Intensive Outpatient Treatment for Substance Abuse

Posted: January 7, 2016 by

Baltimore Addiction Rehab


Intensive outpatient treatment, or IOP, is a type of rehabilitation that is more flexible than residential rehab but more involved and thorough than pure outpatient care. This treatment may be right for you if you a have a serious drug or alcohol problem but also a busy schedule or pressing commitments.

Intensive outpatient treatment is often recommended by medical professionals for individuals who are in need of drug and alcohol treatment, but also have pressing demands on their time. This type of treatment offers assessment and primary treatment services, but is cheaper than inpatient treatment rehab. It’s designed for anyone who’s seeking treatment for his or her substance problem but doesn’t require medically-supervised detox. It’s also frequently used by those who have completed their residential treatment but still need post-rehab support.

Goals of Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)                      

Even though IOP doesn’t require individuals to live in a rehab facility, it is still a commitment. The goals of IOP are as follows:

  • To help patients achieve and maintain sobriety and total abstention from drugs and/or alcohol
  • To identify the factors and reasons contributing to an individual’s use of drugs and/or alcohol
  • To help individuals to develop an optimistic mindset and a positive support network
  • To encourage a new outlook on life and a complete lifestyle change
  • To teach individuals coping strategies and problem-solving skills

What happens in Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)?

Individuals are assigned to teams along with a medical professional, counselor, substance abuse technician, and a psychologist. Daily treatment takes the form of group and individual therapy sessions, counseling, and education.

With IOP, individuals have the chance to receive treatment and still pursue responsibilities like work or school. You or your loved one can apply the skills learned in rehab to your everyday life. You will immediately begin to build the basic foundations of lifelong sobriety in IOP.

What services does Intensive Outpatient Treatment offer?

  • Assessment and detox – You or your loved one will undergo an examination. After trained professionals analyze your mental and physical condition, they will advise you whether IOP is right for you. If the assessment shows that you need detox, you will be referred to detoxification services before entering IOP.
  • Therapy and counseling – This includes individual and group counseling, family therapy, and support groups.
  • Education sessions – You will learn how your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors can contribute to your recovery. You will also learn relapse prevention techniques.

What happens after Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)?

As you or a loved one progresses through IOP, sessions will become shorter and shorter. As the patient gains independence and learns how to live a drug-free life, the treatment will become less intense. It’s still recommended that patients continue occasional therapy and counseling sessions, but at the conclusion of IOP, the patient’s life will be their own. The patient can begin putting the skills they’ve learned in IOP to good use as they continue down the path to sobriety.

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