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How Long Do Intensive Outpatient Programs Typically Last? Timeframe and FAQs

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

An intensive outpatient program is a type of outpatient rehabilitation. The patient does not reside within the premises but rather goes in for treatments multiple times a week. This is more intensive than other types of outpatient programs.

Since the patient does not live in the facility, they have the freedom to schedule appointments and resume their normal life outside of treatment. These sessions can be scheduled during the mornings or evenings, on weekdays or weekends.

IOPs have goals which include:

·         Helping the patient maintain abstinence and promote sobriety

·         Attain behavioral change through cognitive behavioral therapy

·         Encourage the patient to increase their participation in 12-step programs

·         Help the patient transition better to be more capable of addressing psychosocial issues (employment, housing, financial issues, and meeting probation standards)

·         Develop a strong network of support systems to assist them through rough patches

·         Encourage the patient to learn more problem-solving and critical-thinking skills through life skills training and real-time application

How Long Do Intensive Outpatient Programs Typically Last?

This depends on numerous factors, specifically the patient’s rate of recovery. Some patients only go in for a month while others can take up to six months. IOP normally requires patients to commit 15 to 25 hours per week which means that they may attend 3 or 5 days a week. It really depends on what you need as a patient.

IOP contains the following steps which may also affect the timeline:

·         Registration for the intensive outpatient program

·         Assessment by healthcare professionals

·         Therapy sessions (both individual and group which may last for at least an hour or so)

·         Motivational identification

·         Participation in treatment by friends, family, and loved ones

·         Periodic evaluation to determine if the patient needs to commit more hours or fewer hours each week

You may expect that the early stages of treatment will require you to come in daily. You will be scheduled daily individual or group therapy sessions. After a while, you will transition to a few days a week for 2 to 4 hours each day. IOPs are designed to operate around your schedule. The patients are meant to keep their jobs or pursue an education and those are entirely possible with IOPs. You only need to consult in terms of your availability so that you can perfectly balance all of your commitments.

Typically, a session should last for at least 90 minutes. Your activities may be scheduled back-to-back. For example, your individual therapy may be followed by a group therapy session. Others include family therapy and more counseling.

How To Know If You Are Ready For IOP

Here are some guidelines on how to know if you are ready for IOP. If you have met at least three of the following, then you are eligible.

·         You are facing serious financial problems due to your addiction and you are unable to afford inpatient rehab.

·         You are unable to hold your job and have been fired on numerous occasions.

·         Your family has intervened and talked to you about your addiction.

·         You are diagnosed with a mental health disorder that exacerbates your addiction problem and you are now ready to take some serious action to get better.

·         You are determined to find a sustainable way to become sober and stay clean.

To know more about whether or not you are ready or eligible for IOP, read more here.

Do Intensive Outpatient Programs Actually Work?

The answer is yes. Staying sober isn’t just about your resolve to stay clean forever. It is normal for you to face triggers and temptations that may cause you to relapse. However, when you have a continuous commitment to treatment, the chances of you relapsing will significantly lessen.

Additionally, IOPs offer a wide range of treatment options for you. It is a learning process between you and your psychiatrist to find which method works best for you. Most patients thrive with individual and group therapy while others may prefer 12-step sessions or family therapy. The options are endless and you may even access holistic therapy options, such as:

·         Yoga

·         Deep breathing exercises

·         Acupuncture

·         Sports massage

·         Arts and crafts

·         Mindfulness-focused meditation

·         Volunteering

Recovery will have its own share of problems and hurdles. The good news is that you are never alone on this journey. We at R&R Recovery have countless resources at your disposal. We will assist you in finding the best treatment plan that works best for you.

If you are ready to change your life, you know the next step. Contact us at ___ to get started.

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