What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?
If you’ve been exploring different options for addiction treatment, you’ve likely come across intensive outpatient programs in your research, or IOPs. During this type of addiction treatment, clients participate in therapy and recovery programs while re-integrating into their communities by living at home or in a sober living house and returning to work or school.
IOPs are designed to build upon the progress made in primary residential treatment, including strengthening relapse prevention strategies and exploring the factors that contributed to substance abuse.
An IOP is less intensive than traditional residential treatment, so it’s not an appropriate first line of treatment for those who are early in recovery. But for people who have made progress in primary treatment and are demonstrating the accountability and motivation necessary to manage stress, triggers and succeed, an intensive outpatient program is a great next step.
Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs
Flexibility is the most significant benefit of an intensive outpatient program. You can stay engaged in recovery by working therapy sessions and meetings into your existing schedule, while returning to work or school and spending time with friends and family.
Given the inherent flexibility of an IOP, it usually isn’t the first line of treatment. It’s an ideal option if you’re transitioning out of residential treatment or have a family, career, extensive support system or sober living arrangements.
IOPs offer the opportunity to put your coping skills into practice in the “real world,” and it also gives family the chance to participate in counseling and educational sessions with you.
IOP treatment plans are tailored to meet the needs of each individual client and typically include some combination of individual counseling, group therapy and educational sessions that address co-occurring mental health disorders. These sessions are held during the daytime or evening approximately three to four times a week.
Common IOP services include:
- Individual therapy.
- Group therapy.
- 12-step meetings.
- Family therapy and education.
- Case management.
- Life skills training.
- Medication management.
Is an IOP Right for Me?
An intensive outpatient program is such a beneficial way to stay engaged in treatment while honing your recovery skills, but it’s important to make sure it’s the right type of program for you. It’s most effective if you meet certain criteria:
- You are transitioning out of a residential treatment program.
- You continually demonstrate the motivation to progress in recovery.
- You have safe, sober living arrangements.
- You have a strong, supportive network of friends and family.
- You have certain job-related or family obligations that make it difficult to be away from home for an extended period of time.
Recovery is a lifelong journey that requires you to stay active and engaged in sobriety, and an intensive outpatient program can help you do just that. It combines the structure and support of a residential treatment program with the flexibility and freedom of living at home in your community. For more information about how our IOP services can help you transition into the next phase of your recovery, contact a Guardian IOP Recovery Specialist at (561) 274-6133.