Renaissance Recovery logo

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

Renaissance Recovery logo

By: Renaissance Recovery

Medically Reviewed by: Diana Vo, LMFT

Last Updated: 7/1/2021

an image of a person learning what is an intensive outpatient program

Authored By: Joe Gilmore

Table of Contents

An intensive outpatient program (or “IOP”) is designed to provide people the freedom to live off-site and still attend work or school while receiving addiction services.

While some people use an IOP as their primary type of care, others may transition to an intensive outpatient program after completing a more intensive inpatient program so that they can continue to build their coping skills and decrease their risk of relapse. Still, others may require monitored detoxification and will transition to using an intensive outpatient rehab in Orange County after going through detox.

What is an IOP?

The biggest difference is that inpatient or residential rehab programs require that you live at the facility, while outpatient services allow you to return home when your treatment sessions are completed. This is one of the ways that intensive outpatient programs differ from dedicated inpatient programs. Inpatient programs can last 30, 60, or 90 days, and even longer if necessary. These programs can be a significant commitment if you have other responsibilities.

However, people attending intensive outpatient programs can schedule addiction treatment when it works best for them. However, intensive outpatient programs typically meet at least 3 days a week, for 2-4 hours each day.

However, people attending IOPs offer similar services to inpatient programs, such as individual, group, and family therapy, and are often just as effective. Consequently, intensive outpatient programs are a beneficial alternative to residential treatment when the person can’t afford to neglect home, school, or work obligations.

someone learning what to expect from an iop

What to Expect from an IOP

Intensive outpatient programs for substance abuse offer many of the same services that dedicated inpatient programs do without you having to take time off of work or school and spend time away from family. Programs use a group counseling approach that helps to negate the high cost of individual therapy while building on important skills.

Upon entering an intensive outpatient program, you will be assigned a treatment team. The team will work with you to create a treatment plan based on your intake evaluation and individual needs. IOP services are greatly focused on relapse prevention and developing healthy coping skills.

Below are some common services offered in IOPs:

  • Group counseling: IOPs rely heavily on group therapy to enhance sober behaviors, develop communication skills, introduce structure, and provide guidance. 2 Groups can focus on different aspects of recovery, such as addiction education, relapse prevention, stress management, coping skills, life skills, interpersonal process, and support.
  • Family therapy: These groups educate the family on the consequences of substance addiction on relationships and help to mend broken relationships between the user and his or her family members.
  • Individual therapy: Individual therapy isn’t typically the primary form of treatment in intensive outpatient programs, but it is often used as an adjunct service. The therapist’s aim isn’t to uncover underlying issues that influence drug or alcohol abuse, but rather to rectify maladaptive behaviors.
  • Medication-assisted treatment and management: When combined with therapy and psychosocial support, medication can be effective in promoting abstinent behavior by decreasing cravings, blocking the desired effects of substances, or treating mental health problems that contribute to drug or alcohol abuse. Medication can also be prescribed to treat any physical ailments caused by addiction.
  • Detoxification: Some intensive outpatient programs may offer detoxification services for those who aren’t at risk for experiencing severe and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Other programs may refer you elsewhere for detox before you are admitted to the program.
  • Matrix Model: This therapeutic intervention is used to treat an addiction to stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamine. The therapist, who acts as both a coach and a teacher, creates an empowering and encouraging environment and promotes high self-esteem and self-regard. Some treatment approaches include family education groups, skills groups, relapse prevention groups, urine tests, social support groups, drug education, self-help, relapse analysis, and 12-step programs.

Length of Treatment at an IOP

Intensive outpatient programs vary in length and those seeking treatment need to assess their capabilities honestly. Treatment may range anywhere from 12 to 16 weeks. After that, the recovery process includes a maintenance phase such as sober living which could last for months. Studies have proven conclusively that the longer an individual is in treatment, the higher their probability of success.

Ideally, people attend an intensive outpatient program 3-5 times per week with a required minimum of 9 hours of treatment per week.

Who Should Participate in an Intensive Outpatient Program?

An intensive outpatient program isn’t right for everyone. In general, factors that make someone a good fit for an IOP include:

  • Strong support system.
  • Stable home life.
  • Good physical and mental health.
  • Not previously engaged in an IOP.
  • Low risk of relapse when returning home.
  • Comfortable in a group setting.
Come to Renaissance Recovery to learn what is an intensive outpatient program

Finding an IOP at Renaissance Recovery

Costs of intensive outpatient programs vary wildly. Much of this depends on the location, the treatment curriculum, and associated services. Generally speaking, it’s far less than inpatient treatment for obvious reasons. The good news is that nationwide, intensive outpatient programs are covered by almost every major insurance carrier.

This makes it affordable and attainable for virtually anyone seeking treatment for addiction. You can reach out and contact Renaissance Recovery’s California rehab by calling 866.330.9449 for intensive outpatient programs in California.

alcoholic nose | Renaissance Recovery
Uncategorized

Alcoholic Nose

Alcoholic nose is the informal name for a skin condition associated with the swollen appearance of the nose and surrounding cheek area. The medical name

Read More »
prednisone | Renaissance Recovery
Uncategorized

Prednisone: What is It?

Prednisone is a cortisone-like medication known as a corticosteroid that acts on the immune system to help reduce swelling, itching, redness, and allergic reactions. What

Read More »
m365 pill | Renaissance Recovery
Uncategorized

M365 Pill: What Is It?

M365 pill is a combination medication used for the treatment of moderate pain and severe pain. This prescription medication contains hydrocodone (an opioid painkiller) and

Read More »
an image of a client

Pat C

“I owe my life and my happiness to these people. October 8th, 2019 marked two years of sobriety for me, and prior to finding Renaissance I hadn’t had 24 hours sober in nearly 20 years.”

an image of a client

Paige R

“They truly cared for me and the other people that I served with! From this group, I have made 8 new brothers and friends for life! We have continued on, after the program, to take care of each other”

an image of a client

Courtney S

“Great staff who took the time to get to know me. They have a lot of experience in this field and have first hand experience with what I was going through. IOP is outstanding and really built up a ton of great relationships and found this program to be a ‘breath of fresh air’.”

Font Resize
Contrast

Diana Vo, LMFT

Diana is an addiction expert and licensed marriage and family therapist who has been in the field of mental health for over 10 years.

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country