Intensive outpatient treatment program helps Soldiers with behavioral health, addiction
October 10, 2011
- The Intensive Outpatient Program Day Treatment facility is the first of its kind within the continental U.S.
- It treats active-duty military who are struggling simultaneously with post traumatic stress, anxiety, depression disorders and alcohol or substance abuse problems.
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FORT HOOD, Texas, Oct. 10, 2011 -- Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center officially opened its Intensive Outpatient Program Day Treatment Center for active duty Soldiers at Fort Hood with a ribbon cutting ceremony Sept. 30.
The Intensive Outpatient Program, or IOP, the first of its kind sponsored by the Army Medical Command within the continental U.S., is an intensive outpatient treatment program for active-duty military with post traumatic stress, anxiety, depression and alcohol or substance abuse problems. The program enhances Soldiers' recovery and resiliency through both evidence-based traditional treatment methods and complementary alternative medicine treatment methods.
"As we officially open what has already proven to be a vital addition to Fort Hood's treatment capabilities, the IOP clinic demonstrates the Army's and Fort Hood's commitment to our Soldiers that they deserve the best health care the Army has to offer," said Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell, Jr., III Corps and Fort Hood commanding general, guest speaker for the ceremony.
As Soldiers deal with tremendously stressful situations everyday in combat and in garrison, the general said that programs like this and others at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, or CRDAMC, demonstrate the Army's commitment to help Soldiers fight within themselves to cope with addictions and behavioral health concerns.
"I classify this program as a win-win, where Soldiers learn alternative coping methods, allowing them to return to duty or transition to civilian life," he added.
Col. Patrick Sargent, CRDAMC commander, also told the audience how excited he is that there's been such a "successful return on investment through numerous rehabilitation successes and superior satisfaction ratings" since the clinic opened.
"At CRDAMC, we are committed to achieving the spirit and intent of the Army Medical Healthcare Covenant and are honored and privileged to help Warriors struggling with behavioral health and substance abuse issues," he said. "With the spirit of innovation and teamwork that is the philosophy of CRDAMC, the IOP staff demonstrates their compassion and devotion to serving Soldiers, and the vision of making a difference in the lives of those in crisis."
Since it opened in February 2011, the program has graduated 102 Soldiers out of 121 enrollments. The four week program accepts 18-21 patients per session, providing 120 hours of direct patient care.
Before the IOP, Soldiers struggling with substance abuse problems attended the post's Army Substance Abuse Program or perhaps a residential treatment program. Soldiers who suffered from both behavioral health concerns and substance abuse received additional treatment from separate providers at different clinics. The IOP offers treatment for both in one location.
"We have therapists who are credentialed for both substance abuse treatment and behavioral health treatment. The IOP approach to care offers Soldiers a unique experience because the program allows them to receive intensive inpatient therapy without actually being admitted to a treatment facility. Soldiers in the IOP return to their residence in the evening," said Dr. Cornelia Jones, chief of the IOP, whose treatment approach was implemented in the program.
Soldiers must first enroll in the ASAP to be referred to the IOP. Treatment is individualized to the patient and may include intensive group treatment, individual therapy, grief treatment (as needed), sleep hygiene, relationships training, addiction processes, anger management, relapse prevention, a 12-step support groups, and psycho-education.
The program uses a multidisciplinary team approach to care, using both traditional treatment methods and complementary alternative medicine treatment methods such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming, or EMDR, and Acupuncture Detoxification, or Acudetox.
The clinical team is comprised of a clinical director (psychologist), a clinical consultant (psychiatrist), and other clinical staff to include additional psychologists, social workers, and licensed counselors.
"We work as a team to provide the optimal care to the patient," Jones added. "We know our treatments help, as our post-testing data shows that patients who completed the program show significant improvement with anxiety and depression."
Patients' successes are also dependent on how much they put into their treatment plan, added Jones. Patients must verbalize their willingness to attend the IOP, and "one who is motivated and dedicated to changing his/her lifestyle, can only get better."
One Soldier currently enrolled in the IOP's ninth class, came to the opening to share his story, hoping to encourage others to reach out for help.
He is outwardly optimistic about how the program will help him, adding that the treatment is helping him look at the causes of his negative behavior and helping him cope with those stressors.
"It's the only place I've been to that doesn't apply pressure or pass bad judgment. The support I've received has been more than I expected," he confided. "I know I'm going to come out of this a much better person."
The IOP clinic is housed in two 3,000 sq. ft. buildings adjacent to the CRDAMC Resilience and Restoration Center behind the main hospital.