Know What to Expect From Intensive Outpatient Treatment

What Is IOP?

IOP (an acronym for Intensive Outpatient Program) is a type of rehabilitation designed to treat substance abuse and mental health issues on a not-quite-full-time basis. Basically, IOP is a unique blend of inpatient and outpatient care.

Unlike with inpatient programs, you don’t have to live in a rehab center while undergoing IOP. You are able to go into the facility for blocks of time a few days a week, then you’re free to go home after sessions. However, you are required to spend more time in sessions than you would if you were to enroll in a full outpatient program.

Who Are Intensive Outpatient Programs For?

IOP is essentially for people who don’t require 24/7 medical supervision. For example, people who are learning to transition to the real world after going through inpatient treatment may use this type of treatment as a stepping stone to being on their own.

While some people who are battling addiction may require constant supervision, IOPs are designed for people who can handle a slightly less hands-on approach. It is designed for people with a substantial support system, mild or no corresponding mental health issues, and less severe cases of addiction.

What The Expect From the Program

So what actually happens once you enroll in an IOP? You’ll most likely go to a center on weekdays, either in the morning or evening. Most programs like this last about 90 days; individuals have about 9 hours of treatment each week, spread between 3-5 days.

Once you’re there, you’ll try a few different treatments to set you up for success. Your program may consist of:

  • Group meetings (a majority of sessions are in groups)
  • Individual therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Medication management
  • Career assistance
  • 12-Step program prep

And of course, each type of therapy and treatment is administered with a set of goals in mind.

The Goals of Intensive Outpatient Treatment

IOPs strive to accomplish several goals for each person in the program. In the program, each person will hopefully learn:

  1. Improved communication skills
  2. How to socialize without substances
  3. To support one another
  4. Structure & self-discipline
  5. Problem-solving skills
  6. How to maintain abstinence
  7. To change negative behaviors
  8. To take action for their sobriety

Each one of these skills are meant to be taken with you as you continue your recovery journey.

Maintaining Sobriety After IOP

IOPs want to help you ease into your next step. They’ll prepare you for 12-step programs, which you are encouraged to attend once you leave an intensive program.

It is also recommended to continue checking in, attending therapy weekly, and surrounding yourself with the support system you found during your experience.

Is Intensive Outpatient Treatment Right for You?

Ultimately, you’re the only one who can answer this question. If you think you could benefit from an intensive program that lets you stay at home, ask a doctor about what an IOP could do for you and your specific case.

If you’re looking to start your sobriety journey but don’t know where to begin, we’re here to help. Contact our skilled addiction and mental health professionals to learn more about our treatment and program options.