Understanding The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

intensive outpatient program

An IOP, or Intensive Outpatient Program, is a robust treatment plan that can be used by those battling against substance abuse. It has a number of features which make it distinct from standard outpatient care and is ideal for those who are long term, heavy abusers that urgently want to get clean and stay that way.

Key IOP Program Features

Intensive Outpatient Care is designed for patients who do not need detoxification which is medically supervised. It is perfect for those who have finished detox and do not want to stay at the rehab center due to work or family related concerns. It is best thought of as a hybrid between traditional outpatient programs and onsite programs where the patient must remain at the facility for months at a time.

A good IOP is one which caters itself to the needs of individual patients. Typical features to expect include group and individual counseling, addiction education, employment service, family counseling and life skills. Most of these programs also incorporate mental health treatment as needed. This program also addresses a variety of substances, which range from legal products such as alcohol and prescription drugs to illegal substances such as heroin or crystal meth.

Who Is Best Suited For An Intensive Outpatient Program?

Those who have finished detox, or who do not need it at all are prime candidates for IOP. It is most popular among those who prefer not to stay onsite. Onsite rehab services tend to be vastly more expensive than outpatient care since space is limited, and the facility must provide food, lodging, therapy and cleaning services for months at a time on behalf of patients. It isn’t unusual for onsite rehab to cost thousands of dollars per month, which is outside the price range of many addicts, who may be unemployed or underemployed.

In contrast, although traditional outpatient care is more affordable, many experts within the rehab industry felt that it didn’t provide sufficient support to patients in order to help them get and stay clean. The solution to this problem is intensive outpatient care, which is more extensive than standard outpatient programs while not being as expensive as onsite services.

Furthermore, many of those suffering from substance abuse are either students or employees who must continue attending school or work and as such cannot remain at a facility for weeks or months at time. Then there are parents who are addicted to various substances and want to get help, but have young children they must tend to and do not have anyone they trust to watch over them. It is for these reasons that IOPs were developed, to serve as bridge between basic outpatient programs and the onsite support.

Qualifying For An IOP

Those who are interested in joining an IOP will first need to qualify. This will require a medical evaluation which can be performed at the rehab facility. The best programs will be customized by patient, after which there will be a follow up. Costs for these programs will also vary.