Episodic Treatment and How It Works



  April 26, 2018    

Young people who are suffering from an addiction to substances, such as drugs and alcohol, often struggle to find a treatment program that can give them the ongoing help and support they will need to live a long-term sober life.

The SOBA College Recovery Addiction Treatment Center offers an effective Episodic Treatment Program designed to offer help to those who suffer from substance abuse. It provides motivation in a comfortable and supportive community setting in which young people can work through the underlying causes that lie behind their struggles with addiction so they can finally move on to a substance-free lifestyle.

Episodic treatment allows clients to worm through the program, slowly developing greater self-sufficiency and learning how to take greater responsibility for their own actions and their own future.

The Stages of An Episodic Treatment Program

The SOBA Episodic Treatment Program involves five separate distinct stages the client must progress through to have the best chance of long-term success.

Partial Care – Level One, Stage One

This first stage represents the facility’s highest amount of care and is suitable for young people who are just coming to terms with their substance addiction and who require a greater level of support to overcome their problems.

As part of this level of care, the client attends treatment for 25 hours per week for a period of around four to six weeks depending on the client’s individual needs and requirements. All services are centered around the individual’s personal needs. They include both weekly individual sessions and group therapies, as well as biweekly multifamily groups and a weekly case management review.

For the client to progress to Level Two, the client must show that he or she is actively engaged in the program and is taking steps to manage his or her own addiction and take greater responsibility for himself or herself.

Partial Care – Level Two, Stage One

Clients who progress to Level Two are taking the next step to a sober lifestyle. This stage of treatment is characterized by a step down in the number of treatment hours received, attending therapy sessions for 20 hours in total over the course of the week. Eighteen of those hours are as part of a group therapy situation, with an hour of individual therapy and another hour dedicated to case management review. Multifamily sessions continue biweekly, and both family therapy and family involvement, overall, are positively encouraged whenever possible depending on the best interests of the client.

When clients move to Level Two, they also find their group schedule becomes more specialized according to their overall Master Treatment Plan. And, by this stage in their treatment, clients will be regularly attending meetings, have their own sponsor, have updated their resume, and begun looking for employment.

IOP Level One, Stage Two

The third level of the Episodic Treatment Program represents the next step on the road to sobriety. It involves the client attending 17 hours of therapy in total each week, with 15 hours of that being in group therapy sessions, an hour dedicated to individual therapy, and another hour of case management review. Again, at this stage, family participation and family therapies are also encouraged, and multifamily sessions are continued on a biweekly basis whenever possible and whenever it is deemed to be in the client’s best interest.

IOP Level Two, Stage Two

By the time the client reaches this fourth step of the Episodic Treatment program, he or she will be well on the road to a permanent recovery and will be attending just 11 hours of therapy in total each week. Of those 11 hours, nine will be in a group therapy situation, with an hour dedicated to individual therapy and another to case management review. As with the other stages, families are encouraged to participate in family therapy and to attend the biweekly multifamily sessions whenever possible.

By the time the client reaches this stage, it is expected he or she will be attending school or working in gainful employment, as well as attending meetings regularly and keeping in regular contact with his or her sponsor.

Outpatient – Level Three

The final step of the Episodic Treatment Program is an outpatient level that involves the client attending therapy for just eight hours a week. Six of those hours are dedicated to group therapies, with one hour set aside for case management and another for individual therapies tailored to the client’s individual needs. Even at this stage, families are encouraged to remain involved with the program and are invited to attend biweekly multifamily sessions depending on the client’s best long-term interest. By the time clients reach this stage of the program, they will have been sober for a minimum of nine months and will be preparing for their discharge from the program.

The Length of The Program

The episodic program is a long-term treatment plan that lasts for a total of 164 days. This longer length approach has been shown to be more effective than the shorter 30-day programs that are often offered to young people. While these short-term rehab programs may be effective in the initial stages, there is a high chance of relapse without the long-term input and support that is so essential to the maintenance of a sober lifestyle.

The great benefit of SOBA’s Episodic Treatment Program is it gives young people the ongoing structure and support they need to stay substance-free in the long term and to develop a strong foundation on which to build in the future.

Are Episodic Treatment Programs Effective?

It has been proven that an ongoing combination of group therapies and individual counseling is most successful when it comes to long-term sobriety, and young people who attend an episodic treatment program, such as that offered by SOBA, are much more likely to be able to stay substance-free for the rest of their lives. Studies were conducted into the number of ER and hospital admissions following SOBA treatment as compared with the number of patient admissions before treatment under the SOBA program, and they have shown very positive results. Less than 100 former clients required hospitalization following treatment compared with 441 before attending the Episodic Treatment Program. This shows how effective SOBA’s program is, and how it can help young people to live a positive and sober life in the long term.

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