What to Expect in an Intensive Outpatient Program

intensive outpatient therapy

If you’ve been researching addiction treatment facilities for yourself or a loved one, you may find yourself getting somewhat confused by all the different terms and options you might encounter along the way. Today, we’ll define what an intensive outpatient program entails, what you should know about this form of treatment and its unique advantages to help you learn if it’s the right fit for you.

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

An intensive outpatient program, often abbreviated as IOP, is a form of substance abuse rehabilitation in which clients participate in addiction treatment several days a week for a few hours at a time. The primary difference between an IOP and an inpatient program is that it does not require participants to live full-time at the facility.

The ability to take part in drug or alcohol rehab without having to temporarily put other aspects of your life on hold can make IOP an attractive option. For example, if you have young children and many job-related responsibilities, you might feel like you can’t leave them behind while you pursue your recovery at an inpatient facility. An IOP allows you the flexibility to stay in the comfort of your home while you work on recovering from your addiction.

If you enroll in New Found Life’s intensive outpatient program, you’ll be able to attend sessions Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until noon, or from 4 to 7:30 p.m. During this time, you’ll participate in both individual and group therapy while you learn about the 12-step principles and the disease of addiction. You will be able to develop new coping skills and lifestyle choices that help you maintain lasting sobriety, and learn to manage the symptoms of any co-occurring mental health disorders.

Pros of IOPs

What are the benefits of enrolling in an intensive outpatient program? Here’s what you need to know.

  • Minimally disruptive form of treatment: An IOP allows you to pursue your recovery while working or going to school full-time. If you have a hectic schedule and can’t take time to step away from your responsibilities for a month or more, an IOP could be an ideal compromise.
  • Less stigma and more privacy: Your co-workers and friends don’t have to know you’re pursuing drug addiction treatment unless you choose to share that information with them.
  • Ability to live at home while seeking qualified help: As comfortable and well-appointed as inpatient treatment centers are, sometimes there’s no place like home. If you’ve always considered yourself a homebody, you may prefer to enroll in an IOP so you don’t miss your familiar environment in rehab.

Cons of IOPs

Are there any drawbacks to participating in an intensive outpatient program? Consider the following.

  • Less structure: Because you are only participating in treatment for a few hours per day, you will lack the daily structure an inpatient treatment program provides. Having too much free time in your day-to-day schedule can be dangerous for recovering addicts.
  • Less access to recovery amenities: Though IOPs provide a range of benefits, you will not have access to the full menu of services available to people participating in our inpatient program, including medically supervised detox and holistic recovery options such as meditation, yoga and equine therapy.
  • More potential exposure to triggers: While the ability to live at home and simultaneously get the help you need can feel like a major advantage, returning to the same environment where you developed your drinking or drug habit can serve as a significant relapse trigger.

What Treatment Option Is Right for You?

At New Found Life, we know some people benefit most from having a range of choices about where and how to pursue their recovery on their terms. Contact us today to learn more about our full continuum of care.