Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

An intensive outpatient program is a form of addiction treatment that allows individuals to continue their day-to-day routine and responsibilities. These programs are best for people with less severe substance use disorders. There are several factors to consider when deciding if an intensive outpatient program is right for you.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Choosing to pursue addiction treatment is one of the most important decisions a person can make. However, making that choice is only the first step on the road to recovery. There are several more factors that will need to be considered, including what type of treatment is most appropriate.

One of the most common types of addiction treatment is intensive outpatient programs (IOP). This type of treatment can be used as an aftercare program once a person has completed an inpatient program. IOP is also a viable option for individuals with a less severe substance use disorder or who cannot otherwise attend an inpatient program.

In addition to substance use disorders, IOP can also be used to help overcome mental health disorders, eating disorders, and other dependencies. IOP isn’t for everyone, so discussing this option with a doctor is best before making the decision to participate in an outpatient program.

What Is An Intensive Outpatient Program?

Intensive outpatient programs are treatment programs for individuals who do not require 24/7 support. IOP is most commonly used to treat conditions like addiction, depression, and other mental health disorders.

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Unlike inpatient treatment, IOP does not require patients to reside at the rehab facility. This allows individuals to continue with their daily responsibilities while simultaneously receiving treatment.

An intensive outpatient program typically requires people to attend the program several days a week for a few hours each day. Each program will vary; however, many IOPs offer evening hours to accommodate people going to work or school.

IOPs may be used as a primary source of treatment or as a stepping stone back into the community once a person has completed an inpatient program. The main function of an IOP is to provide individuals with coping mechanisms as well as relapse prevention strategies.

Who Should Choose Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

An intensive outpatient program is a great option for a number of individuals. While inpatient treatment is often considered one of the most successful approaches to recovery, this is not a viable solution for everyone. Many people have families as well as other responsibilities like work or school that prevent them from participating in an inpatient program.

However, IOP is not recommended for everyone. Individuals who choose to attend an intensive outpatient program should have a supportive and reliable home life. Their home environment should also be drug- and alcohol-free to avoid the potential temptation to relapse. If a person does not have a stable and supportive home environment, residential treatment may be recommended.

Additionally, IOP is typically not best for individuals with severe substance use disorders or co-occurring disorders. These cases will usually require a more intensive approach to treatment such as a residential program that offers round-the-clock supervision.

People who choose to participate in IOP should:

  • have already completed a residential or partial hospitalization program
  • be committed to their recovery from drug or alcohol addiction
  • have a home or community support system
  • have a basic level of coping skills

If you are unsure whether intensive outpatient treatment is best for you, a doctor or addiction specialist can help you make the decision.

What To Expect During Intensive Outpatient Treatment

The specifics of an intensive outpatient program will vary from facility to facility. However, many programs consist of 10 to 12 hours a week of various forms of therapy. These therapies often include group and individual therapy as well as other types of counseling.

Therapy sessions occur onsite at the treatment facility. Patients typically attend these sessions three to four times a week for several hours each day. Some programs may offer online options for those who are unable to attend in-person sessions. However, online IOP is a recent development and not typically offered in most places.

In addition to therapy, most IOPs also encourage participation in 12-step programs or other support groups. Some programs host 12-step meetings onsite, while others require patients to attend outside groups.

Types Of Therapies Offered In An Intensive Outpatient Program

Most IOPs offer a number of different types of therapy. While each facility will vary in the therapies offered, the most common are group and individual therapy.

Types of therapies often provided during an intensive inpatient program include:

  • Group Therapy — Group therapy is often the cornerstone of many IOPs. There are several different types of group therapy, including relapse prevention, family, and skill-development group therapy.
  • Individual Therapy — This form of therapy is when a patient meets one-on-one with a counselor. Individual therapy gives patients the chance to explore individual factors that may contribute to addiction and discuss personal matters that they may not feel comfortable talking about in group settings.
  • Alternative Therapy — In addition to group and individual therapy, many facilities offer complementary therapies as well. These may include outdoor therapy, animal therapy, art therapy, and music therapy.

Some intensive outpatient programs provide customized treatment plans that are catered to each patient’s needs. The types of therapies offered will depend on the facility.

Is An Intensive Outpatient Program At Addiction Campuses Right For Me?

Many people find great success by attending an intensive outpatient program. Intensive outpatient treatment for substance abuse offers many benefits and allows individuals to receive quality treatment without having to up-end their lives. However, before deciding on an IOP, it’s best to consider the pros and cons and ensure that you have the support needed to successfully complete outpatient treatment.

To learn more about intensive outpatient treatment and to determine if IOP is the best option for you, contact an Addiction Campuses treatment specialist today.

Psychiatric Times — Smart IOP - https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/intensive-outpatient-program

Psychiatric Services - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4152944/

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64094/

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