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:
- In the addiction treatment center’s sober living home
- With friends or family who are supportive of their treatment plan
- 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.
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: