What is An Intensive Outpatient Program?
An intensive outpatient program is an outpatient rehabilitation program for drug and alcohol addiction that provides direct services to people who have completed or do not need a medical detox program, and who do not need full-time medical or psychiatric care. IOP programs in LA offer psychosocial support, relapse prevention programs, coping strategies, stress reduction techniques and other important ongoing treatments, with the patient living at home or in a structured sober living environment.
IOPs are often provided to people after they are discharged from a 24-hour residential (inpatient) rehab facility. IOPs offer more services and support than a traditional outpatient program that provides therapy and groups once or twice a week, usually within a community health center, hospital setting, or day treatment programs. In most IOP programs, treatments are provided a minimum of three times per week, usually in three-hour-long sessions. Many IOPs will begin at a high intensity then taper down services and treatments as time goes on and the patient becomes accustomed to living out in the world as a sober individual.
The goals of an IOP are to provide you with:
- Relapse prevention strategies
- Coping techniques
- Psychosocial support
- Reinforcement of psychological, social, and emotional well-being
- Help dealing with practical needs like housing or finding work
What Do You Do In IOP?
Every rehab facility is unique in what types of programs and treatments they offer. You will come to the treatment center on a regular schedule and meet with therapists and medical doctors, and you will also have group therapy and other treatments or classes to go to, all of which will be arranged with you beforehand so you know what to expect. Most intensive outpatient treatment programs include care like:
- Behavioral health treatments
- One-on-one therapy and counseling
- Group therapy, with process groups and educational programs
- Exercise, nutrition, health and wellness programs
- Anger management or emotional regulation classes
- Case management and life skills programs
- Family education and therapy programs
- Holistic treatments and stress management programs
- Relapse prevention programs
- Support meetings like 12-step or SMART recovery
IOP programs in LA allow you to handle your everyday life responsibilities while providing the structure you need to remain in recovery. They offer strong focus, with regularly scheduled treatments, meetings, and groups, without the restrictions that inpatient treatment has. This provides opportunities to take responsibility for your own actions, as you live your life while putting in the effort it takes to attend your meetings, therapy and doctor appointments, groups, and other sober get-togethers and alumni events.
How Long Are IOP Programs?
IOP programs in LA and throughout the nation are not all the same, but the majority of these programs last for 30 to 90 days on average, providing a minimum of nine hours per week of treatment. Some IOP programs run five days a week, for two to five hours per day depending on your needs.
Before beginning your IOP treatment, you will undergo a series of screenings, usually with a medical exam, a psychological screening, and an interview, so the doctors, nurses, therapists, and other care providers on your team will be able to find the best treatment methods for your unique needs as an individual. Once you have been screened, the rehab center will be able to tell you more about what to expect for your individual program, including program length and the amount of hours per week you will be in groups, individual therapy, and other programs.
The Benefits of An IOP Program
There are several benefits to joining an intensive outpatient program after completing an inpatient rehab program or a partial hospitalization program, like:
- IOPs offer higher intensity than regular outpatient programs, with greater overall success rates
- The schedule is flexible and will not interfere with your life, but still offers structure and accountability, with scheduled programs and routines that will help you build life skills
- You will have access to support and counseling on a regular basis, which may be difficult to come by on your own
- You can be around your support system including family and friends, and you can sleep in your own bed at night
- The programming is cohesive and supportive, combining different methodologies to heal not only your physical body, but also your mental health, your spiritual wellness, and your emotional health
- Staying within your community as you rehabilitate will help improve your adjustment to community life as a sober individual
- It is less expensive than inpatient treatment, as you are not paying for accommodations and food
- You will have the opportunity to practice what you learn right away in real-world scenarios
- You will have to take individual responsibility for your actions, which provides more intrinsic reward
There are also many people who are unable to go away to a residential rehab program because of their life commitments, health or safety issues, and other important obligations. IOP programs are beneficial to these folks because:
- They offer a middle ground between an inpatient treatment program and general outpatient care, allowing you to take care of your life obligations like work and school as you get the strong support and regular treatment you need
- You can live at home or nearby in a sober living home, close to the support of family and friends
- It is more discreet, as you do not need to tell anybody or arrange for time off of work to get addiction treatment