Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is the stage of treatment that follows the Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP).  Simply put, this stage is more intense than a traditional outpatient program.

IOP is an intermediate level of mental health and addiction treatment care.  This crucial part of the treatment process should not be missed.  Individuals who have incorporated an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) into their treatment plan have a higher chance for long-term sobriety.

In this phase, recovering addicts reside in the same environment they will live in after the treatment process and for the early portion of their recovery.  Depending on their living situation, they will either be living at home or in a halfway house/sober living environment.

In this stage, recovering addicts begin dealing with daily stressors of the world.  They may experience overwhelming feelings and emotions associated with family, friends, relatives and places they used.  Drugs and alcohol helped them stuff these very basic human emotions.  When they are re-felt in sobriety they can be overpowering.  This is why participation in an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and the support of others is necessary for this crucial period.

Recovering addicts attending an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) will have the opportunity to talk about their issues in group sessions with other recovering addicts, as well as professionally trained counselors.  These real world problems are the same dilemmas that the recovering addict will be dealing with throughout their recovery.  The support group or fellow recovering addicts that you or your loved one will build through an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) will be there every step of the way.

Group sessions in an Intensive Outpatient Program are held anywhere from 2-5 times per week, for about 2-3 hours.  An individual should commit to attending regular IOP sessions for 6-8 weeks.  An Intensive Outpatient Program will give the recovering individual a chance to work on their core issues while maintaining and developing friendships with fellow recovering addicts.

Some of the topics for discussion in an Intensive Outpatient Program include:

  • Effects of drug and alcohol education
  • Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress issues
  • Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (P.A.W.S)
  • Grief and loss
  • Fear
  • Relationship issues
  • Parenting skills
  • Spirituality
  • Triggers – What are they and how can I deal with them?
  • Relapse prevention
  • 12 step program information
  • Career and life planning

A recovering addict attending an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) will also be required to attend individual counseling, generally once a week.  This allows an opportunity to discuss any issues they may not feel comfortable disclosing in a group setting.  Many recovering addicts see the benefits of this kind of one-on-one therapy, and continue seeing the therapist through out their early recovery.

There are some rules and requirements associated with an Intensive Outpatient Programs that you should be aware of.  Every group member must abide by the following rules:

  • Submission of random urine screens and breathalyzer tests
  • Active participation in all sessions
  • Contribution to treatment plan and goal setting
  • Attendance at 12 step meetings in local community

If you or someone you love needs help from an Intensive Outpatient Program, please call (877) 774-0380. All calls are confidential.

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