well as the frequency of meetings.

The more consistent the child’s life can be, the better. During treatment, they will learn how to actively cope and make decisions in real time. This allows them to immediately put their treatment into practice as they establish self-awareness. These skills are invaluable and can be used now, as well as in adulthood.

Some IOPs encourage family participation as well. Allowing immediate family members to participate in some of the sessions can encourage relational healing and healthy conversations. NIDA confirms, “The support of family members is important for an adolescent’s recovery. Several evidence-based interventions for adolescent drug abuse seek to strengthen family relationships by improving communication and improving family members’ ability to support abstinence from drugs.”

Signs of a Quality Treatment Center

One of the most important things to look for in a treatment center is that the clinicians are licensed appropriately. Clinician licensure is important in any medical setting, but especially when dealing with such complex factors. Working with adolescents requires special training, skill, and patience. Making sure the clinicians and staff are trained to work with young people is a very important factor in the patients’ future success.

Another sign of a quality adolescent IOP is knowing how to treat co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders are when two diagnoses influence each other, such as SUD and a mental health disorder. Since these two diagnoses are often intertwined, it’s vital to have a care team that can treat both at the same time. If your child’s SUD is the result of unresolved symptoms from a mental health disorder but only the SUD is treated, it is not likely they will heal successfully. Mental health plays a critical role in substance use. As a result, the healthier your child’s mental state can be, the healthier they’ll be overall.

Additionally, it is also important that the clinicians consider your child’s mental, physical, and emotional health throughout treatment. This is known as practicing whole-person health. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) explains, “Whole person health involves looking at the whole person—not just separate organs or body systems—and considering multiple factors that promote either health or disease.” Whole-person health considers factors such as:

All of these factors can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of certain treatments, as well as your child’s healing. The impact may be even more significant if those areas are left unaddressed. This is why it is so important for your child’s care team to address any factors that could be influencing their unhealthy behaviors.

How Sage Recovery’s Adolescent IOP Can Help

Here at Sage Recovery, we know how difficult it can be to admit that your child may need help. The good news is, you don’t have to figure it out alone! Our masters-level clinicians are experts in their fields and have been extensively trained to help young people heal from the hard things they’ve been through. Since treatment should be as unique as the person receiving it, our treatment plans are customizable so that your child can heal in their own way. Additionally, our entire staff is trained to provide trauma-informed care. That way, no matter who you or your child come in contact with, you can know that you’ll be treated with dignity and care.

Admitting that your child might need professional help can be scary. Luckily, here at Sage Recovery, we are here to help you every step of the way. We understand all the complexities and difficulties that come with adolescent substance use and mental disorders. No matter what your child is going through, we can help. Our clinicians are extensively trained in various therapeutic techniques, such as CBT, DBT and EMDR. That way, we can make sure your child gets the proper treatment that will help them heal healthily. Reach out to us at (512) 306-1394 when you’re ready to find out more. We’re ready and willing to walk alongside you and your child as you all heal.