What is an IOP?

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What is an IOP

What is an IOP?: 17 Questions about Intensive Outpatient Programs 


1. What does IOP stand for? 

An IOP or “intensive outpatient program” is a type of treatment program that allows you to live at home or in a sober living home while attending counseling and therapy sessions for a few hours on weekdays.

This term is usually used in comparison to treatment programs that require a higher level of care such as PHP (partial hospitalization program).


2. What can you expect from IOP?

IOPs use treatment programs that are highly customized to the individual and created with the results of your evaluation at intake. However, daily therapy, community, and support groups can be expected throughout treatment for every client.

Intensive outpatient treatment facilities like Emerge Healing Center also place a sharp focus on relapse prevention since you will not be living at the treatment center.


3. What does an IOP program treat? 

IOPs address substance use disorders (such as alcoholism and drug disorders) and co-occurring mental health disorders (including depression, anxiety, bipolar, and more).


4. How intensive are IOP programs? 

IOPs are viewed as intensive due to the ongoing schedule of treatment. Since treatment is 5 days a week, and on these days you will be required to be at the facility for a set number of hours, clients can expect at least 10 hours of treatment each week.


5. What does “Outpatient” mean? 

This means that at IOP clients go home each night and on weekends either to their own home or to a sober living home. This is unlike inpatient treatment, where you would live in the treatment center.


6. Are IOPs structured? 

IOPs are structured programs that follow an ongoing schedule and routine. The structure of the program helps you build life skills that will benefit you in your path to recovery.


7. Can you attend an IOP while working or going to school?

An IOP program treats mental health, addiction, and other issues while allowing you to continue with your work or schooling during the day when possible. However, due to the nature of treatment during the weekdays, work and/or school schedule adjustments may be needed. At Emerge Healing Center, we work with each client to set a schedule that best benefits their recovery.


8. How do you know if an IOP is best for you? 

An IOP might be best for those needing a step-down from high-level inpatient care but still requiring a structured, intensive treatment program. With an IOP, they can resume their daily life after inpatient treatment and still get a high level of care. If you are in immediate danger to yourself or others, an IOP may be better for you after attending and inpatient facility.


9. How Long Does An Intensive Outpatient Treatment Last? 

Intensive outpatient treatment typically lasts 8 to 12 weeks, with care being provided 5 days a week, usually 3-5 hours per day.


10. What Do You Do In IOP Level Of Care? 

In the IOP level of care, you follow your individualized treatment plan which will include therapy, learning to maintain sobriety, connecting with supportive peers, and developing good social and vocational skills.


11. What is a typical day in an IOP? 

.A typical day in an IOP consists of attending treatment 5 days a week which will include a mix of therapy, learning good social skills, help with finding a job if needed, and support groups.


12. What does recovery at an IOP look like? 

A large part of recovery is dealing with the issues that cause substance abuse and addiction in the first place. Learning to address these causes of addiction in an IOP setting can help you learn relapse prevention and stay sober.


13. Do IOP programs drug test?

Yes, drug testing might also be used if a person appears to be under the influence before attending an IOP program since that can be triggering to the rest of the group.


14. Who goes to an IOP program? 

IOP programs are for anyone struggling with drugs or alcohol that can’t “just stop” but want to. Specifically they are for those struggling with an addiction or substance use disorder who have already gone through the detox phase and do not require that higher level of care.


16. Does everyone have the same treatment plan for IOP?

No, at Emerge Healing Center we work with you to create an individualized treatment plan based on evidence-based approaches and modalities.


17. What are the Goals of Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

  1. Improved communication skills
  2. How to socialize without substances
  3. To support one another
  4. Structure & self-discipline
  5. Problem-solving skills
  6. To change negative behaviors
  7. To take action for their sobriety


At the end of the treatment, IOPs want each client to be equipped with the tools needed to live a full life of recovery.

IOP at Emerge Healing Center

Is Intensive Outpatient Treatment Right for You? 

Ultimately, you’re the only one who can answer this question but we would love to talk it through with you, answering any questions you may have about IOP, and offering professional advice when asked. 

If you have questions or are ready to start your recovery journey, we’re here to help. Contact our skilled addiction and mental health professionals at Emerge Healing Center to learn more about our treatment and program options.

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