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An intensive outpatient program or IOP is another approach to treating alcohol and drug abuse disorders. At Cardinal Recovery, our intensive outpatient program facilitates the transition from acute addiction treatment to outpatient addiction care. With the ability to provide intensive treatment while also giving the patient independence, IOP at Cardinal Recovery is an excellent treatment choice.

An IOP may involve up to nine hours of treatment over three to five days each week. Group and individual therapy sessions last from one to two hours. This varies on a case by case basis, as it is imperative for every patient to be given a customized treatment plan.

The intensive outpatient program option best fits eating disorders, process addictions, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse disorders that do not require detox or around-the-clock supervision.

What is IOP?

Intensive outpatient programs are drug and alcohol addiction treatment options for addicts who have finished inpatient rehab and are transitioning to outpatient care. Additionally, IOP sets patients up to succeed in their work or school life, as the IOP daily routine is structured to incorporate time for these things. With physicians, therapists, and addiction specialists on staff, IOP patients have access to the resources and tools necessary to maintain a sober lifestyle.

Intensive outpatient programs require patients to commit to nine to 20 hours of care per week. Addicts who enter IOP typically have a number of living options:

  1. In the addiction treatment center’s sober living home
  2. With friends or family who are supportive of their treatment plan
  3. Alone, as long a strong support system is available

IOP strikes a unique balance between structure and autonomy. While patients may live outside of the treatment facility, they are required to attend intensive therapy sessions. On the other hand, while patients must be committed to the required hours of care, they are also able to maintain their work or school schedules as well as attend to family needs.

It is important to note that IOP is considered a “step down” addiction treatment program. This is an excellent alternative for an addict looking for treatment that is less intense than a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or inpatient rehab.

The Intensive Outpatient Program Process

Addicts who follow the continuum of care via their comprehensive addiction healing program will typically move through the levels of care in a similar manner. Following alcohol detox or drug detox, patients will enter either a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or an inpatient residential rehab center. Once they have completed this part of treatment, they may opt to enter into an intensive outpatient program.

Since most IOP patients have already progressed through rigorous drug and alcohol addiction treatment, they have developed the recovery tools necessary to function in their daily life. This may mean attending classes in school or getting back to a career by attending work every day. Patients in IOP will be able to begin to focus on what their life will look like long-term, applying recovery skills and daily living simultaneously.

In some cases, an addict may enter into IOP without having completed PHP or inpatient residential rehab. More often than not, these patients have a less severe addiction and must attend to work or school needs continuously.

IOP Services

While every intensive outpatient program varies, there are a few core services and amenities that addicts should look out for. Choosing the right IOP for you means researching and ensuring that the facility can offer addiction treatment services that meet your needs. The following are some of the most common IOP services:

  • Individual and group counseling
  • Behavioral therapies
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Medication management
  • Co-occurring disorders treatment
  • Drug and alcohol levels monitoring
  • Educational opportunities
  • 24-hour care for crisis management
  • Nutritional services
  • Vocational training
  • Fitness programs

Entering IOP allows for a seamless transition in the continuum of care. Intensive outpatient programs are meant for those addicts who are committed to recovery and creating a healthy, sober lifestyle.

Benefits of IOP

Intensive outpatient programs are not for everyone. However, a number of research studies have confirmed the effectiveness of IOP. Some of the most benefits of intensive outpatient programs include:

  • Specialized Recovery Treatment: structured recovery treatment paired with patient independence makes IOP a balanced method of addiction care
  • Medical Services: patients are able to rely on the expertise of addition professionals like physicians and nurses for medication management and ongoing health evaluation
  • Mental Health Services: known for focusing on co-occurring disorders, mental health specialists in IOP play an instrumental role in the recovery process
  • Individual Growth Opportunity: with an emphasis on education and self-healing, IOP creates an environment where patients grow tremendously

IOP is an effective option for those addicts who are willing to put in the work and participate in treatment. With a solid support network and a commitment to sobriety, addicts have found great success in IOP.

Do you have questions about IOP at Cardinal Recovery? We are here for you and we are here to help.