Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
An IOP is a mental healthcare program that is a step up from traditional outpatient therapy, requiring two to three hours of therapy per day, three to five days a week, for both group and individual clients.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines five levels of treatment for addiction issues: early intervention, outpatient services, intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization services, residential or inpatient treatment services, and medically managed intensive inpatient treatment services. These levels vary from facility to facility and provider to provider but typically consist of 10-12 hours of weekly group and individual therapy, along with encouraged participation in a 12-step program.
Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) typically require 9 to 20 hours of participation per week, providing a higher level of care than standard outpatient programs. Group participation offers support in various ways, such as enhancing communication skills, providing socialization, providing access to similar situations, reinforcing healthy interacting habits, and providing a safe space for recovery efforts. Group members can also offer assistance and empathy to early in recovery.
IOPs may include various groups, such as skills-development groups, psychoeducational groups, refusal training, relapse prevention groups, and family groups. These groups help clients practice specific behaviors, learn about addiction, dependence, and the consequences of abuse, develop problem-solving skills, handle invitations to use substances, identify triggers and high-risk situations, and develop techniques to avoid and manage them.