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Opportunities for Intensive Outpatient

Having the chance to attend treatment at an Intensive Outpatient level of care can make all the difference for those who could benefit from the supportive elements of intensive care, but are also managing work, social and home life while still seeking treatment for their addiction.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

The level of care for substance abuse and addiction treatment called Intensive Outpatient Treatment is a continuum of care that offers an individual access to groups and treatment resources while being able to come and go freely from the campus. This kind of program is for individuals who are in need of intensive structured treatment but are currently employed in the community. The intensive outpatient program allows an individual who is currently stable to meet their rehabilitation needs.

Typically, and IOP program will offer groups and therapy sessions multiple times a week for just a few hours a day. Each patient has the opportunity to work with their clinician to design their treatment plan for Intensive Outpatient care while staying involved in their life or career outside of treatment. IOP programs offer support and accountability for those who want to stay connected while still being present for their personal responsibilities.

When should you go to an Intensive Outpatient Program?

In many cases, an individual will enter Intensive Outpatient treatment once they have already completed a Residential Treatment program and a Partial Hospitalization level of care. This can be the next phase of an individual’s development in the recovery process, allowing them to transition from a more structured and controlled environment into the outside world. Before being admitted to this stage of treatment, there should be a clinical assessment to ensure that this is the best possible course of action for long-term recovery.

However, sometimes an individual is unable to attend inpatient treatment but still wishes to receive intensive care resources. Clinical research shows that IOP programs are an effective strategy for individuals with a number of substance abuse issues, as well as individuals with a range of biopsychosocial problems. IOP programs can be even more effective when appropriate support services are in place, including:

  • Psychiatric services
  • Medical support
  • Case management
  • Housing

Many studies suggest that patients benefit from a period of inpatient or residential treatment before moving on to an Intensive Outpatient level of care. However, some clients may engage in an IOP program immediately, while others are in definite need of a controlled, therapeutic community.

It is important to also understand that every case is different. Recovery from addiction is not one-size-fits-all, and so what is appropriate for some may not be so productive for others. Working with a specialist to determine what the right treatment plan is for that individual at the appropriate time can make all the difference.

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