Acknowledging that you have a drinking problem is a great first step down the road to recovery but it is not always easy. People batting alcohol use disorder struggle to admit they have a problem not only due to the stigma that surrounds alcohol addiction but also because it might be difficult for them to believe they can function in life without drinking alcohol. 

Alcohol abuse takes place when a person begins to use alcohol compulsively. They may continue to use the substance despite any negative effects in their lives, such as issues at home, work or school or with the law. 

Alcohol abuse is the most common form of substance abuse, affecting between 8 and 9 percent of adults in the United States. 

Heavy drinking has a large impact on your physical health. Alcohol acts as a depressant and it slows the brain’s function. The body learns to adapt to the alcohol in the body in people who drink frequently, making the body work harder to keep the body’s functions going to keep you alive. Eventually the body becomes dependent on drinking and when a person quits drinking, symptoms can arise that can be quite uncomfortable. Medical detoxification is necessary for many people who drink heavily to keep them as comfortable and safe as possible during this process.

Alcohol abuse also affects your emotional and mental health. Some form of therapy at a rehab or rehabilitation center is also typically required for people who are ready to quit drinking, such as an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).

What Is an IOP?

An IOP is a form of rehabilitation for people battling substance abuse in which the person attends IOP alcohol treatment several times a week for a few hours at a time and may last about 90 days. Attendees can return home after each session. 

IOP alcohol programs are more time-intensive than standard outpatient treatment programs. Treatment typically consists of group therapy and may include individual counseling, medication management, psychiatric screenings, case management and vocational training. These programs are ideal for those who have less severe addictions and a solid support base. 

How Can IOP Help With an Alcohol Addiction?

During an IOP alcohol treatment program, clients typically undergo counseling and group meetings to explore the root of their alcohol and any other substance abuse problems. The program aims to equip people with skills to cope with any underlying issues while encouraging people to actively practice implementing these skills in a supportive environment. Skills taught in IOP alcohol programs aim to prevent relapse while teaching people to live life without turning to alcohol.

It is important that clients with substance use disorder also address any underlying mental health conditions. Many people with substance abuse disorders experience co-occurring disorders, such as Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, etc. Psychoeducational teaching at IOP alcohol programs educate people on any co-occurring conditions they may have and equip them to better manage any underlying mental illness as well. 

Clients can expect to learn all of the necessary skills to cope with alcohol cravings or withdrawal in addition to learning to identify and address triggers. Learning to control one’s impulses to drink is paramount in recovery. Lifestyle alternatives are also identified so people can learn to focus on positive distractions so they can cope with cravings in a positive way.

It can be difficult for those suffering from alcohol addiction to communicate with and explain their condition to loved ones. Communication skills are also taught in IOP alcohol programs, equipping clients to effectively communicate with those around them in a positive way as well as learning to set boundaries in relationships and how to perform a positive role in one’s family. 

Physical health education is also often offered, teaching clients about physical activity and nutrition to encourage a healthy lifestyle. When a person feels healthier, they are less likely to feel the need to drink alcohol. 

Choosing an IOP is a commitment that should not be taken lightly. If you or your loved one is ready to give up alcohol, the Intensive Alcohol Program at Atlanta Recovery Place might be for you. Our IOP program enables you to make your way through your recovery at a pace that suits you best. We work with you so you can get the treatment you need while still making it possible for you to have independence while maintaining a normal life outside.   

If you are ready to get started on the path to recovery from alcohol abuse, reach out to us to talk to one of our caring professionals.

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