If you have ever found yourself trying to navigate the sometimes complicated world of addiction treatment, you may have heard of, or have been directed by someone to find an “IOP Program”. Simply put, Intensive Outpatient (IOP) is a level of care in the field of behavioral health and addiction treatment.
So what is an IOP program?
IOP is an outpatient program designed to provide a structured treatment experience while at the same time allowing participants the opportunity to maintain job, school, and family obligations. IOP generally runs three days per week, for three hours per day and is a combination of group therapy and individual counseling.
Who is IOP for?
IOP programs are designed for individuals who are being discharged from a more intensive inpatient program, or for individuals who are seeking treatment for their addiction, but might not necessarily meet the requirements for being admitted to an inpatient facility.
What can I expect while in an IOP program?
Once an assessment has been completed and a determination has been made that IOP is right for you, you will be given a date and time to start the program. IOP consists of three hours per day of group therapy sessions run by licensed therapists. These sessions are broken out into 3 separate parts allowing participants a short break in between to regroup and relax. During these group sessions, participants have the opportunity to share and discuss topics that are impacting their recovery progress. Participants are encouraged to provide feedback to other group members during this time, and are also encouraged to accept feedback from others as a way to develop insight into their own behaviors and patterns. Along with peer support, IOP provides a didactic learning experience in which participants are exposed to different topics such as relapse prevention, stress management, life skills, etc. Participants will also be expected to do various “homework” assignments that are personalized to their individual needs and focus on their own barriers to treatment and recovery. IOP participants are also assigned to an individual therapist who meets with them on a weekly basis. These sessions can be anywhere between 15-45 minutes depending on the current issues.
How long will I be in IOP?
IOP typically runs anywhere between 6-10 weeks. Multiple factors play a part in planning how long treatment will last for you including abstinence, support systems, coping skills, and treatment history. As you progress along through treatment, a discharge plan will start to develop and a target discharge date will be made.
What happens when IOP is over?
After you have completed IOP, there are various options for you to follow up with. Statistically speaking, individuals have a greater chance at recovery success the longer they remain engaged in treatment, therefore discharge recommendations for participants always include some form of “aftercare”. This may include Relapse Prevention Groups, Individual Counseling, Medication Management or some combination of all three.