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.

PHP vs IOP vs OP: Which Is The Right Treatment For You?

Addiction recovery is not just about getting yourself admitted into inpatient rehab and calling it a day. It is about establishing a lifelong system that will help you stay sober and be perfectly capable of resisting any temptation that comes your way. After inpatient rehab, the next step is to choose the right outpatient treatment for you.

There are three main types of outpatient programs: partial hospitalization (PHP), intensive outpatient (IOP), and outpatient (OP). The three vary in terms of intensity of care but they all allow you to live your normal life since they require less commitment compared to inpatient rehab. Here is a guide on how to differentiate the three so that you may pick the best one for you.

Partial Hospitalization or PHP

Partial hospitalization is a combination of outpatient and residential care. The patient gets to decide whether they wish to live at home or in a controlled environment. Regardless of their choice of residence, they will be required to attend substance treatment sessions during the day.

Partial hospitalization is highly structured since each day is filled with activities and sessions dedicated to substance abuse treatment. PHP entails group sessions six days a week and provides a high level of support while still offering some flexibility. You have time to socialize with the important people in your life, pursue an education, or even get a part-time job.

The treatment sessions involve the following:

·         In-depth discussion and personal assessment of your substance abuse history

·         Assessment for co-occurring disorders

·         Analyzing your family structure, how your family unit operates, and your role in it

·         Meditation that enforces mindfulness

·         Individual therapy

·         Group therapy

·         Life skills training

Here are the benefits of partial hospitalization:

·         PHP serves as an excellent transition from inpatient rehab to outpatient treatment

·         The patient can regularly interact and consult with medical and behavioral experts

·         A personalized health care plan will be provided

·         Significantly more affordable than inpatient rehab since there is no need to pay for accommodations

·         The patient has a more flexible schedule to allow them to pursue commitments and live a relatively normal life

Intensive Outpatient or IOP

Intensive outpatient treatment is less strict and more flexible than partial hospitalization. This is an excellent option after you have completed PHP and you still wish to continue with a structured treatment plan. It provides structure and consistency with more freedom. This is particularly ideal if you have family obligations or a job. The freer schedule allows you to juggle these commitments. You may expect to commit about 15 to 25 hours each week. This depends on the time allocated for individual therapy and other aspects of the treatment.

This type of treatment includes:

·         In-depth discussion and personal assessment of your substance abuse history

·         Assessment for co-occurring disorders

·         Analyzing your family structure, how your family unit operates, and your role in it

·         Meditation that enforces mindfulness

·         Individual therapy

·         Group therapy

·         Life skills training

·         12-step

Here are the benefits of intensive outpatient treatment:

·         It provides you with additional support before you leave a program or you transition to a more flexible plan

·         It helps strengthen your relationships with family and friends

·         It allows you time to keep your job, pursue an education, and other commitments

·         It allows you to uphold a daily routine

·         This is less expensive than other treatments

Outpatient or OP

Outpatient is the least intensive treatment option among the three. This is highly useful if you are dealing with mild substance abuse. It is also the next step after you have finished more intensive treatment.

This is very flexible so you can uphold your daily or weekly routine. Unlike other treatments, this does not require you to dedicate your entire daytime to the treatment. You get enough flexibility and freedom to schedule appointments when your schedule permits. As such, it frees up your evenings and weekends to do more things.

Here are the features of outpatient treatment:

·         Individual therapy

·         Group therapy

·         Life skills training

·         In-depth analysis of your family structure, how your family unit operates, and what your roles in the unit are

·         Mindfulness-focused meditation

·         Guided discussions on your personality and identity

Here are the benefits of outpatient treatment:

·         It is significantly cheaper compared to residential treatments or more intensive treatment options

·         You get flexibility so you can keep your job or spend more time with your family

What’s The Next Step?

Now that you got an overview of the three different types of outpatient programs, the next step is to identify the best option for you. There are numerous factors that will come into play, such as the severity of your substance abuse and the progress you have made so far. Ideally, patients should transition from PHP to IOP to OP until they are fully ready to live an independent life. It is best to consult with a healthcare professional for the full assessment of your case. Contact us at R&R Recovery for more questions. Our mission is to empower you to make the right choice that suits your needs and ultimately leads to your healing.