Intensive Outpatient Treatment, more commonly referred to as IOP, is an intensive and flexible treatment option for substance use disorders and co-occurring issues that is provided on an outpatient basis, meaning clients return home once treatment concludes. The majority of IOP programs combine relapse prevention training, individual, group, and family therapy sessions, educational assistance, vocational training, the development of healthy coping mechanisms, and a thorough introduction to peer support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. IOP programs can be utilized as a standalone treatment option for those who are struggling with a mild or moderate substance use disorder and no co-occurring or underlying issues. They can also serve as a step-down level of care for those who have already completed inpatient treatment and are looking to take the next step on their recovery journeys.

Finding the right treatment program for you or for a loved one can be tricky when you aren’t sure what to look for. In order to better understand your needs in the context of addiction treatment, it is a good idea to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced advisor — someone who has already helped hundreds of people through the process. To learn more or for more information on receiving customized assistance, contact us today.

What is Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

Intensive Outpatient Treatment is a comprehensive treatment option for those suffering from drug or alcohol addiction and a co-occurring issue, ranging from mental illnesses like anxiety or depression to unresolved trauma or process/behavioral addictions. IOP provides a lower level of care than residential rehab in that clients can return home in the evenings, and often have Saturday and Sunday to themselves. The flexibility of IOP allows clients to continue or begin working, beginning their journeys of financial stability and independence. If a person cares for dependents they will be able to attend to associated responsibilities, and if a person decides to continue with their education, they have the freedom to do so. IOP programs focus on providing clients with the tools and skills they need to thrive in their day-to-day lives.

The duration of IOP depends on the program itself as well as your unique, clinical needs. Some people benefit from a 6 month stay in IOP while others benefit just as much from 3 months of treatment. In most cases, IOP programs last for between 3 and 9 months. However, they can last for up to one full year. The majority of IOP programs meet between 3 and 5 days a week. The number of days you are engaged in treatment is likely to decrease as you progress through the program. For example, you might start off with 5 days of treatment every week, meeting for 6 hours every day. In 3 months you might decrease your days to 3 per week, meeting for 4 hours each day. The idea is to slowly transition you back into fully independent living as you learn how to succeed in life without the use of drugs and alcohol.

Is Intensive Outpatient Addiction Treatment Right for Me?

IOP is an ideal treatment option for those who:

  1. Have recently completed medical detox and inpatient rehab and are looking for a step-down level of continuing care.
  2. Are struggling with a mild or moderate substance use disorder and no co-occurring mental illnesses or underlying issues.
  3. Have maintained a significant period of sobriety in the past, and have recently returned to drinking or drug use (experienced a relapse).
  4. Have personal responsibilities and obligations they cannot step away from for weeks at a time, like caretaking for one or more dependents, continuing their education, or working full or part-time.

If you are unsure as to whether or not IOP is right for you, we recommend reaching out to us directly for more information.

Finding the Best IOP Program

How do you go about finding the best IOP program in your area? Finding reputable and effective treatment options near you is simplified significantly if you know what to look for. When looking for the best IOP program near you, we recommend asking yourself the following questions:

  • Would I benefit more from a higher level of care than IOP provides? (This might be the case if your substance use disorder is moderate or severe, if you suffer from underlying issues, and if you have never received treatment in the past.)
  • Is the IOP program licensed and accredited, and is it facilitated by a team of licensed and experienced professionals? (In most cases, IOP teams are composed of a combination of licensed therapists, clinicians, case managers, and behavioral technicians.)
  • Does the IOP combine therapeutic services with a holistic approach to addiction recovery, an introduction to 12 Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, and the development of relapse prevention skills and coping mechanisms?
  • Does the IOP program cater to a specific demographic, like working professionals or members of the LGBTQ+ community?
  • If I suffer from an underlying mental health concern, will I have access to the dual diagnosis resources I need to make a comprehensive recovery?

Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Treatment

There are numerous benefits that go hand-in-hand with attending an IOP program. These benefits include:

  • Flexibility and freedom that you would not find in an inpatient treatment program.
  • The ability to keep up with personal responsibilities and important, pre-existing obligations like work or school.
  • Access to the same treatment modalities you would find in an inpatient treatment program, including a range of evidence-based behavioral therapies.
  • The ability to practice the coping skills you are learning in your day-to-day life.
  • A built-in level of peer support and encouragement.

Finding the best treatment option for you is often as simple as reaching out for help. As soon as you make the decision to reclaim your life and take the initial steps towards recovery, we will be there to help guide you through the process. The moment you contact us you will be connected with an experienced advisor who will help you determine whether or not intensive outpatient addiction treatment is right for you. We will help you find an IOP program in your area; if you are looking for an out-of-state treatment option, we will help you locate one and help you arrange travel plans. Our main priority is helping those in need of treatment receive the assistance they require to begin healing. We understand that with so many options to choose from, narrowing down your search can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, you don’t need to do it on your own. Contact us today and we will help get you started on your personal journey of addiction recovery.