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  • Writer's pictureCAROLINE Bentley

What Does Admission to an Addiction Treatment Program Look Like?

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

When you arrive at the brave decision to seek out treatment for a substance use disorder, a lot of feelings and questions begin to emerge. Many people wonder, ‘what do I do now?’, when they are ready to get assistance with their recovery. Often the first step of getting support is going through the admission process for treatment.

If this is your first experience with seeking addiction recovery in California, there may be some nerves on what the admission process for treatment entails. This blog will walk through the details of contacting and getting started with a treatment program. With more information about what is involved, some of that worry and anxiety can transform into anticipation and relief.

Levels of Treatment

When considering what treatment programs to reach out to, it can be useful to consider the levels of care for substance use disorder treatment. SagePoint is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and supports addiction recovery in California. This treatment is in the middle ground between receiving individual therapy and going to a residential treatment program.

IOP services are three hours a day for three days a week. This level of treatment is ideal for people who wish to live at home and remain employed while attending a more involved treatment program. When someone begins the admission process for treatment, there will be assessments done to identify what level of care would work best for the individual.

Admission Process for Treatment

When you first reach out, there will be an assessment to determine if you or your loved one has a problem with substances. For most programs, the admission process for treatment involves being diagnosed with substance use disorder or verifying the diagnosis you may have already received from a primary care provider or your referring clinician. This diagnosis shows the necessity for treatment and can also be used to bill insurance. In addition to the initial diagnostic test, SagePoint IOP assesses for co-occurring disorders, which are other mental health diagnoses like anxiety, depression, or posttraumatic stress disorder for example. This information will be used to integrate treatment and meet a variety of needs to support recovery.

The admission process for treatment will also entail learning about the services offered and beginning to make a plan suited for your unique needs. When you are deciding on what treatment to attend, it is helpful to see if their services align with your own goals for counseling. At SagePoint IOP, we offer assessment and evaluation, group therapy, family support group, case management, individual therapy, and substance use screening.

Is There a Different Admission Process for Outpatient Programs?

Overall, the process is similar across addiction treatment options with a few slight differences. During the screening process for treatment, an intensive outpatient treatment center will check to see if a person needs detox support. This is not typically offered by outpatient services and would need to be referred to a detox or residential setting before beginning outpatient care.

SagePoint IOP also requires clients to commit to a substantial reduction or elimination of substance use. Some programs may be more focused on prevention and harm reduction care if the person is not ready to make this commitment.

If someone is considering residential services, their admission process for treatment will also include a packing list and transportation plan to the facility, as they will be living there. Sometimes there can be long wait times for these programs for bed availability.

How Long Does Addiction Treatment Take?

Addiction treatment begins with getting screened to see if these interventions are the best fit and then receiving a biopsychosocial to gather history and presenting problems. Once admitted, a treatment plan will be made outlining your goals for life, sobriety, and mental health. At this time, you will likely talk to an addiction professional about when these goals may be achieved.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, less than 90 days of outpatient or residential treatment is more limited in sustaining results. They tend to see more long-term benefits in 90 days or more of treatment. At SagePoint, the average length of IOP is three months, though this is dependent on each client. Motivation levels and personal goals can change how long someone may need treatment. A person may also decide to continue in treatment and lower their level of care as they are ready.

Preparing to Take the First Step

Remember that though it does help reduce stress to be informed on the admission process for treatment, you do not need to be an expert to ask for help. Calling or emailing with questions about specific services or what treatment option would work for you is always encouraged. A great first step is searching through different websites to begin to find what would be a good fit for your recovery.

SagePoint IOP has a streamlined admission process for treatment to make sure that you or your loved one can easily access the care they need. We are passionate about addiction recovery in California and are always open for questions about our admission process and treatment programs. If you or a loved one is suffering with addiction, please reach out today to learn more about our services.

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