What is an Intensive Outpatient Program?
Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are a type of treatment program that provides a higher, or more “intensive,” level of care than traditional outpatient programs. IOPs are designed for people who are struggling with serious long-term mental and physical health conditions as well as people with substance abuse issues who need more support than traditional outpatient care can typically provide—but do not need the 24-hour care that is provided in an inpatient or residential treatment program.
IOPs typically meet 3-5 times per week for 3-4 hours at a time. During an IOP, patients receive individual and group therapy, as well as education about addiction and recovery. IOPs may also offer other services such as medication management, case management, and skills training. The structure and intensity of IOPs can vary depending on the needs of the individual. Some IOPs may meet for longer periods of time or more often than others.
Who IOPs Help
IOPs can be a great option for people who need more support than traditional forms of outpatient care can provide on their own, but who are not ready or able to commit to a residential treatment program. IOPs can be an important step in the journey of recovery from substance abuse, provide the support and structure that people need to make positive changes in their lives, help people to develop healthy coping skills, learn about addiction and recovery, and build a support system with other people in recovery.
While IOPs can be an effective treatment for substance abuse and many other problems, they are not right for everyone. IOPs may not be the best option for people who are struggling with severe addiction, who are not ready to commit to treatment, or who are suffering from other serious conditions that may require more full-time care. If you are considering an IOP for yourself or a loved one, it is important to speak with a certified mental health professional to determine if an IOP is the right fit.
Ways IOPs Can Help
1. Increased accountability.
One of the main benefits of intensive outpatient programs is the increased accountability that they provide. When you’re in an outpatient program, you’re typically required to attend regular meetings and check-ins with your counselors, therapists, and/or sponsors. This increased accountability can be extremely helpful in keeping you on track with your recovery.
2. A more structured environment.
Another benefit of intensive outpatient programs is that they can provide a more structured environment than traditional treatment programs. In outpatient programs, you typically have a set schedule of activities and appointments that you’re required to attend. This helps to provide a sense of structure and routine to patients’ lives, which can be beneficial for those in early recovery.
3. Improved access to resources.
IOPs also tend to have improved access to resources, such as counseling, therapy, and 12-step meetings. This can be extremely helpful in early recovery when having access to these resources can make all the difference.
4. A sense of community.
One of the best things about intensive outpatient programs is the sense of community that they can provide. When you’re in an outpatient program, you’re typically surrounded by other people who are going through similar experiences. This can provide a great sense of support and camaraderie.
5. Increased motivation.
Another benefit of IOPs is the increased motivation that they can provide. When you’re in an outpatient program, you’re typically required to participate in activities and appointments that are designed to help you in your recovery. This increased motivation can be extremely helpful in keeping you on track with your treatment.
6. Improved success rates.
Finally, intensive outpatient programs tend to have improved success rates for those struggling with long-term conditions or addiction. This is, of course, likely due to the increased accountability, structure, and motivation that outpatient programs provide.
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse and mental health, an intensive outpatient program like our own here at LAT may be the right choice for you.