Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

Intensive Outpatient Programs, or IOPs, allow participants to focus on their substance abuse recovery journey and fulfill their outside obligations simultaneously. Keep reading to learn more about the potential benefits of enrolling in an intensive outpatient program for addiction.


What Is An IOP?

This psychological treatment program is very structured and detailed to help individuals overcome alcohol and drug addiction, eating disorders, or other dependencies. An Intensive Outpatient Program involves different types of therapy and counseling with sessions that are spread throughout several days of the week.

Group therapy, for example, plays a large role in Intensive Outpatient Programs. In group sessions, participants will have the chance to discuss and learn about topics like post-acute withdrawal syndrome, how to manage cravings, relapse prevention techniques, drug and alcohol education, dual diagnoses, and 12-step programs with other individuals who are going through or have been through the addiction recovery process. Those enrolled in an IOP are also expected to attend individual therapy once a week for private conversations with a mental health professional. Family members are welcome to attend both group counseling meetings and individual therapy sessions at the participant’s discretion. An Intensive Outpatient Program may also explore treatment options like medication management, yoga, art therapy, and more.

It is considered “intensive” because of the amount of hours that participants need to invest in treatment. In most cases, adults enrolled in an IOP should attend at least nine hours of therapy per week. After therapy, they are able to go home and continue with their daily routines.


The Pros Of Enrolling In An IOP

Intensive Outpatient Programs are tailored to give individuals the tools they need to hop back into their daily routines after completing treatment. They allow patients to prioritize their recovery and manage their commitments with family, work, or school at the same time. Programs are flexible and individualized to fit the needs of every participant. Therapy usually takes place at the same time every week, which gives those enrolled the chance to fulfill other obligations.

IOPs also require more attendance in the beginning of the program than the end. This format offers more supervision during the early stages of the recovery process and helps ease patients back into their routines at home. It also offers participants the opportunity to stay busy and socialize with others who are newly sober. The small groups (no more than ten people) allow for intimate conversation between people who have been through similar experiences.


Who Intensive Outpatient Programs Can Help

These programs are primarily designed for people who have maintained family responsibilities and careers throughout their addiction. They are ideal for individuals who don’t require around-the-clock medical supervision and who want to strengthen their self-managed sobriety.

IOPs will only be beneficial if the participant is motivated to work on their recovery. They are very helpful for some, but these programs aren’t meant for everyone. People who pose a danger to themselves or others should enroll in an inpatient or residential program as opposed to an Intensive Outpatient Program. An IOP might also not be the right fit for people with certain mental health conditions and specific pre-existing substance abuse issues. If you think this type of program might help you or your loved one see success in recovery, contact a substance abuse treatment specialist to see if an IOP is the right fit.


Continuing Recovery After Your IOP

Those who complete an Intensive Outpatient Program will still have access to recovery resources after their time in the program is complete. They are encouraged to continue attending therapy and support meetings in the interest of continuing their recovery.

Many rehabilitation centers and treatment facilities offer IOPs for individuals struggling with substance abuse disorders. To find the best program for you, develop a list of criteria and search facilities in your area. Contact those that meet your criteria to discuss your options.

At our sister program, Steps to Recovery, we offer Intensive Outpatient Programs for residents of Philadelphia, Bucks County, Montgomery County, and surrounding areas. For more information about our IOPs, contact our team of substance abuse treatment representatives by calling us at 866-345-2147.