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IOP stands for Intensive Outpatient Program. It is a lower level of care from residential treatment, and allows an individual to have more freedom throughout their day. IOP is desirable for those who are unable to commit to the full-time care provided by more intensive treatment options, but still wish to address their problems with addiction and alcoholism.

Intensive Outpatient programs usually require a 2-3-hour commitment each day. They provide necessary treatment services designed to help an individual overcome addiction and alcoholism. According to Sarah A. Benton in a 2016 Psychology Today article entitled What Type of Addiction Services Do I Need?, “An IOP is a program that is also generally run out of a clinic or hospital and generally is about 3 hours per day, allowing for individuals to also attend part time work or school.  Some IOP programs are in the evening, allowing for those being treated to maintain full time work. These programs typically involve group therapy, along with individual therapy, case management and medication management.   These programs can last for various lengths of time (weeks-months), as individuals are able to engage in work, volunteering or academics simultaneously.”

The decision to enter into an Intensive Outpatient Program rather than Residential Treatment comes down to the individual’s specific need and level of care required. It is a good option for those who are unable or unwilling to put their life on pause by entering into full-time treatment because of outside commitments, such as work or school. Intensive Outpatient Programs vary in services offered, but may include, “Psychoeducational groups, skills-development groups, drug or alcohol refusal training, relapse prevention techniques, assertiveness training, stress management, support groups, interpersonal process groups, single-interest groups, and family or couple’s groups,” according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Group therapy, in particular, is stressed in Intensive Outpatient Programs. According to SAMHSA, group therapy in IOP supports clients by, “Providing opportunities for clients to develop communication skills and participate in socialization experiences; this is particularly useful for individuals whose socializing has revolved around using drugs or alcohol; Establishing an environment in which clients help, support, and, when necessary, confront one another; Introducing structure and discipline into the often chaotic lives of clients; Providing norms that reinforce healthful ways of interacting and a safe and supportive therapeutic milieu that is crucial for recovery; Advancing individual recovery; group members who are further along in recovery can help other members; Providing a venue for group leaders to transmit new information, teach new skills, and guide clients as they practice new behaviors.” Overall, IOP is a good decision if someone wishes to receive or continue care but is unable to commit to more intensive treatment services.

Treatment should be more than a program. When you joined Anchored Recovery, you join a community of individuals committed to sobriety. Our full continuum of care can help you seamlessly transition from detox through every phase of treatment you need to ensure lifelong sobriety. Call us today for information: 866-934-4849