Intensive Outpatient Program

Dual Diagnosis / Substance Abuse IOP Program Description

The co-occurrence of substance use and psychiatric disorders is the norm, not the exception, for those addicted to alcohol and / or drugs. In fact, psychological research has shown that people exposed to stress are more likely to engage in drug and alcohol abuse, continue using, or to experience a relapse. This means that for a successful recovery, both the addiction and the mental health issues must be adequately treated. Treating both the substance use and mental health problems, also referred to as 'dual diagnosis' disorders, is referred to as 'integrated treatment'.

Given the complexity of substance abuse and psychiatric disorders, it is not surprising that there is a single method of treatment that is best for everyone.  It is more likely that different treatments, as well as certain common factors, underlie effective substance abuse and psychological treatments.  To help people who are involved in alcohol and / or drug abuse, it is important to understand where they are in the change process in order to engage them in treatment.

The treatment philosophy of our addiction treatment program is based on the psychological principles of Motivational Enhancement and Stages of Change.  This means we take the client where they are and help them to achieve their treatment goals with respect to their use of alcohol, drugs or other compulsive behaviors.  It is not uncommon for significant others, including families and friends, or supervisors at work, to recognize that someone has problems with alcohol or drugs before the person him / her self recognizes the problem. 

The treatment components of the Dual Diagnosis / Substance Abuse IOP consist of four primary areas targeted to:

  1. Substance Use
  2. Coping Skills Training
  3. Coping with Emotions and Relationships
  4. Physical Symptoms

Targeting Substance Use and Addiction
The Addiction Core groups are coping skills training groups and are organized around Stages of Change; Pros & Cons of Using alcohol, drugs and other compulsive behaviors; Goal Setting for a Plan of Reduced Alcohol or Drug Abuse; Relapse Prevention for Alcohol, Drugs and other Compulsive Behaviors; Building Confidence; Coping with Temptations; Managing Cravings; Managing Thoughts; Managing Emotions Related to Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and other Compulsions; Managing Criticism; Effective Refusals for Alcohol and Drugs; Learning from and Managing Relapses from Alcohol and Drug Abuse; Functional and Dysfunctional Relationships; Reasonable Role Expectations; Healthy Behaviors, Building Support Systems; Rewarding Successes; and Action Plans to Cope Without Resorting to Alcohol, Drugs or Other Compulsive Behaviors.

Coping Skills Training
In Coping Skills Training patients receive psychology based counseling on new ways of thinking and behaving in problem situations that contribute to the addiction process.  Coping Skills Training addresses the emotional, cognitive and situational factors that could contribute to continued use and relapse by learning the skills necessary to cope with these feelings and problems without alcohol or drug abuse, or other compulsive behaviors.  The Coping with Irrational Thoughts or Cognitive Behavioral aspect of the program consists of counseling in the area of rational behavior problem solving skills.  Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most well validated psychological treatment approaches to therapy and is a core component of our IOP.  Psycho-educational treatment groups are organized around the principles of Cognitive Behavior Therapy; Assertiveness Training; Anxiety Management; Anger Management; Problem Solving; Crisis Management; Grief Work; Setting Boundaries; Identification of Feelings; Co-dependency; Pain Management; Coping with Depression and Coping with Anxiety. Crisis situations or conflictual relationships are anticipated, action plans developed with the counselor, behavioral deficits identified, and adaptive coping behavioral strategies are rehearsed and strengthened in counseling sessions.

Coping with Emotions and Relationships
Addiction is a process that is fueled by both substances (e.g., alcohol and drugs) and emotions.  The use of alcohol or other drugs is used to escape, cover up or avoid unpleasant feelings.  The Coping with Emotions component of the Dual Diagnosis / Substance Abuse IOP consists of counseling to identify and express feelings, finding safe and appropriate outlets for avoided feelings, and tolerating high levels of emotion without becoming overwhelmed.  As with traditional group counseling, difficulties with feelings or change are addressed and interpersonal problems are identified with the help of the counselors.  Repetitive relationship themes that cause distress or adversely affect an individual's current daily level of functioning are also identified.  Individuals are assisted in labeling their emotional experience and expressing it in meaningful, constructive ways.  Difficulties with depression, anxiety, anger, fear or sadness are addressed throughout the treatment program.  For example, grief counseling may assist people in understanding the process of grief, examining blocks to grief and exploring unresolved losses.  To break the cycle of addiction, new skills to cope with avoided feelings and circumstances are required.

Physical Symptoms
In the Physical aspects of the addiction treatment program patients are counseled about the bodily processes that may exacerbate symptoms or be misinterpreted by patients in their recovery.  Managing cravings, jitters, and physical discomfort are addressed here.  Our psychiatrists work in conjunction with our counselor%uFFFDs and provide medication management when appropriate.  Treatment consists of counselor's working with patients to teach them relaxation exercises, stress management, coping with chronic illness, pain management, and managing other physical symptoms.  

Collaborative Care: Some people already have relationships with therapists or physicians who have been treating them.  We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with your other treating providers in the Memphis area.  In fact, in treating patients with substance abuse or addiction problems, complicated by depression or anxiety, such collaboration is often necessary for a successful outcome.  We may also supplement IOP with other treatment modalities available in the Memphis area, such as individual, couples or family therapy, support groups, church, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Al-Anon, Narcotics Anonymous, etc.

» Summary of Dual Diagnosis / Substance Abuse IOP Outcomes and Consumer Satisfaction

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