Intensive Outpatient Programs are designed for people working through substance use issues. Such individuals are well-enough to not require hospitalization, but are in enough distress that an intensive treatment method is warranted. It is typical that a person dealing with addiction is also dealing with other conditions, including anxiety and depression. To that end, IOP programs work through not only the addiction but any contributing underlying conditions.
IOPs are best for individuals who require a certain level of intensity of care. They are also very commonly used as a transition program upon discharge from a residential program. When someone leaves the full-time care of a residential program, it is best to slowly transition back into life outside a facility, while having access to an on-going and long-term support structure. Such structure is offered by IOP programs, which typically meet 3 types per week and can help individuals cope with situations while under intensive supervision.
IOPs can be a great choice for individuals who require intensive supervision but who may not have the funds for residential treatment, or must continue their life responsibilities and must return home every day for taking care of family members or job responsibilities. It’s not easy for people to stop going to work for several weeks to attend a residential program.
At times, IOP is mandated by a court as a treatment approach. In such cases, the court may require someone to go through intensive treatment for a pre-designated duration and may require the program director to provide reports throughout the course of care as well as during discharge.