Online Outpatient Care Provides a New Lease on Sobriety

Published on September 10, 2020 by First Responder Wellness

Undergoing treatment for addiction to alcohol and/or substances does not guarantee a future free from relapse. Far from it — the nature of addiction brings a seemingly endless parade of temptations into the mind of the afflicted individual.

After years of group meetings, the impact of a prescribed format can grow dull and ineffectual. Online outpatient care offers a low-intensity treatment option to first responders, who may be looking to reinstate the tenants of their initial treatment.

The convenience of online outpatient care provides a socially distanced means of resetting one’s commitment to leading a substance-free life. With virtual treatment, first response alumni can fortify their dedication to sobriety without having to sacrifice their responsibilities at work or home — a benefit for those who often work late shifts, weekend shifts, or odd hours.

Seeking a boost for addiction recovery can empower the longevity of a first responder’s relationship with sobriety, while maintaining all momentum from professional and personal relationships. If you or a loved one has remained sober for a significant period of time, it does not hurt to consider online outpatient care.

For some, it might not be a worthwhile investment of time — for others, the decision can be life-changing. Anyone doubting their sobriety may want to consider re-upping on a treatment program.

Why Try an Online Intensive Outpatient Program?

Today, there are more reasons than ever to seek online intervention. First responders deemed as “superspreaders” may turn to online intensive outpatient care programs (IOP) in order to address alcohol and/or substance use while preventing the spread of COVID-19.

With first response work often taking workers to remote locations, the continued physical demand of in-person treatment can be unrealistic. Anyone living or working far from a treatment center can more easily access care through online means.

Those struggling with thoughts of relapse may also be inclined to avoid remembering potential trauma by visiting a treatment facility. Detoxing from chemical dependency can be harrowing, leaving patients in vulnerable and weakened states.

Re-entering the site where one detoxed could potentially bring harmful memories flooding back, triggering the urge to escape these feelings through alcohol and/or substance use. An IOP provides the same recovery tools without running the risk of triggering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How Does an IOP Influence Mental Health?

One of the best times to seek an IOP is following a mental health crisis. An episode of anxiety or depression can trigger relapse in even the most lionhearted recovery alumnus. If you suspect that you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health episode, an IOP may allow for the time necessary to address and heal underlying conditions.

Most individuals coping with mental health disorders face some type of economic hardship. Frequently, individuals with a lower rate of income must work harder in order to attain financial stability. This means they have less time to address potential mental health disorders. Just as money can be a resource for seeking addiction treatment, so can time. IOP intervention can buy time for anyone whose responsibilities require large amounts of free time — a valuable commodity that many first responders do not have.

The time and space to self-reflect can illuminate many patterns in our own behavior. Having access to professional counseling allows us the comfort of hearing our own thoughts without judgment. In the constant rush of first responder work and responsibilities, some of these habits go unnoticed, eventually mounting into unhealthy cycles of thought. Even for recovery alumni, the opportunity to reconnect with deep-seated feelings about our addiction offers the potential to understand more about one’s triggers, disorders, or even traumas.

While each individual must find their own path towards recovery, the option of an IOP should be considered for anyone lacking resources, accessibility to inpatient care, or spare time. The worst-case scenario results in learning about one’s limits in seeking care for their own mental health. The best-case scenario: the IOP prevents relapse for someone who may be feeling uncertain in their recovery.

What Services Does an IOP Offer?

In order to cater to the needs of individual clients, most IOPs include a variety of services. Some clients may benefit more from the social aspects of therapy, such as group therapy or peer support. Others may benefit more from learning new coping techniques from trained professionals. IOP sessions can also offer one-on-one counseling, for those who experience more growth from a hands-on approach.

It rarely feels like the opportune time to prioritize your own mental health, especially when you spend day after day helping others. Keep in mind that you must advocate for your own health, as inconvenient as it may be for your personal or professional life. An IOP makes it easier to take your mental health seriously, without sacrificing your role as a first responder, co-worker, friend, or family member.

Everyone who has sought treatment for alcohol and/or substance use disorder knows the struggle to live a sober life constantly ebbs and flows. To keep up with the changing and dynamic needs of our clients, First Responder Wellness now offers an online intensive outpatient program (IOP). Advances in technology allow us to provide effective, patient-centered care that connects individuals to their wellness team remotely, with online therapy sessions, mental health treatment, chemical dependency education, sober support, and more. First Responder Wellness recognizes that there is no one perfect path to recovery, so a variety of flexible programming options are available to first responder clients. We cater to our clients with a diverse range of needs to ensure that each individual can heal in a way that works for them. If you or a loved one could benefit from a second pass at addiction treatment, we are here to help. To learn more, please contact our staff 24/7 or call True Recovery at (888) 743-0490.