What is IOP?
If you or a loved one is having problems with substances, it may feel like your options for help are limited. You may look at treatment programs and believe that you have two options. You can go to inpatient treatment, or you can deal with it on your own in an IOP program that isn’t as effective.
But this could not be further from the truth.
No one size fits all
In fact, IOP programs come in different shapes and sizes. They all come with a degree of success so long as the individual is willing to work the program and can utilize what they learn in the program after they have left the treatment facility. However, there is one type of IOP program that might be the best option if inpatient is not right for you.
This is where an IOP program comes in. If you are looking for alternatives for inpatient treatment,4then keep reading. We are going to discuss intensive outpatient treatment programs and what you might expect from them.
What is an IOP?
While a regular outpatient program relates to going to see various doctors and therapists through the week and returning home each day after treatment is done, an IOP program is a lot more involved.
Instead of attending a few counseling sessions and maybe a couple of 12-step meetings, an individual in the program will spend extended amounts of time in a facility throughout the day. Some programs are part-time, a couple of hours a day for two or three days a week. Others are a lot more involved and ask participants to be there each day for a set amount of time.
The goals of an IOP program are much the same as other substance abuse recovery programs. It is meant to guide you to learn about how to maintain abstinence, how to change your behavior, go to meetings, address psychological issues, build a system of support, and develop problem-solving skills.
Detox in an IOP program
When people think of outpatient programs, they often assume that they will have to detox on their own. While some intensive outpatient programs offer detox services, most can direct you to a standalone detox facility that can help you to get through a difficult detox.
However, many people won’t experience intense detox when they stop using drugs. Their program might call for weaning themselves off drugs slowly to avoid life-threatening results. This means you are able to start your treatment straight away without having to go through the detox process.
However, if you have been addicted for a long time or have had a severe addiction, it is advisable that you seek out a monitored detox to make sure that you are health for the entire time.
Intensive outpatient treatment vs traditional inpatient treatment
The most important difference between an IOP program and an inpatient treatment is that at the end of each day, the patient goes home when they are in an IOP program. Inpatient programs require that the patient stay for the entirety of the treatment.
Long and severe addictions usually need inpatient treatment to help heal sufficiently. However, intensive outpatient treatment comes at a much lower cost, is more flexible, and is often more comfortable. This makes it a much more accessible form of treatment.
Intensive outpatient treatment is a good steppingstone between inpatient treatment and being by yourself again.
Length of programs
A person in intensive outpatient treatment will usually attend 9 hours of treatment each day for 3 or 5 days every week. This might change based on which program you are in, or on your individual needs.
You might be in an IOP program for as little as 6 hours a week or for as many as 30. Most of the time, treatment options such as these last for around 3 months.
The 90-day treatment length can change depending on your needs. If at the end of the program you still do not feel up to going down to traditional therapy, you will be given the option to extend the length of your treatment.
It is even possible for your program to slowly wean you off therapy until you are down to a session or two a week.
Different therapies in IOP programs
In an IOP program, therapies are similar to that of traditional inpatient treatment programs. You will experience CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). During this, you will work on relearning how to think and behave, learning your triggers and trying new methods of dealing with them.