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10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About IOPs in Los Angeles

You may know that the COVID-19 pandemic increased rates of mental health disorders. But did you know that it also exacerbated addiction disorders? The American Psychological Association reports that opiate and stimulant addictions have been up since the pandemic’s start. If you’re struggling with an addiction disorder, don’t lose hope. Intensive outpatient programs or IOPs in Los Angeles are here for you.

IOPs offer the treatment tools and emotional support of a rehab program. Plus, you’ll get the added flexibility of maintaining your day-to-day life. 

Yet, not all IOPs are the same. That’s why we want to provide you with the tools to vet out prospective programs before you enroll. Keep reading for the top 10 questions to ask an IOP to find out if it’s right for your unique needs.

1. What Exactly Is an IOP?

When you were a child, you may have attended two different summer camp formats.

Day camps allowed campers to attend activities during daylight hours. After activities are finished, campers return to their own homes. 

Meanwhile, sleepaway camps allow campers to remain on the campsite after activities and provide lodging for campers to sleep on site. You can think of IOPs vs. traditional rehab programs in the same way.

With inpatient rehab programs, you must attend daily activities and sleep at the program center. IOPs, on the other hand, allow you to return home once treatment is over. 

But aside from this big difference, IOPs and inpatient rehab programs are virtually the same. 

2. Which Services Do IOPs Provide?

As we mentioned above, Los Angeles outpatient drug rehab generally offers the same services as traditional rehab programs. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration requires all IOPs to offer a standard set of services. These services include:

  • Group and individual counseling
  • Psychoeducation programs
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Alcohol and drug use monitoring
  • Coping skills guidance
  • Case management
  • 24-hour crisis services
  • Community support groups
  • Medical treatments
  • Psychiatric exams
  • Vocational training and services
  • Recreational activities

These activities are critical for addiction recovery. They’ll teach you how to communicate your feelings and, when those feelings get to be too much, you’ll learn how to alleviate them in non-destructive ways. 

In an IOP, you’ll also learn about the triggers that lead to drug or alcohol seeking. You’ll discover how to deal with cravings in healthy ways. 

Best of all, IOP standard services can help you recover your relationships with friends and family. And the unique format IOPs offer enables this skill better than can an inpatient rehab program.

3. How Are IOPs Structured?

In general, an IOP will require you to attend sessions for 9 to 20 hours every week. 

During the first few sessions, your rehab coordinator will help you develop a treatment plan. You’ll also learn the rules you’ll have to abide by to stay enrolled in the program. 

For example, your IOP may require daily drug tests to ensure you aren’t abusing alcohol or drugs. Another common requirement with IOPs is that you must attend all sessions to complete the program. 

The good news is that, once you’re finished with your daily sessions, you can return to your normal life. This feature is absolutely critical to IOPs. Studies show that families and loved ones play a significant role in addiction recovery.  

4. Who Can Benefit from an IOP?

IOPs are best for people suffering from an addiction that isn’t significant enough to warrant inpatient treatment but is more severe than a standard outpatient program can handle. This includes individuals with:

  • Mild to moderate addiction disorders
  • Little to no risk of withdrawal symptoms requiring medical attention
  • Drive to attend all program sessions

Other factors that make you ideal for an IOP are strong support from family or friends and reliable transportation to and from your program’s location. 

You won’t have 24-hour supervision during outpatient rehab in Los Angeles. So, if you have a severe addiction, a history of relapse, or a risk of medically complicated withdrawal, an IOP may not be right for you. 

An inpatient program is also a better choice if you’ve dropped out of a rehab program before. 

Finally, know that most outpatient programs don’t offer detox services. If you need help recovering from a current addiction, inpatient therapy is best for you. You can enter an IOP after graduating from your inpatient program. 

5. How Long Do IOPs Last?

Another big difference between IOPs and inpatient rehab care is that the former tends to last longer. On average, IOPs last from one to four months. Meanwhile, the average inpatient rehab stay is only 12.4 days

You may be wondering: does longer program length mean more effective treatment? Not necessarily.

Outpatient programs offer similar results as inpatient rehab. Though they last longer, IOP treatment sessions are only a few hours long. Compare that to the 24/7 care patients receive in inpatient programs.

Here’s another good thing about the less-condensed format of IOPs: you’ll save money. 

6. What Is the Relapse Rate for IOPs?

We know that IOPs are equally as effective as inpatient programs due to research on relapse rates.

Studies show that people with alcohol addictions who attend outpatient programs see relapse rates of around 30%–40%. For reference, the general relapse rate for addictions is 40%–60%.

Another research report looked at inpatient vs. outpatient program relapse rates. Inpatient programs studied produced a 67% abstinence rate. At the same time, outpatient programs studied saw a 75% abstinence rate.

But don’t let this study fool you into thinking IOPs are somehow more effective than traditional rehab.

Research into alcohol addiction recovery rates found that 29% of addicts studied remained abstinent after outpatient treatment. The abstinence rate for inpatient therapy was larger at 52%. 

7. What Are the Downsides to IOPs?

We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of IOPs here. So, it’s only fair we mention some potential drawbacks to these programs.

Firstly, in an IOP, your recovery will take place mostly at home. This can be challenging if people in your home use drugs or alcohol. An inpatient program can offer a safe space that will eliminate triggers and temptations.

Many people with addiction disorders report stress as their number one trigger. Because you spend most of your time living life as normal, IOPs don’t cut out daily distractions in the same way a residential program can.

Finally, IOPs do not provide 24/7 medical attention. If you require detoxing or expect to experience significant withdrawal symptoms, consider a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) or a traditional inpatient rehab setting. 

8. Does Insurance Cover IOPs?

As we’ve mentioned, outpatient programs tend to be a fraction of the cost of inpatient programs.

You won’t pay for lodging, meals, or 24-hour medical supervision. You only pay for the treatments and services you receive, plus, travel costs, which we’ll discuss next.

The average IOP costs $250–$350 per day. Compare that to the $500–$650 per day cost of inpatient rehab programs. 

Another way to cut costs on Los Angeles outpatient treatment is to contact your health insurance company and find out if they cover the cost. Many payers provide coverage for in-network rehab facilities and programs. 

9. Will I Need to Travel to My IOP?

One of the biggest costs you’ll incur from an IOP is travel. You need reliable transportation to and from your program. If you don’t attend every session, you could risk getting kicked out and losing even more money.

This is why it’s important to consider how far you’ll have to drive to your IOP. Luckily, our intensive outpatient program in LA is conveniently located. You won’t have to pay an arm and a leg just to get treatment each week.

10. What Comes After Outpatient Treatment?

Outpatient treatment can be a great start to your journey toward recovery. IOPs are also an excellent way to stay on track after graduating from a traditional residential rehab. 

But don’t feel like outpatient treatment is the end of the road. Your program will provide you with an aftercare plan once your treatment is complete. This plan will provide you with resources, including 12-step programs.

Eventually, you may feel empowered to help others recover from addiction disorders. Many recovering addicts find that becoming a sponsor to other addicts is one of the most significant steps in their journey to recovery. 

Are You Searching for IOPs in Los Angeles?

IOPs in Los Angeles are excellent alternatives to inpatient drug rehab. They allow you to balance your normal life with treatment. And studies show that outpatient treatment is equally as effective as residential programs. 

Do you think an intensive outpatient program is right for you? Learn more about our IOP services and call 833-LA-REHAB today to start the program.