IOP Eligibility and Admission Requirements

Eligibility criteria may vary, but often includes some combination of the following:

  • A mental health diagnosis per the DSM-IV
  • An individual’s inability to cope with use of a substance in a healthy way
  • An individual’s impairment as a result of substance use but whether the level of impairment is not severe enough to require hospitalization
  • An individual is not in an immediate danger to themselves or others around them. If that is the case, hospitalization is more appropriate.
  • An order from the court for an individual to participate in an intensive outpatient program
  • An individual’s ability to continue to live in their current setting and carry on with living requirements
  • Individual is not actively experiencing acute withdrawal symptoms. If that is the case, detoxification settings and partial or full hospitalization may be warranted.
  • Individual is interested in making a commitment to getting better. Note that this is not mandatory. As mentioned elsewhere, individuals are often ordered by a court to attend and intensive program even if they do not wish to. Obviously, an individual’s interest in getting better increases the chance of success.
  • Some IOP programs will not accept anyone who is still actively using the substance in question. While, other programs understand the substance use is a long-term condition and it may be unrealistic to expect someone to be completely clean before seeking help. As a matter of fact, during the course of treatment, individuals will often relapse. For IOP centers that accept patients under the influence, a relapse can offer a good learning opportunity where the situation can be worked through in a group and in individual settings.
  • Individual is referred by a residential facility, a hospital, or a psychiatrist for counseling under an intensive program

Note that patients may be discharged early from an IOP. Typical cases include:

  • The patient is judged to be unsafe to themselves and others in the group
  • The patient requires medical intervention, such as an acute detoxification
  • The patient is not adhering to group therapy guidelines and is disruptive
  • Individual has significant factors that prevent progress to be made in a group session. In such cases, a patient may be guided to work through solely individual sessions.

Copyright 2017. Talk Therapy Psychology Center.

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