Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are meant for individuals that need more than early intervention or general outpatient, but don’t necessarily need the medical detox or 24-hour supervision during their recovery. Individuals that benefit from IOP are often suffering from co-occurring disorders. These individuals will typically live at home and commute to the treatment center.
Intensive outpatient programs typically include nine hours of treatment per week, usually broken up into 3 sessions a week. However, they can go up to as much as twenty-five hours per week among 5 weekdays.
More than 10 percent of individuals receiving treatment for addiction are treating through intensive outpatient programs. How do you know if you or a loved one would benefit from an intensive outpatient program?
Severity of Addiction
While you may know that you are in need of help, you may not be able to fully judge the severity of your own addiction. It’s important to discuss it with your doctor or therapist, so you can have a better understanding if IOP would be beneficial to your recovery journey. A good indicator would be how long you have been using and how often you use, but again, speaking with a treatment professional will give you the more thorough understanding. If you have gone through detox and need support staying sober, an intensive outpatient program may be the option for you. If you have tried to quit but could not get through detox, IOP may not be the answer for you, and looking into an inpatient program with detox would be worth looking into.
Many individuals are unable to take a break from their everyday responsibilities, like their job or their family. Individuals who are unable to miss work, school, or are single parents prefer IOPs. IOPs require a significant time commitment but they do provide freedom to continue with your regular responsibilities.
Intensive outpatient programs also typically cost less than residential treatment programs. This can make the difference when an insurance company is not paying for treatment. Studies have also found that the length of treatment, whether residential or outpatient, is crucial to the recovery of more severe addictions.
The difficult part about entering into an intensive outpatient program is the simple fact that you might not have a quality program in your area. Residential treatment programs can be attended anywhere in the world, but IOPs are local to you.
Intensive outpatient programs can either be used for those suffering from moderate substance abuse problems to those who have completed a residential program but need a stepping stone before returning back to their everyday life. It’s important to talk with your healthcare professional about what the best option for you would be if considering an IOP. Using it as a stepping stone to a lesser intense treatment will preserve the social support you would receive in a residential program while allowing you to integrate back into your regular life.