What is IOP Treatment? Is it for Me?


Written By: Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.
Cite This Article
Geraldine Orentas. "What is IOP Treatment? Is it for Me?." Lighthouse Recovery Institute., Published on Jun 26, 2020, https://lighthouserecoveryinstitute.com/iop-treatment-centers/.


Published on Jun 26, 2020 | Rehab Programs

Choosing to seek treatment for substance abuse is a huge step in anyone’s road to recovery. However, not all treatment programs offer the same benefits. It’s paramount that recovering addicts discuss their needs with their therapists and healthcare providers to find the right course of treatment. Today, we’ll explore a rising popular option known as IOP treatment or intensive outpatient programs.

What is IOP Treatment?

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are addiction treatment plans that target eating disorders, substance use disorder, and other dependencies that don’t need detox or 24/7 supervision. 

Unlike other forms of treatment, IOPs allow for more flexibility, helping those in recovery maintain their daily responsibilities such as attending school, working, and caring for their family. However, intensive outpatient programs aren’t for everyone. 

Treatment Options for Substance Abuse

Before answering, what is IOP, we need to highlight that there are plenty of different approaches to help someone attain sobriety. A comprehensive, diverse, and tailored treatment plan is always the best course of treatment. 

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Drug Rehab

Inpatient treatment is a common rehabilitation method for clients who require services like medical monitoring for detox or a controlled and drug-free environment. In general, these programs require the client to live at a treatment facility twenty-four hours a day with a length of stay averaging between twenty-eight and ninety days.

On the other hand, if your therapist believes or if you feel you may not be ready for an outpatient setting, IOPs can be helpful. Intensive care with an outpatient setting can help those in recovery receive additional therapy sessions. IOPs also focus on other invaluable resources that will contribute to your long-term sobriety. 

Components of IOP

Intensive outpatient programs have a more structured approach than outpatient drug rehabs. Also, patients can freely participate in their daily life activities while still receiving the support and supervision of their therapists.

In most cases, when patients complete a residential treatment program, they move into an IOP to continue their recovery. Intensive outpatient treatment programs integrate various therapies, including:

  • Individual and group therapy
  • Behavioral therapies
  • Medication-assisted monitoring
  • Life skills and educational opportunities
  • Mental health treatment to address any mental illness
  • Crisis management
  • Dual-diagnosis therapy for co-occurring disorders

In addition to these components, IOPs offer family therapy, vocational training, nutritional services, and fitness programs to help recovering addicts adopt new and healthy lifestyle habits. 

Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Every style of addiction treatment program has its benefits. Ultimately, it depends on your individual needs. Here are some of the benefits of intensive outpatient treatment programs. 

People Maintain Daily Responsibilities

Those with children, work, or school responsibilities often can’t leave them behind to seek treatment. IOP treatments offer the flexibility, freedom, and the right level of supervision to help them maintain their responsibilities and find treatment simultaneously. 

Strengthen Family Relationships

Many individuals in addiction recovery feel they’re losing their family relationships. With IOPs, people have a unique opportunity to regain trust and rebuild relationships with family members and friends while getting treatment. Especially when IOPs incorporate family therapy and other relationship-building counseling opportunities. 

Offers Privacy

Since people maintain their primary responsibilities, there’s no need to check into a rehab facility. While this might seem unimportant, some people avoid seeking treatment for their addictions out of embarrassment. Intensive outpatient treatment programs offer a discreet way to seek treatment for addiction. 

More Affordable

Another benefit of IOP programs is that they’re often less costly. Since they’re significantly inexpensive and are usually covered by insurance, more patients tend to choose them. 

Is IOP Right for You? How to Know

Anyone seeking help in overcoming addiction should consider IOP therapy. Inpatient care can be challenging for some people; those with certain obligations aren’t always suited for these forms of care. Not everyone has the opportunity of leaving family or work commitments, even if it’s for the greater good of seeking addiction treatment. 

If you or your loved one struggle with these obligations and treatment, IOPs can be an excellent choice. Thanks to the flexibility these programs offer, you can live at home and care for your family and other obligations while undergoing treatment. 

However, not everyone is a candidate for IOP therapy. Those who qualify should have a safe home environment. If you’re in an environment with other people using drugs or other substances, inpatient treatment might be a more suitable option. Take this brief quiz to learn if IOP therapy is right for you. 

What to Expect

Most IOP treatment programs work around 10-12 hours of group and individual therapy per week. Participation in a 12-step program is also a recommendation. Patients visit the rehab facility anywhere between 3 to 4 times per week, often for three or more hours. Of course, these schedules change depending on your needs.

IOPs offer a higher level of care than general outpatient programs, and they have more supervision overall. Therapy focuses on building a community that supports you in your road to recovery. Expect a blend of the following treatment services:

  • 12-step programs facilitation
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapies
  • Motivational sessions
  • Therapeutic community building
  • Community reinforcement
  • Relapse prevention

However, each person’s recovery process is entirely different. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we offer personalized treatment programs that adapt to our patients’ needs. As patients progress through their treatments, our addiction therapist might recommend different treatment offers and schedules to continue supporting their recovery journey.

Seeking Treatment

With so many alternatives for drug addiction treatment, it can be overwhelming. The most important thing is that you know seeking treatment should always be your north star. Substance use disorders can destroy your family and relationships, not to mention, they can lead you to a path of destruction that can be life-threatening. Don’t let drugs or alcohol win the battle. 

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our intensive outpatient programs are very popular among those seeking drug addiction treatment. However, we don’t believe in cookie-cutter treatment plans for our patients. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, contact us today to learn about our different treatment programs. 

After a therapist evaluation, our clinic therapists recommend the best treatment plan that might incorporate a drug and alcohol rehab, partial hospitalization, inpatient programs, follow up with an outpatient program, and even suggest aftercare recovery solutions. We believe in doing whatever it takes to help you and your loved ones move past addiction and enjoy a full, healthy, and inspiring life. 

Stop waiting for the right moment and reach out today to learn more about our insurance policies, treatment plans, and more.

Written By: Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.

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