Do I Need IOP After Rehab?


IOP, which stands for Intensive Outpatient Program, is often a recommended next step for those who have recently graduated a residential program of recovery. IOP, unlike residential treatment, only requires patients to meet for several hours every day – once therapeutic sessions come to an end, patients return to their own homes for the remainder of the day. In most instances, IOP will be held at least 3 days a week (though it is more common for IOP to be held 5 days a week), and will last for between 5 and 8 hours every day. IOP is generally recommended as a transitional form of treatment, or for those who may not require an intensive and constantly supervised level of care. It may also be an ideal option for those who cannot afford inpatient treatment, or for those who struggle with a mild to moderate chemical dependency (and no serious or untreated co-occurring disorders). Despite the fact that IOP is not residential, it still requires participants to make a major time commitment. This helps to hold newly sober individuals accountable, while providing them with continuous, therapeutic aftercare.

Why is IOP Important?

Intensive Outpatient Programs provide newly sober individuals with continuous therapy, structure, and support. One of the main goals of IOP is relapse prevention – helping to further instill skills and coping mechanisms that will lead to a fulfilled life of long-term sobriety. IOP also helps patients develop and maintain sober support networks; they are encouraged to spend time with other IOP members after program hours, attending meetings and other sobriety related functions and events. In most instances, an IOP team will be made up of a primary therapist, a family counselor, a licensed psychologist, and a physician. It will be the responsibility of this clinical team to identify all persisting psychological issues, further improve life skills and coping strategies, and help patients successfully integrate into their community. Because patients will continue living at home, they will have more opportunities to implement what they are learning in a real-life setting. They will also have the opportunity to discuss potential issues and hurdles in a safe and nurturing environment.

Is IOP Right for Me?

Intensive Outpatient Treatment is a crucial part of nearly every curriculum of care when it comes to moderate or severe substance dependency. This is especially true when the concerned individual is struggle with dual diagnosis disorders, or when the initial substance dependency issue was considered life-threatening (drunk driving, one or more overdoses). Because addiction is so very powerful and all-consuming, the more monitored treatment a patient has the opportunity to undergo the better. If an individual has been struggling with mild substance abuse – but his or her habit is not considered immediately life-threatening – IOP may be a good option for primary treatment. IOP might also make sense if an individual has previous obligations that cannot be neglected for an extended period of time.

IOP in Palm Beach County

It is important to note that not all IOP programs are created equally. In some cases, IOP only exists so that treatment facilities can continue making money off of excessive drug testing. Before committing to an IOP program in Palm Beach County, be sure to carefully examine all of the services the program offers. How comprehensive, experienced, and qualified is the clinical team? Is the intensive outpatient program simply a condensed program of the residential program, or is there a greater focus on re-integration and relapse prevention?

We at Next Chapter offer an intensive outpatient program for both men (graduates of our inpatient program), and women. Our IOP program focuses on substance abuse and trauma; for more information, please contact us today.