We get asked this question all of the time at Green Hill. Is an IOP program a good fit for college students starting their recovery journey? Absolutely. There is no shortage of benefits IOP has for college students who looking to get and stay sober.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most pertinent benefits of IOP as a primary treatment option for college students seeking addiction treatment.
Uninterrupted School Schedule
The top benefit of IOP for college students is the ability to receive, regular addiction treatment without having to alter their existing class schedule or degree plan.
This is because IOP is outpatient therapy. This means that individuals can access quality, consistent addiction treatment from licensed professionals, without having to formally check into a medical facility such as an inpatient rehab or detox facility.
In short, students can attend therapy in the evenings, and go to class throughout the day as normal. Also, most IOP programs require 3 sessions a week, and some even allow for patients to choose which days they attend. This means students still have 4 nights a week free for homework, studying, and leisure.
Learning Amongst Peers
At Green Hill, our IOP is made up primarily of college-aged men. Attending IOP with other college students allows for authentic and open dialogue about common experiences.
Hearing what peers are struggling with reminds students that their challenges aren’t as unique as they seem and that they are able to rely on the group to help navigate difficult or new situations in early recovery.
Bonds and new friendships will naturally form through IOP. Finding friends who are going through the same things is a great way to start to build a support system that will eventually help replace the IOP group once the 12-week program is complete.
Many individuals choose to also do sober living while attending IOP for this exact reason. Not only does attending IOP while doing sober living increases the likelihood of long-term recovery, but it also makes the friendships and bonds formed with peers even stronger.
Focusing On Mental Health Often Improves Grades
It is no secret that mental health is incredibly important for a student’s performance during the semester. When our clients start to take care of themselves and practice a healthy lifestyle, they begin seeing positive effects trickle down throughout all areas of their lives.
Without the fog of drugs and alcohol, as well as a new positive outlook and tool kit of personal accountability, many students in IOP find that they are achieving their true academic potential for the first time in a decade!
Green Hill’s IOP also focuses on life skills that college students need to be successful such as:
- Coping Mechanisms
- Study Habits
Often times when individuals find recovery, they once again find their love of learning. The pursuit of knowledge gets reignited, and they are reminded about why they decided to pursue their degree path in the first place! Other times they realize they want to pursue new degree paths. When the mind starts to heal, it is amazing to see what our clients find out about themselves.
Processing Early Recovery In A Safe Space
Intensive Outpatient is a great option for students as it provides a safe place to process the ups and downs of early recovery. Life as a college student doesn’t provide too many opportunities to talk about the difficulties of getting sober.
It can feel isolating and emotionally exhausting trying to navigate early recovery as a college student. Having a regular time a few days a week to process experiences improves confidence and success in early recovery significantly.
Potential Concerns Around IOP For College Students
While there are numerous benefits, there are also a few reasons that IOP might not be the best fit for college students. These range from the time commitment, to the level of care necessary based on the progression of their disease. Let’s explore a few of the main drawbacks or issues college students may have with IOP.
Not Many IOP Sessions Outside of Evenings
Students who work in the evenings, or who have to attend evening or night classes will likely have trouble committing to IOP. IOP providers rarely offer sessions outside of the evenings since the demand for morning and afternoon groups is quite low.
Some degree plans and graduate-level classes do require some classes that are only available in the evening. Luckily, it is quite rare for a student to have more than a couple of night classes each week. With IOP only being a 3 day a week commitment, most students are able to find a healthy balance where they are able to achieve both.
Higher Level of Care Required
The other main issue some college students will run into when trying to enroll in IOP is that it is too low a level of care for the stage of disease their addiction has progressed into.
In the simplest of terms, some students will need inpatient care to have a fair chance at a successful life in recovery.
IOP For Students In Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill
Regardless if you are looking for primary care, or a step down after inpatient care, Green Hill recovery can help. Our IOP is typically made up of students from our local colleges, as well as other men looking for support in the next steps of their recovery journey.
Are you or a loved one a student at Duke, UNC, NC State, or another local Raleigh college and need help with addiction? Contact Green Hill today, we can help you or your loved one get back on track with minimal disruption to life and studies. Contact us now to learn more.