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What Are the Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs?

Treatment options for a substance use disorder have benefits to meet the needs of a vast population of patients. An intensive outpatient program, or IOP, offers treatment with a structure that allows the patient to go home between treatment times.

The benefits of IOP enable a patient to continue to work, reside with the family, and receive treatment for eating disorders, addiction, or other dependencies. However, IOP programs do not include detox, which would be formed before attendance in an outpatient-based treatment. 

Intensive outpatient programs are designed for patients needing psychosocial support, relapse management, and continued treatment to cope with a sober lifestyle after detox. IOP can help to bridge the gap between detox and maintaining a sober lifestyle.

Family obligations, educational sessions, and work requirements can be kept while treatment continues on a preset schedule. However, there must be high motivation and momentum in recovery to make this therapy successful. 

What is IOP?

Substance abuse intensive outpatient programs, IOP, are professional treatment services for those with substance use disorders, co-occurring mental health conditions, and some with eating disorders. People participating in this program do not require 24-hour supervision and can live at home and facilitate treatment around their lifestyle.

This treatment option works best for those needing psychosocial support, relapse management, and coping strategies for sober living. Public and commercial health insurance plans are jumping on board to cover this option because of the program’s success. 

In the article, Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence specialty addiction treatment centers in the United States have identified IOPs as serving 12% of the 1.2 million patients in 2011 from Psychiatric Services since 2002. Geared to treat various demographic populations, the IOP programs address the needs of those who need more support than weekly or bi-weekly outpatient sessions.

IOPs offer at least 9 to 20 hours of service per week in 3 different 3-hour classes, with an option to have more or longer sessions. The motivation is vital to maintain sobriety while living at home and maintaining employment while receiving critical treatment components of individual, group, and family therapy.   

Intensive Outpatient Programs vs.Outpatient Programs

IOP is a mid-level standard of service for treating substance abuse and mental health conditions. Depending upon the individual assessment made by treatment professionals, patients move through the levels of care to achieve specific benchmarks of recovery.

A distinct difference between IOP and OP services is the number of required hours of participation and the required programs. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) provides some main guidelines for 5 levels of care to treat substance abuse appropriately. 

  • Level 0.5: Early intervention services
  • Level 1: Outpatient services
  • Level 2: Intensive outpatient services
  • Level 3: Residential and inpatient services
  • Level 4: Medically managed intensive inpatient services

Overall Benefits of IOP

The benefits of IOP are their regulation by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to contain certain services. Flexibility is a significant benefit of IOPs allowing patients to live at home or in a sober living facility while receiving intensive treatment. For some patients, the ability to maintain the support of their families means everything to the recovery process.

Most importantly, maintaining employment or continuing education allows patients to maintain their privacy, independence, and self-esteem while receiving intensive treatment for their disorders. 

Attention to mental and physical disorder education includes the following components:

  • Education for early-stage relapse management
  • Learning and developing positive and healthy coping mechanisms
  • Building a solid foundation for psychosocial support
  • Addressing social, psychological, and emotional well-being development
  • Attention to specific substance use disorder
  • Participation in community-based group therapy options

The benefits of IOP include the flexibility to match the level of care with continual progress assessments for each individual. Sometimes, a patient may need a higher level of care for a period. IOP allows the changeover to partial hospitalization programs and day treatment options 5 to 7 days a week.

The constant supervision of the treatment team can also detect if a modification to outpatient services is a recommendation in line with the positive flow of recovery. Every individual maintains their level of treatment in line with their recovery standards and timeframe depending on their diagnoses. 

Benefits of IOP (Costs)

The costs of substance abuse treatment are a significant factor for those who need treatment after detox. The cost of intensive outpatient programs is less than inpatient recovery programs.

Another one of the benefits of IOP is a drastically lower cost than inpatient programs, almost one-fourth of the cost in some situations. Insurance companies are also considering intensive outpatient programs as covered benefits with some plans. 

Other IOP Program Benefits

It is essential to point out other benefits of IOP to encourage individuals to consider participating in this type of treatment option. Residential treatment options are very isolating, mostly for the protection of the patient, but not all participants need that level of care.

The IOP relies upon the structure of the program, which includes building support from family, friends, and the community. Finally, the structure of IOP programs provides a checks and balance environment to maintain gradual independence while providing hands-on supportive measures. 

IOP encourages building strong community support and finding strength in peers and also in recovery. To prevent relapse and encourage long-term sobriety, a strong emphasis is on family counseling and education. The benefit of recognition for accomplishment by gradually reducing program hours can decrease the total timeline of the program. Individual, group, and family therapy may become lifelong components of a sober lifestyle building self-esteem, self-awareness, and personal well-being.

Begin Intensive Outpatient Programs Near Tennessee

Education breeds understanding and finding the best option for the treatment of substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions. Tennessee Valley Recovery offers flexible options for the most successful options for treatment. The ideal location for families to experience the benefits of IOP, Tennessee Valley understands the needs of their patients.

Contact the center today and realize the impact this form of treatment can make on an individual’s recovery.