What is IOP? 7 Questions About Intensive-Outpatient Programs

If you (or someone you know) is exploring drug addiction treatment, you may have come across the acronym “IOP.” But what is IOP? And who is it for? Let’s find out. 

What Does IOP Stand For?

IOP stands for “intensive outpatient.” Patients receive an ambulatory level of care but do not remain in a facility as residents. IOP care is suitable for standalone substance abuse cases as well as dual diagnosis cases (where a person has both substance abuse and mental health concerns).

IOP is considered “intensive” because of the structured schedule of the treatment. IOP requires a minimum of 9 hours a week dispersed over 3 – 5 days.

IOP is considered “outpatient” because, unlike an inpatient residential program, IOP allows you to live at home, work, and be active in the community while strengthening your recovery with IOP.

What Do You Do in IOP?

IOP programs can include group sessions, individual counseling, life skills classes, and/or support groups. Here individuals talk through their issues with licensed professionals and coaches and build the mental tools required for recovery. 

During group sessions, individuals receive guidance from a licensed professional in order to strengthen learned recovery skillsets they might have learned with an inpatient program. Some treatment providers, such as Peaks Recovery Centers also offer Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). This intervention uses safe medications to relieve some of the psychological and physical burdens of drug cravings. 

In individual sessions, clients go deeper. Recovery coaches or professionals help them find the resources they need to get work and assist with basic tasks, such as setting up bank accounts. They also help clients get access to other services, such as lawyers, psychologists and doctors. 

How Long is IOP?

How long IOP lasts typically depends on the needs of the client. The recommended minimum treatment period is 8-12 weeks while running a minimum of 9 hours a week dispersed over 3 – 5 days. However, no two clients or programs are the same. Clients may require IOP care for many months or years before they feel confident to move forward with their lives. 

IOP care length depends on a client’s background, mental health, and drug abuse history. Physically and emotionally, some substances are more challenging to leave behind than others. Clients who have been through inpatient programs sometimes request outpatient care to support their continued efforts to live a drug- and alcohol-free. Other times, patients do not meet clinical thresholds for inpatient care but still require support to enable them to live at their best.

What Are Some Reasons For IOP?

  • You are coming back from a short relapse and are in need of fine-tuning and recovery support.
  • You are interested in achieving a successful recovery, but your drug use or drinking does not meet the criteria for inpatient treatment
  • You have recently completed an inpatient program and your aftercare plan includes IOP services in order to achieve and maintain your recovery lifestyle
  • You’re finding the aftercare plan given to you did not meet your needs and might be feeling fearful of a relapse

What is the Difference Between IOP and Inpatient Residential Treatment?

IOP does not require patients to remain at the facility 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week until they complete the inpatient program. Instead, patients get support with scheduled sessions during the daytime or evening and then return home afterward. 

Inpatient residential treatment provides a much higher level of support as you live on the campus for the duration of the program.

Inpatient care is best if you need support due to:

  • Medical attention is needed
  • An unsupportive environment at home
  • Detox and withdrawal
  • Severe mental health concerns

IOP is usually followed after completing an Inpatient rehab program.

Are IOP and PHP the Same?

PHP stands for “partial hospitalization” program. It is generally more intensive than IOP and requires a greater number of sessions per week. It is similar to a conventional residential recovery program, but the patient doesn’t necessarily have to stay in the inpatient facility or house. 

PHP programs require around five visits per week, each lasting between 4 and 8 hours, depending on the nature of the program and the patient’s needs. Rehabilitation centers typically combine talk therapies with medical attention to improve the likelihood that the program will be successful. Like IOPs, PHPs attempt to get to fundamental causes of addiction and root them out, whether they are psychological, behavioral, or social. 

What Makes a Good IOP Program?

A successful and beneficial IOP will take into consideration the needs of a whole person. That’s why at Peaks Recovery Centers we take careful thought and consideration into what is truly needed to have a successful recovery, therefore, our IOP includes the below benefits that other general IOP programs do not:

  • Certified Peer Recovery Coach guidance
  • Access to our private MAT Program (Medication-Assisted Treatment)
  • Individual therapy availability

Learn More about our IOP Services here

Reach Out to Peaks Recovery Today

Our dedicated team at Peaks Recovery Centers is here to answer any of the questions you may have, and thoroughly guide you through the steps of admissions and provide you with the treatment you deserve.

Don’t wait. Get in touch with us today to overcome addiction.