When it comes to substance abuse treatment, there are many options out there designed to tailor to individuals and their lifestyles. Some programs, known as inpatient programs, require patients to live in a rehabilitation facility and receive 24/7 care. Others, known as outpatient programs, allow participants to continue their daily routines while attending a few meetings per week. IOPs, or intensive outpatient programs, fall in the middle of inpatient and outpatient care.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance abuse disorder, it is always a good idea to look into treatment options and consider enrolling yourself or a loved one in a program. But how do you know which type of treatment is best for you or someone you care about? Could intensive outpatient care be the best option? Keep reading to learn more about IOPs and to see if they are the right choice for you or a family member with a substance abuse disorder.


What Is An IOP?

Intensive outpatient programs, which are better known as IOPs, serve as an alternative way for people with alcoholism or substance abuse issues to receive high-quality addiction treatment. In some cases, IOPs can also be used to help individuals battling depression, eating disorders, and other types of dependencies that do not require intensive detox treatment.

Most intensive outpatient programs last for about 90 days, but the duration will solely depend on the patient and their needs. The length of the program will be made clear when a person enrolls. Patients will receive treatment for anywhere from 6 hours to 30 hours per week, spread out between 3 to 5 days.


Why People Choose Intensive Outpatient Programs

IOPs are designed to accommodate individuals with obligations and commitments outside of the treatment center. Individuals who are enrolled in an intensive outpatient program will live at home while attending meetings and sessions at a rehab facility. This way, they can get the help they need and still manage their careers, families, and/or education.


What It’s Like: The Average Day In An IOP

Intensive outpatient programs consist of many different types of therapy to help individuals understand their addictions and develop healthier habits. Group therapy, for instance, is a big part of IOPs. Group meetings, which are usually kept at a maximum of 10 people, explore topics that are very vital during the recovery process. These topics may include drug and alcohol education, relapse prevention tools, management of cravings and urges, 12-step structures, family issues, socialization in sobriety, and more.

In addition to group meetings, IOPs will usually encourage patients to explore new therapy options like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the Matrix Model, and motivational interviewing. Participants will also attend weekly sessions with their personal therapist. Most of the time, the intensity of these programs decrease over time. Patients will have to show more commitment at the beginning of the process so they can fully immerse themselves in recovery.


Should You Enroll In An Intensive Outpatient Program?

Intensive outpatient programs, while extremely helpful, are only designed for individuals with specific living situations and everyday commitments. An IOP may be the best option for you if… 

  • You need help but don’t want to leave your life behind
  • You still need support from your outside support network
  • You don’t require around-the-clock care from residential treatment
  • You live in a positive and drug-free home environment
  • You have a job/career or are pursuing an education

If you have a co-occurring disorder, such as depression and substance abuse, you should talk to your doctor about your conditions before deciding to enroll in an IOP. If you struggle with a co-occurring disorder that requires more medical attention and support, an inpatient program might be the better option for you.


IOP At Steps to Recovery

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism or a substance abuse disorder, contact our team at Steps to Recovery to begin the treatment process. We will work with you to help you choose the best path for you and enroll you in a program that suits your needs. You may need to complete a medical assessment to determine what type of treatment is right for you.

Intensive outpatient programs are affordable, accessible, and may be covered by your insurance. They will not only help you develop positive coping strategies, but these programs will offer recovery support long after the 90 days are over.

To learn more about intensive outpatient programs or to get more information about the different types of substance abuse treatment, contact our team of rehabilitation specialists and medical professionals at Steps to Recovery. Give us a call at 866-488-8349 or visit here today.