Intense Outpatient treatment or IOP treatment is similar to an inpatient program in its intensity and structure, but it allows patients to leave the treatment facility and go home at night, which is why it qualifies as an outpatient treatment program. Since it is by definition more intense than most outpatient therapy, it’s easy to assume that IOP is the better option for most people.
While that is certainly a logical notion, it’s impossible to actually label anyone treatment style as “better” than others. Addiction treatment is subjective, just like any kind of treatment. A treatment program that works wonders for one person might not work at all for someone else, so ultimately people need to find the kind of treatment that works for them regardless of what other people believe.
The Components of IOP Treatment
An IOP program can be the first part of your addiction treatment, or it can be something that you might gradually transition into after undergoing a residential program. Some patients even use an IOP program to step up their treatment after a more traditional outpatient program doesn’t work for them. In any case, an IOP program might include the following components:
- Individual or group counseling sessions
- Case management
- Medical treatment
- Life skills classes
- Monitoring of substance use
- Access to emergency crisis management services
On average, patients are expected to attend sessions in three-to-four hour blocks for four or five days a week. It is as intense as it may sound, but the patients can return to their homes at the end of these days instead of staying at the facility itself. IOP programs typically last about 90 days, although that may vary depending on a patient’s needs.
The Benefits of IOP Treatment
There are many benefits of IOP treatment that could make it a better option than traditional outpatient therapy, the biggest of which is that it combines the intensity of a residential program with the freedom that outpatient therapy programs provide. Since you are able to return to your own home, you will be able to spend time with your loved ones and receive support from them whenever you need it. You will also be able to better support your family if you need to work or take care of small children. Being able to return to your home will also allow you to better maintain your privacy, something that cannot be said about residential treatment.
With all of this being said, is an IOP program really “better” than other treatment programs? Like we said before, that depends on the patient being treated. Some patients simply won’t respond well to being in a residential program, yet they may need the intensity that such a program provides. For them, an IOP program will certainly be better. Then again, some people might be fine with a traditional outpatient program.
If you believe that an IOP program might be right for you or a loved one, don’t hesitate to contact our treatment center at 833-846-5669 for more information. Our staff will be glad to answer any of your questions.