Is VIOP Right for Me? 5 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program

In an era defined by the intersection of technology and mental wellness, the concept of behavioral health treatment has undergone a radical transformation. As the healthcare landscape evolves alongside the prevalence of digital connectivity, virtual intensive outpatient programs have arisen as a new pillar in the treatment industry. Offering an accessible and efficacious approach for substance use disorder and dual-diagnosis treatment, VIOP’s provide therapy and support to those otherwise unable to access care. While the flexibility of virtual intensive outpatient programs is enticing, it is important to determine if VIOP is the right fit for your situation. The following five questions can help to determine if a virtual intensive outpatient program would be beneficial. 


1. What Are My Unique Treatment Needs?

Addiction and recovery are both extremely personalized experiences. There is no one size fits all solution for addressing and treating substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders. The factors leading to substance use, medical history, trauma history, etc all require a tailored treatment plan. Having a firm understanding of the depth and complexity of your situation is fundamental to a successful outcome. If you’re not sure whether you can adequately gauge the severity of your substance use, consider speaking with a treatment professional to get an unbiased perspective. Virtual Intensive Outpatient programs generally work best for those that do not require medical intervention or detox, are stepping down from a higher level of care, or who don’t have a history of long-term substance use or previous treatment attempts. 


2. Can I Truly Commit to the Program?

While it is true that virtual intensive outpatient programs allow for treatment from the comfort of your home, do not mistake accessibility for lack of effort. VIOP’s demands a time commitment for long term recovery. It’s important to assess whether you have the time and are willing to put in the work each week for therapy sessions, group discussions, and self-guided learning modules necessary for success. If you are serious about getting better, be prepared to fully commit. 


3. Do I Have the Necessary Technology and Space?

The virtual nature of VIOP necessitates reliable technology and a conducive space for sessions. According to a Pew Research Center survey, three quarters of American households have internet service highlighting widespread accessibility of VIOP’s. However, ensuring a stable internet connection and a private space conducive to emotional exploration are vital components for effectively engaging in treatment. 


4. What Environment Best Supports My Healing?

Consider how your home environment impacts your mental and emotional state. A study published in BMC Psychiatry indicates that while some individuals find comfort and security in their home environment for therapy, others may struggle due to distractions or emotional associations. Reflect on whether your home environment enhances or hinders your therapeutic progress. Take time to consider if you’d be better off isolated from any temptation to use which a residential program could support. 


5. How Will VIOP Interact with My Support Network?

Assessing the impact on your existing support network is crucial. Research published by the American Psychiatric Association suggests that involving family and friends in virtual mental health programs can positively influence treatment outcomes. Conversations with your support network can help gauge how VIOP complements or conflicts with your ongoing support system.


Final Thoughts: A Personal Decision


Choosing VIOP involves introspection, consultations with professionals, and understanding statistical insights. Its flexibility and intensity may suit some individuals more than others. However, personalizing mental health care is about weighing these considerations against your unique circumstances and needs.

Whether you’re ready to start the VIOP journey or have questions about what to expect and if it’s right for you, call Sunflower Recovery today. Our experienced clinical staff can walk you through the VIOP process and help you make the most informed decision. 


What to Consider Before Beginning VIOP