Virtual IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program)

What is Virtual IOP?

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A virtual IOP is an online intensive outpatient program for drug and alcohol addiction. It is ideal for anyone committed to recovery who may be unable to detox and withdraw from drink or drugs alone and can’t attend an in person program.

Virtual IOPs offer an alternative to in-person treatment in a virtual setting. With daily group therapy meetings, online counseling – individual and group – as well as talking therapies like CBT(Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and DBT(Dialectical Behavior Therapy), a virtual IOP offers the same benefits as an in-person treatment would.

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By: Renaissance Recovery

Clinically Reviewed by: Diana Vo, LMFT

Last Updated:


What is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) Like?

In order to explore virtual outpatient programs, we need to first clarify what an IOP is and look at the benefits of IOP.

While not everyone needs residential rehab, some people need more support and structure than a traditional outpatient therapy program for addiction offers. This is where an IOP helps to bridge the gap.

Intensive outpatient programs (also known as a partial hospitalization program) are a step up on the continuum of care from regular outpatient therapy programs, and a step down from the more intensive PHPs (partial hospitalization programs) and residential treatment.

An IOP delivers a combination of medication-assisted treatment and psychotherapy without the cost or the restrictions of residential addiction treatment.

Since the pandemic set in at the end of 2019, many people with alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder initially found physical barriers in place blocking the treatment they needed. Virtual alternatives soon started springing up to fill this gap, and a virtual IOP has many applications beyond sidestepping social distancing limitations.

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a woman sits in front of a laptop on her couch to represent virtual iop programs.

Virtual IOP Schedule

At IOP, you attend in person treatment sessions at a treatment center, usually for a minimum of 9 hours weekly. IOPs are the part-time equivalent of PHPs, where you often spend 35 hours weekly in counseling and therapy sessions. At the end of each day, you return home, or to a sober living home if your living environment is unsupportive.

All of these meetings are held using Skype, Zoom, or similar teleconferencing software. If you have a smart device and an internet connection, you can kickstart your recovery without needing to make t3-4 weekly trips to a treatment center.

For less serious substance use disorders or as a step down from previous treatment, intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are proven to be as effective as inpatient rehab. This includes Virtual IOP programs as well, which can be a benefit for many out of state individuals seeking treatment, don’t have access to childcare, or simply can’t attend in person for any reason.

an image of someone in virtual iop

How To Begin Virtual IOP Treatment

To get started with a virtual IOP, you’ll first need to find a suitable addiction treatment center offering this programming. Our treatment centers at Gratitude Lodge offer this program, and our team of addiction experts are happy to answer any questions you may have by giving us a call today.

Once you call an addiction center, you can expect a thorough assessment from a licensed addiction specialist. Then, once you are enrolled in the virtual IOP, you’ll attend your therapy sessions online alongside others at various stages on their own recovery journeys.

These programs really help for those that need the intensive outpatient treatment but also the increased amount of flexibility that the virtual aspect provides. Our clients are able to focus on recovery in the comfort of their own homes whilst continuing on with their daily lives.


an image of people learning what to say at an intervention

Does Insurance Cover Virtual IOP?

While not every treatment centers accept all major insurance providers, Renaissance Recovery accepts most PPO insurance carriers.

To find out if you are covered for virtual IOP treatment, use our quick and easy insurance verification to see what your coverage will be. You can also call our admissions team and chat with us about your treatment options, and whether they will be covered. 

an image of a man who went through a program at a meth rehab
an image of a man in a virtual iop

Benefits of IOP Classes Online

Maybe you don’t want to attend a treatment center but you don’t feel you can stay on track with your recovery without support and accountability in place.

Virtual IOPs allow you to stay firmly anchored to the progress of your recovery, charting your goals as you progress with your online treatment team.

Depending on your treatment goals, the scope and severity of your addiction, as well as any co-occurring disorders, a virtual IOP might be just what you’re looking for, or entirely unsuitable. You should now know enough to determine whether you feel online addiction treatment would work for you.

Here are some of the most prominent benefits of virtual IOPs:

  1. Convenience

  2. Evidence-based treatment

  3. Highly personalized

  4. Learn tools to maintain progress with your recovery


If you have a hectic schedule, finding yourself continuously crunched for time and juggling responsibilities, packing your bags, and heading to residential rehab might be impractical.

For some people, even attending sessions at a treatment center around existing commitments can be too challenging, and this is where the super-convenient virtual IOP comes into its own.

As long as you have a few hours to yourself and access to an internet connection, you can pursue your recovery remotely with all the support you need on hand. 

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Evidence-Based Treatment

Even though a virtual IOP program delivers treatment remotely, that doesn’t mean you miss out on evidence-based addiction treatment. At Renaissance Recovery, our evidence based modalities include:

  • CBT

  • DBT

  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment

  • & Holistic Treatments

Behavioral health treatments like these are delivered by cognitive-behavioral specialists. You’ll learn to identify what triggers you to use drink or drugs, and you’ll then explore healthier coping strategies for the stress of everyday life that don’t involve substance abuse.

Both group therapy and individual therapy sessions for mental health treatment are highly effective in recovery success, and are delivered by licensed therapists in virtual settings. Trauma-informed care is important to us, and is one of the core components of all the best virtual intensive outpatient programs.

You can also benefit from online access to holistic therapies and experiential therapies, helping you to pursue a whole-body approach to healing.

Highly personalized

Addiction and recovery are both highly individualized experiences. No two addictions are identical, and there is no universally effective treatment.

Remote addiction treatment may lack some of the benefits of a program delivered at a physical treatment center, but in return, you can expect an even more personalized program.

Everything about a virtual IOP can be tailored to you and your long-term sobriety, equipping you with the all of the therapies and coping skills you need during your online IOP treatment.

What to Look for in Online Outpatient Treatment

What to look for in an online outpatient alcohol, substance abuse, or mental health treatment program will depend on your needs The most critical thing is to ensure that the treatment program in question specializes in treating your specific mental health disorder and/or your substance abuse issues.

Beyond this, investigate the quality and commitment of the treatment team. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, and healthcare professionals.

If you live in the Orange County area, our licensed therapists and addiction experts can help you through our online addiction treatment programs here at Renaissance Recovery Center.

Virtual Alcohol IOP

Alcoholism can affect all aspects of someone’s life. Having access to a virtual IOP program that is catered to those with alcohol addiction can help them continue with their lives but also find sobriety. 

We also offer programs like sober living homes, alcohol rehab, and addiction therapy to ensure long-lasting recovery.

Virtual Drug IOP

One important part about finding an intensive outpatient program that is right for you is receiving treatment from an experienced team of addiction experts that specialize in your addiction. At Renaissance, our therapists and addiction treatment professionals can treat all kinds of drug abuse disorders and individualize a treatment plan to your specific needs.


Mental Health Virtual IOP

Our Virtual IOP mental health programs incorporate different therapies and evidence based psychiatry methods to individualize a treatment plan that caters specifically to your mental health concerns and wellness needs. Our experienced teams offer cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, adventure therapy and other programs to promote your mental health and well-being.

Online Intensive Outpatient Program at Renaissance Recovery

If you or a loved one are struggling to overcome alcohol or drug addiction, Renaissance Recovery’s online IOP programs can help you begin your healing journey.

For those unable to attend in person IOP treatment sessions, we can deliver mental health and mental illness treatment, addiction therapy sessions, family therapy sessions, and ongoing support remotely that is in line with your needs. We believe in addressing the root cause of addiction, resulting in better outcomes and quality care for a long-lasting recovery.

Reach out to Renaissance Recovery’s clinical team today to discuss personalizing a virtual IOP by calling 866.330.9449.

Rehabilitation can put an end to addiction

Call and ask the facility directly or call your own provider to determine if your insurance covers the treatment.

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Call today or fill out our contact form to learn more about how we can help you conquer addiction.