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What Is It Like at an IOP?

By Linda Whiteside

Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson

Table of Contents

Social skills can help improve your life after recovery for a life of sobriety

‍Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) are a type of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. They involve frequent visits to a recovery center for a limited time, usually 12 hours per week. The exact activities that take place during an IOP vary depending on the specific program, but they all involve therapy and counseling to some degree. A residential rehab center offers inpatient care 24/7. An Intensive Outpatient Program is not as intensive as a full residential rehabilitation center; however, it provides addicts with structured support from professionals who will assist them on their road to recovery from addiction. Read on to learn more about what it’s like at an IOP.

What is the purpose of an IOP?

An IOP, or intensive outpatient program, is a type of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. IOPs are different from inpatient facilities because patients only attend for a few hours a day. The goal of an IOP is to assist patients in stabilizing their drug use and promoting full recovery. IOPs vary in their structure and requirements, but they all offer therapy and counseling services. IOPs are most effective when they’re used in conjunction with a sober living program or other support services. Residential treatment offers 24/7 support and a high level of structure. While IOPs provide stability and structure too, they aren’t as intense as full residential treatment. With an IOP, patients can still experience the benefits of treatment but in a more flexible environment.

Who Can Participate in an IOP?

People can participate in an IOP if they’re ready to commit to a treatment program and want to get sober. IOP programs typically require patients to be clean from drugs and alcohol before attending. This means you’ll have to stop using substances before you start treatment. Any type of addiction can qualify for treatment at an IOP. Programs often treat patients for drug addictions like heroin or prescription painkillers, but they can also treat alcoholics and people with drug dependencies.

What Happens During an IOP?

The specific activities at an IOP vary depending on the program. Most treatment centers offer therapy and counseling as part of the program. Patients may also attend relapse prevention groups as part of their treatment. Depending on the type of addiction, other treatment services may be available at the IOP. For example, patients who struggle with co-occurring disorders along with their addictions can receive counseling for those disorders too. IOPs may also offer other services to support the treatment process. These can include group therapy, one-on-one counseling, recovery support groups, and other forms of treatment.

Activities During an IOP

IOPs vary in their structure, but they typically include an array of activities designed to support addiction recovery. Some of these activities include:

  • Therapy – Addiction treatment at an IOP often includes therapy or counseling of some kind. Usually, the type of therapy depends on the substance or substances you’re addicted to, though approaches like CBT have a proven track record.
  • Group Therapy – Many IOPs offer group therapy sessions. These can help patients process the challenges of addiction and recovery and support one another through the process.
  • Recovery Support Groups – Some IOPs offer recovery support groups. These are intended to help patients stay sober by providing a safe space to discuss challenges and celebrate successes.
  • One-on-One Counseling – Some IOPs offer one-on-one counseling sessions. These can help patients understand the root causes of their addictions and develop a plan for continued recovery.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment – Some IOPs offer medication-assisted treatment. This is a treatment method that combines therapy and medication.

Addiction Counseling at an IOP

Addiction counseling is a type of therapy at an IOP that can help people struggling with substance use disorders. It usually involves a counselor helping patients explore the causes of their addictions and develop strategies for overcoming them. In some IOPs, addiction counseling may focus on a specific substance. For example, an addiction counselor might help a patient struggling with alcohol addiction work through the steps of recovery. In other IOPs, addiction counseling is more general. A patient addicted to multiple substances might receive counseling that covers all of their addictions. In general, addiction counselors help patients build a strong foundation for continued sobriety. They can help patients learn new coping skills, set goals, and identify the resources they need to stay sober.

Recovery Support at an IOP

Recovery support is a type of group therapy at an IOP that focuses on building resilience and strength in the face of addiction. The goal of recovery support is to help patients support one another in the process of addiction treatment. IOPs often offer recovery support for patients of all ages and types of addictions. The support groups may include people who attend the IOP as well as loved ones of patients who attend. By building a social support network, clients reduce their chances of relapse significantly, as studies continually show that strong peer support is correlated with better recovery outcomes.

What to Know Before Going to an IOP

Before attending an IOP, patients should research the type of program they want to attend and the services it offers. This will help people decide which program would be best for them and their unique needs. People should also have a general idea of how long their treatment will last. IOPs vary in duration, but many last several weeks. Some programs may be shorter or longer depending on the patient. IOPs are cost-effective. Because they’re less intense than residential treatment programs, they cost less. This means they can be an option for people who don’t have insurance and can’t afford the high costs of residential treatment.

Get Sober at NuView Treatment Center’s IOP

NuView Treatment Center’s intensive outpatient program is tailored towards those who are battling addiction and can’t take time off of work. This program is the perfect solution for those individuals who need to maintain a daily routine and provide a stable source of income. NuView’s evidence-based program is supportive and driven by the individual needs of each client. They use proven therapeutic tools, including trauma-informed care, to address the root causes for addiction. The program also provides one-on-one counseling, medication-assisted treatment, and relapse prevention groups. To learn more about NuView’s intensive outpatient program and its proven track record, contact us today.

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Author

Written By: Linda Whiteside
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Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has been providing mental health services for over 10 years.

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson
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Went to medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

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