Intensive Outpatient Program or IOP.

An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) plays a vital role in addiction treatment across America.

What is an IOP? It’s a program designed for people with intermediate-level substance problems.

If you qualify for this level of care, an IOP can be essential for reaching an initial state of sobriety.

This type of program can also help you develop the skills needed to maintain a sober lifestyle.


Immediate Placement in an Intensive Outpatient Program


What Are IOP Services?

What is intensive outpatient care? Addiction experts use this term for a specific level of substance treatment.

People who need IOP services have serious drug or alcohol problems.

The presence of such problems means that they need more help than a standard outpatient program can give.

However, their condition isn’t severe enough for enrollment in an inpatient program.

IOP for drugs and IOP for alcoholism provide an in-between level of services.

During treatment, you will continue to reside at home. Several days each week, you will receive help at the facilities of your program.

The amount of time required typically ranges between nine and 19 hours. In some cases, you may need to dedicate a bit more time to weekly treatment.


Insurance Verification for IOP Rehab – Get Help Now


The Criteria of IOP Care.

All IOP facilities must focus on certain criteria to meet the definition of an intensive outpatient program.

Established at a federal level, these criteria include:


  • Reliance on treatments supported by scientific evidence
  • A commitment to providing care for the largest possible number of people
  • A simplified enrollment process
  • A commitment to sobriety as a treatment goal
  • A goal of increasing participants’ internal desire to achieve sobriety
  • Use of individualized treatment methods
  • Reliance on appropriate medication use
  • Creation of strong, therapeutic bonds between participants and treatment providers
  • Involvement of friends and family in the recovery process
  • A goal of maximizing the number of people who complete treatment
  • A commitment to educating participants on addiction and recovery related issues
  • A goal of getting as many participants as possible to join a self-help group
  • A goal of getting program graduates to continue with some form of follow-up treatment
  • A commitment to making IOP programs run efficiently


Treatments Used in Intensive Outpatient Programs.


Group Counseling and Therapy

Group counseling/therapy is the main focus of intensive outpatient programs. IOPs use a group approach because it has unique benefits for program participants.


Intensive Outpatient Program - Several people meet during a group therapy session who are enrolled in the Intensive Outpatient Program for addiction treatment.

What do you learn in IOP group therapy that you might not learn elsewhere? Specific areas covered include:


  • Healthy norms for day-to-day socialization
  • Healthy norms for interpersonal communication
  • How to make the most of the information provided by your therapist and other staff
  • How to seek help from other participants in your program (including those who are further along in the recovery process)
  • How to take advantage of the increased daily structure provided by your program

As a rule, IOPs require you to take part in more than one type of therapy group. By participating in multiple groups, you increase the amount of benefit you receive.

That’s true because you get the chance to focus on more than one area of your recovery. The treatment provided in IOP group therapy comes in a variety of forms.

Common methods include:


  • The Matrix Model
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT
  • Community reinforcement approach (CRA) with vouchers
  • Contingency management
  • 12-step facilitation therapy
  • Motivational enhancement therapy

Each of these options can help you in specific ways. However, they also share something in common. Namely, they all belong to a school of psychotherapy called behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy is active. It requires you to do such things as:


  • Understand how you became involved in substance abuse
  • Increase your willingness to participate in treatment
  • Improve your ability to maintain your sobriety
  • Learn skills that will help you stay sober in the future

Your doctor will help you determine which forms of behavioral therapy will provide you with the most effective help.


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Individual Counseling and Therapy.

Individual counseling/therapy also contributes to your recovery efforts in an IOP. One of the biggest benefits of one-on-one therapy is a greater level of personalized attention.

This increased focus makes it possible to address any problems with your treatment. It also gives you the opportunity to provide feedback on your treatment experiences.

You may depend heavily on individual therapy if you’re affected by mental illness.


Approved Medication

If you suffer from alcoholism or opioid addiction, medication may play part of your IOP treatment. People affected by mental illness may also take medication for their condition.

Your doctor will determine if you need this form of treatment.


Who Needs IOP Therapy and Medication?

This brings us to the next question. Who should enroll in an IOP program for addiction treatment? You may qualify if you meet two criteria.

First, you must have problems that require more assistance than standard outpatient care can supply. In addition, you must not be appropriate for placement in an inpatient program.

In some cases, enrollment in an IOP marks the beginning of addiction treatment. However, many people transition into such a program at a later stage in their recovery.

You can transition into an IOP from a more intensive kind of program. You can also transition from a less intensive level of care.


Length of Stay in Intensive Outpatient Care.

So, how long does it take to finish an intensive outpatient program?

The answer to that question will vary from person to person. You can potentially complete your program in a matter of weeks.

However, IOP enrollment can last for a much longer amount of time. In fact, some programs take a year or more to complete. On average, IOPs last for roughly 90 days.


Intensive Outpatient Program - A therapist listens to a man enrolled in the IOP for addiction treatment during their one on one session.


Where Are Intensive Outpatient Services Offered?

Intensive outpatient programs are conducted in a variety of facilities and locations. Many people receive treatment at a private facility like Pathfinders.

At both Pathfinders we offer both Outpatient and Inpatient services. This allows you to stay with us as you move through the different levels of your addiction treatment.

Some places offer one or the other which means you need to go to a different facility to receive the appropriate level of care.


Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Care.

The benefits of an IOP program are clearly supported by research and real-world results. For this reason, IOPs are officially classified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

To benefit from intensive outpatient care, you must meet all entry requirements. Otherwise, you may not get the help you need.


How Much Do IOP Programs Cost?

Does insurance cover IOP treatment costs? For some people, the answer to this question is yes. However, not all people have plans that completely cover their expenses.

In addition, not everyone who needs intensive outpatient care has insurance coverage. Many programs are equipped to deal with this reality.

To make treatment affordable, they offer payment agreements to clients who need them.


Learn More About Intensive Outpatient Programs.

The purpose of an IOP program is to provide a middle level of addiction care. People in IOPs need more help than a standard outpatient program can provide.

However, an IOP does not require treatment in a residential facility. Most people receive intensive outpatient services for nine to 19 hours a week.

You may decide spend more time per week in some programs.

Behavioral therapy is the main form of treatment in most IOPs. Most of this therapy is provided in group sessions.

Intensive programs also provide some individual sessions. In addition, people affected by certain forms of addiction may receive medication during treatment.


Learn More About IOP at Pathfinders Call Today


Intensive Outpatient Program at Pathfinders.

Intensive outpatient care is proven to help a significant number of people with substance problems.

For this reason, addiction specialists encourage IOP enrollment when appropriate.

IOP program costs are often covered by insurance. People who lack insurance may receive help in the form of a payment agreement.

To learn more about how an IOP can help you, contact our specialists today at 877-224-0761 .

With our assistance, you can find the resources you need to answer all your questions.

We can also help you resolve any issues affecting your situation.

We’re committed to fulfilling all your recovery needs.


  • 7580 E Gray Rd Suite 201 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
  • (877) 224-0761
  • Mon-Sun: 24x7
  • Mon-Fri: 8:00AM – 4:00PM

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