Making the decision to go to addiction treatment is a huge decision. Many people struggle in this area because they do not have a clear understanding about the process of addiction treatment. Learning about addiction treatment offers each patient the option to make an informed decision about which addiction treatment option is best for them. There are many addiction treatment modalities available, including standard treatment, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization and more, but one other option to learn about in the decision-making process is intensive outpatient treatment, or IOP. 

What Is Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

To answer the question of “What is an intensive outpatient treatment program?” – intensive outpatient treatment for those addicted to drugs is typically a transitional program that helps patients bridge the gap between full inpatient (or residential) treatment and returning to regular, independent living. Intensive outpatient treatment offers an intermediate level of support, with many of the benefits of a full-time program with a change in the amount of time required to be spent in rehab.

A typical intensive outpatient treatment program offers a schedule that is more flexible for patients than that of a residential program, but requires more time than a standard outpatient treatment program. Sessions may be offered in the daytime or evening and may be required between three or four times each week. 

Most IOP programs are individualized, meaning each treatment program is customized based on individual need. Each patient requires a different level of support just as each person is unique, as are their struggles with addiction. 

Most intensive outpatient treatment programs include a combination of one-on-one counseling, educational sessions and one-on-one counseling. 

When clients undergo intensive outpatient treatment, they work on different elements of recovery. From learning how to handle cravings effectively and how to strengthen their coping skills in addition to how to work on reducing their stress levels, IOP treatment works to help clients through many aspects and potential underlying issues that may contribute to addiction. 

IOP programs are meant for those who have already completed fulltime treatment programs but need additional support or for those who wish to consider outpatient rehab. This type of treatment is ideal for those who have work or familial commitments as it enables them to attend intensive therapy programs while still living at home. 

Furthermore, when a person is ready to commit to starting the recovery process, they are recommended to enter into either inpatient treatment or a partial hospitalization program. This is due to the many harmful temptations and intensive nature of these programs. But some patients want to continue treatment afterward at a higher level of care than a standard outpatient treatment program, which is where IOP programs come in.

Does Intensive Outpatient Treatment Work?

Intensive outpatient treatment has many benefits. Flexibility is one defining factor of IOP programs. Clients can fit therapy sessions and support group meetings into their existing schedule, while enabling them to keep up with obligations at work, school and/or home. IOP programs also give loved ones the opportunity to participate in counseling programs with each client. 

Another benefit of intensive outpatient therapy is that each client has the opportunity to employ newly learned coping strategies right away, making it possible to reinforce any newly learned skills into one’s daily life. 

An IOP program is a great option but isn’t for everybody. It is important to ensure that it is the right treatment option for you. Intensive outpatient treatment is ideal for those who:

  • Have a strong support system at home.
  • Have family or work commitments that make it difficult to be away at treatment for an extended time period. 
  • Are transitioning from an inpatient (or residential) treatment program. 

IOP can be a successful aspect of lasting addiction recovery. If you or someone you know has problems with drug addiction and/or mental illness, the recovery guides at My Recovery Source are ready to help match you with an addiction treatment program and to help you determine if an intensive outpatient program is best for you. Contact us today to get started on the journey to lasting wellness.

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