Is a type of specialized outpatient addiction recovery program that provides structure while still accommodating the person’s home and work life. It can be used as a follow-up to successful detox, as a primary form of care, or as part of an aftercare plan for someone who has completed an inpatient program.
An intensive outpatient addiction program (IOP) provides people with the freedom to live at home and still attend work or school while receiving addiction services.
While some people use an IOP as a primary type of care, others may transition to an IOP after completing an inpatient program to continue to build on coping skills and decrease the risk of relapse. Still others may require monitored detoxification and will transition to an IOP after going through detox.
Partial Hospitalization (PHP):
Partial Hospitalization Programming occurs 5 days per week for 6 hours per day. This time provides clients with a structured and more intense form of therapy. This level of care traditionally comes after detox and residential levels of care. Clients will meet with a therapist weekly for a one hour session, meet with a case manager weekly, and attend 6 hours of group per week. Group topics will cover anger management, relapse prevention, emotional regulation, trigger identification, healthy relationships, boundaries, and family dynamics. Clients are assessed by a medical professional to identify mental health disorders and to assess clients for anti-craving medication.
Intensive Outpatient (IOP):
Intensive Outpatient Programming is offered five days per week. Traditionally IOP is a level of care that comes after PHP. IOP level of care offers programming five days per week three hours per day. During this level of care clients are therapeutically encouraged to gain employment to be self sufficient in their recovery. Life skill development, resume building, and relapse prevention skills are developed and continued during this phase of recovery.
Intensive outpatient programs for substance abuse offer many of the same services that 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. 1
Below are some common services offered:
- Individual therapy : Individual therapy isn’t typically the primary form of treatment in IOPs. 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. 2
- 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. 2
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. 2
- Process Groups :
- Educational Groups:
- Relapse Prevention:
- Life Skills Classes:
Length of Treatment
Intensive outpatient programs vary greatly in length. They may range anywhere from 12 to 16 weeks, before people enter a maintenance phase, which could last for months. 2Ideally, people attend an IOP for 3-5 times per week with a required minimum of 9 hours of treatment per week. 2
. McCarty, D., Braude, L., Lyman, D. R., Dougherty, R. H., Daniels, A. S., Ghose, S. S., & Delphin-Rittmon, M. E. (2014). Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence. PS Psychiatric Services, 65(6), 718-726. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201300249
. Forman, R. F., and Nagy, P. D. (2006). Substance abuse: Clinical issues in intensive outpatient treatment. Rockville, MD: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.
. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). The Matrix Model (Stimulants) .
. The White House. Substance Abuse and the Affordable Care Act .