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Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Program (SAIOP) Town Creek, NC

What is a Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Program? (SAIOP)

Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programming, or SAIOP, is a level of treatment for individuals with primary substance use disorders that falls on the continuum of care between basic outpatient services and upper levels of care. The goal of SAIOP at Brighter Start Health is to equip individuals with the tools they need to make progress towards creating a recovery lifestyle. Alongside group therapy, this service includes individual therapy, family therapy, case management, and medication management as needed.

SAIOP is minimum of 12 weeks in length and occurs 3 days each week for 3 hours each day. Both virtual and in-person options for attending are available. Individuals have the choice of attending the morning group from 8:30 am to 11:30 am or the evening group from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

When recommended for SAIOP, individuals can expect treatment topics to include the following: Relapse Prevention, Self-Esteem, Communication Skills, Social Wellness, Co-occurring Disorders, Family Issues, Spiritual Wellness, Emotional Regulation, Distress Tolerance, Cognitions, Life Skills, and Addiction and Recovery.

This therapeutic treatment allows the patient to live at home, work, and still take part in SAIOP.

They’re able to establish a strong, long-term support system and recovery program that provides the help they need. Therapy styles can vary from group therapy sessions to one-on-one consultations with a therapist. Group therapy is most commonly used as it helps individuals connect with others who are going through a similar situation. An individual therapist is also assigned, and the patient will meet with them on a monthly basis in most cases

There are several processes that are involved with SAIOP treatment.

Individuals will learn relapse prevention skills to help them resist the urge to do drugs or drink alcohol again. This step is absolutely crucial to patient success, since relapse can make addiction much more difficult to overcome permanently. The group therapy and individual therapist will discuss how the patient can manage the urges and cravings that come with addition, and they’ll learn more about the brain chemistry of addiction. Arming patients with information is one of the most effective ways to help them overcome their addiction.

The Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, an iconic arch bridge crossing the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, NC, during a partly cloudy day.

SAIOP treatment should be easily accessible for the patient with short or no waiting periods. The care should be personalized, and therapists should get to know their patients on an individual basis. Addiction is not a one-size-fits-all problem, therefore, treatment should not be either. Medical care may also be provided when needed, and social support is also there in the form of peer and group therapy. Social support has been shown to help individuals recover significantly over time. This treatment should be ongoing and provide patients with the care they need so they can function as a normal part of society.

Who Can Benefit from an SAIOP Program?

A counselor should assess the patient so they know exactly whether or not SAIOP will work for their needs. This method of care is an excellent option for anyone suffering from an extreme addiction. However, SAIOP should not begin until the patient has undergone a full medical assessment and a full clinical evaluation. It’s usually used for patients who don’t need go through a complete medical detox program, but they do need a higher level of support and therapy. 

The SAIOP program offers a more intensely structured level of care specifically geared toward substance abuse and addiction. The main benefit is that it also allows you to live at home, work, and carry on with your normal life while undergoing treatment. When a patient enrolls in SAIOP, they experience a more personalized level of care that makes them feel more comfortable. 

A young female counselor gestures as she sits in a circle with clients during a group therapy session and speaks. She is looking at the female client next to her.

So, who is best suited for a SAIOP program? While everyone is different, the ideal candidate may be one of the following:

  • Someone who is transitioning from a higher level of care who is ready for something less intense
  • A person who might not need the high level of accountability associated with an inpatient program
  • Individuals who have a strong support network of family and friends who are supporting their recovery efforts
  • People who are at a lower risk of relapse and have a stable home life
  • Patients who do not use drugs any longer, either via a detox program or via their own efforts
  • Those who are comfortable talking to and opening up in front of several people in a group setting

Brighter Start's Mission

Our Mission is to help each client find life-long recovery, health, and a purpose filled life. You will see yourself, others, and your experiences in a new and positive light after completing treatment.

Learn more about what sets us apart.

How to Get the Most from a SAIOP Program

Patients in a SAIOP program should attend all scheduled group therapy and individual therapy sessions. These sessions are key to a successful recovery, so missing an appointment can sometimes be quite detrimental. Keep in close contact with your counselor, doctor, or therapist and notify them of any schedule changes. Make the most of your SAIOP program by attending every single meeting or session that is scheduled. This is the best way to ensure that you’re getting the ongoing support you need.

Sunset at Carolina beach

Aside from the basic outlines of the SAIOP program, there are other things patients can do on their own to make sure they’re maximizing the benefits of this effective program.

Some of the things you can do include:

Be open minded.

Sobriety can be extremely difficult, so it’s important to listen to the advice of your therapist and be willing to listen. When you actively listen, you’re better able to integrate their suggestions into your daily life.

Learn how to communicate.

Talk to your therapist and open up with your group therapy participants. The more open and honest you are, the more you will be able to get the true, honest help you need. And if you’ve made a mistake, it’s OK to admit it. Accountability is the best way to learn and do better next time.

Integrate recovery into your daily life.

Once you’ve learned some helpful tools, it’s time to integrate them into your daily life. When you put the things you’ve learned into practice, you have much better odds of getting sober, sooner.

Talk to others when you need help.

When times get tough, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone. It can be a close friend, a family member, or your therapist. The important thing is to be able to openly reach out to others and ask for help so you can stay on the right track.

Stay strong and steadfast.

Recovering from addiction is a long and difficult road. For the best odds of success, you’ll need to be strong and never lose your willingness to get better. With the help of an SAIOP program, you can get the support you need to move forward and live life in a sober way. Create a solid foundation of friendship, therapy, and determination to make the most out of your addiction recovery process.