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Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) for Addiction Treatment

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a type of treatment program for individuals struggling with addiction. An IOP can provide the support you need while allowing you to live at home and maintain your daily routine.
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What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a form of substance misuse rehab where patients attend treatment several days a week for a few hours at a time. An IOP is more structured and time-intensive than many standard outpatient programs. However, unlike an inpatient level of care, it does not require participants to live at the facility.

An IOP typically meets during the week and programs primarily consist of group therapy, though they may offer other services such as individual counseling and employment assistance. Most programs last about 90 days and include drug testing.

Is an Intensive Outpatient Program Right for Me?

In some cases, people may transition or step down to an intensive outpatient program after completion of an inpatient or residential level of care. That way, they can ease back into their normal routine while still receiving care and building on the skills they need to remain sober.2

On the other hand, some people may move up to a more intensive outpatient program if standard outpatient interventions are inadequate in promoting their recovery. For example, they may need to increase the number of groups they attend in the program each week.2

IOPs provide individuals with the opportunity to continue working or going to school while they are in treatment for their substance use. They often provide a more flexible treatment schedule so that people can continue to maintain their responsibilities while in treatment. Outpatient treatment programs are often the best fit for those who have a strong support system in place.

What Happens in an Intensive Outpatient Program?

Group therapy is the main component of many intensive outpatient programs. Groups allow IOP participants to improve their communication, learn how to socialize without drugs or alcohol, support each other, and experience structure and discipline.3 Other IOP services include individual counseling, medication management, case management, introduction to support groups, psychiatric screening, and vocational training.3

Finding the Best Intensive Outpatient Program Near You

Finding an intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program near you is the first step in recovery from addiction. Many rehab facilities will be happy to discuss their offerings, and medical professionals can help you determine which treatment path is right for you. Whether it’s near you or out of state, it’s important to coordinate with your medical professional to determine your needs and then to communicate with potential treatment facilities to determine if they can meet these treatment needs.

Finding an intensive outpatient program (IOP) treatment facility near you can allow your loved ones to visit you on designated days, or even participate in family therapy sessions. And since you are familiar with the climate, you can pack accordingly. On the other hand, out-of-state treatment can give you a fresh start in a new area and reduce your environmental and family distractions.

Beginning the path to recovery is easy—and you can do it. Call to speak to an American Addiction Centers (AAC) caring admissions navigator about your intensive outpatient program options. They can listen to your story, provide support, and verify your insurance. Not ready to talk on the phone just yet? You can verify your insurance by filling out the short form below. It’s confidential and free, and there is no obligation to enter treatment.

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Intensive Outpatient Program FAQs