What Is Intensive Outpatient Program?

intensive outpatient program

Justin Orden June 28, 2021

In Los Angeles, around 7% of adults over 26 have substance use disorder (SUD). Another 21% binge drink and another 26% use some type of illicit drug.

As you can see, substance abuse is a real problem. Chances are, either you or someone you love is struggling with drug addiction. So you might be researching rehabilitation options, such as intensive outpatient treatment.

Are you wondering what an intensive outpatient program is? Then read on to find that out. We’ll also show you the benefits you can get from this rehab program.

What Is Outpatient Treatment?

Before we talk about intensive outpatient treatment, let’s first discuss what outpatient treatment is.

You might’ve heard of outpatient treatment for hospital procedures. With rehab, it’s the same concept.

Instead of staying at the facility full-time as you would with inpatient treatment, you’ll go in on certain days. And on those days, you won’t stay for the entire day. Instead, you’ll spend about 5 hours receiving treatment. So while it’s still a decent amount of time spent at rehab, at least you won’t be spending all your time there.

No matter if you choose inpatient or outpatient treatment, you can expect to go through a wide variety of therapy. Most of it will be group therapy, but you’ll also have regular individual therapy.

Some rehab centers might even have alternative therapies, like yoga and music therapy. The idea is that you heal mind, body, and soul for the best chance at sobriety.

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

Now that you know what an outpatient program is, what is the intensive version of it? Well, you’d typically enroll in an intensive outpatient program (IOP) after you’ve gone through a partial hospitalization program (PHP) first.

This is where you go to rehab 5 days a week for 5 hours a day. For 4 days, you go to group therapy and for 1 day, you go to individual therapy. You might also need to meet with the medical director every week if you need to take medications during this time.

Once you’re through with PHP, you’ll go to IOP, which is the middle-tier intensive treatment program. Of course, you can always choose to enroll in IOP first if you wish.

In IOP, the time spent in rehab is reduced. You’ll only go for 3 to 5 days per week on the advice of the clinical team looking after you. You’ll also only go for 3 hours a day.

Your time will be divided between 2 group therapy sessions and 1 individual one a week.

What Are the Benefits of IOP?

The first thing you should know is that studies have proven that IOP is just as effective as inpatient rehab for most people. So if you’re worried that you’re compromising on quality by choosing an intensive outpatient program, we hope this has quelled that anxiety.

Another benefit of enrolling in an IOP is you probably won’t have to take time off of work, or at least not completely. When you go to inpatient rehab, you’ll have to basically live at the treatment facility, so you’ll need to get time off. Not only is this a huge inconvenience, but you’ll lose a good portion of your income.

Outpatient rehab is also typically cheaper than inpatient because you don’t have to pay for the use of a room and amenities, nor do you have to eat all your meals at the center.

If you’re the main caretaker of your family, you won’t have to arrange for others to take over your duties either. And if you’re taking classes at a college, you’ll probably be able to continue going to classes and doing your coursework.

What to Do After IOP

We explained earlier that you can choose to go to PHP first before IOP. Either way, what happens next after you’re done with IOP?

A good next step is to go to true outpatient rehab. This is actually a good last step before “graduating” from rehabilitation.

Here, you’ll go to 3 group therapy sessions and 1 individual therapy session. You’ll also meet with your case manager to discuss your discharge plan and the medical director to talk about medication management after you leave. During the outpatient program, you’ll be expected to work too, as this will help you transition back to your normal life.

If you still don’t feel quite ready to get back into normal life, then you might want to consider a sober living home. This is where you live with others in recovery so you can support one another.

You’ll live in nice accommodations and there will be less structure so you can learn to manage recovery on a more independent level. However, you won’t feel like you’ve been thrown completely off the deep end either. Once you feel comfortable enough, you can leave the sober living home and go back to living at your real home.

Explore Your Treatment Options Today

As you can see, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) can be a great way for you to tackle severe addiction. You’ll be able to address your addiction, learn to handle triggers, and have a better chance at staying sober after you get out of rehab.

And the best thing is, you won’t have to take much time off of work or arrange for alternatives for things like childcare or university work. You’ll be able to mostly continue on with everyday life while you get effective treatment for your substance abuse issues.

Are you thinking about getting help with addiction? Then contact us now. We’ll help you on the road to recovery so you can lead a happy and healthy life.

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