Is Intensive Outpatient Right for You?

Posted by Jackson Bentley on May 24, 2018 8:00:00 AM
Jackson Bentley
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Intensive Outpatient Rehab is an effective form of treatment for many individuals. However, depending on the situation, it may or may not be ideally suited to match your specific needs. For those trying to get off drugs and alcohol, IOP is a step towards recovery that is less intensive than inpatient rehab but more involved than solely detoxing, attending therapy, or pursuing medication assisted recovery by itself. Intensive Outpatient should be looked at if you recently completed medical detox, if a licensed clinician recommends it, or if you are looking for a less time intensive form of rehab. IOPs are generally recommended for those who don’t need medically-supervised detox. If detox is needed, however, IOP is an option to consider trying after completion. IOP provides flexibility, accountability, and the continued support to keep you free from drugs and alcohol. 

What is Intensive Outpatient Rehab?


Intensive Outpatient Rehab (known as IOP or Intensive Outpatient Program) is designed for people with substance abuse problems as well as dual diagnoses with co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders. IOP’s are an alternative to inpatient rehab. Whereas with inpatient you will be in a medically supervised environment for 1 to 3 months, IOP allows the freedom to come and go. IOP contains many of the same services however, such as therapy, relapse management, and coping strategies.


Research has shown intensive outpatient rehab to be as successful as other forms of treatment available. IOP typically ranges from 9 or more hours per week of sessions in a facility, allowing the patient to live at home and carry on with their day to day activities. IOP is sometimes preferred in less severe cases of addiction because it allows the patient to continue working, take care of any dependents, and hopefully become more well adjusted to sober life in their community.


A typical IOP session will last from 1-3 hours per session and can include group recovery work, individual counseling, family therapy, individual therapy, or expressive therapy. Because of its more voluntary and less restrictive nature, patients may choose to drop out or gradually lessen their involvement in IOP. This is strongly discouraged, unless doing so is the recommended course of action from the clinical professional seeing that person.


Although IOP may not be the perfect solution for every candidate, it is great for those deemed to be qualified.


At Landmark Recovery, Intensive Outpatient Rehab has the following programs:


  • 12 Step Meetings
  • SMART Recovery Meetings
  • Individual Counseling
  • Group and Family Therapy
  • Medical Check Ups and Support
  • Alumni Mentorship and Coaching
  • Relapse Prevention and Coping Strategies.


IOP seeks to address the intermediate and pressing concerns that solidify recovery. This is typically referred to as the maintenance stage when viewed from the total continuum of care. The goals and criteria that IOP typically covers are:


  • Reinforce abstinence from alcohol and rugs
  • Practice daily relapse prevention and coping techniques
  • Improve overall emotional health
  • Expand the network of support
  • Address other areas of concern such as environment and physiological factors
  • Continually teach and refine relapse prevention plans
  • Help clients acknowledge underlying triggers leading to substance abuse
  • Support clients through painful or negative emotions and feelings
  • Link clients to other resources online and in their community
  • Emphasize the importance of meditation, introspection, physical health, and fitness
  • Continually monitor with drug tests and psychotherapy sessions


Intensive Outpatient is generally considered to be successfully completed when patients have achieved a number of significant milestones. These include:


  • Sustained abstinence from drugs and alcohol for at least 30 days
  • Improved emotional well being
  • Improved relationships with family, friends, and significant others
  • Understanding and successful deployment of coping and problem solving skills
  • Stable financial and living conditions free from influence of drugs and alcohol
  • Healthy and active participation with support and aftercare programs


What Are the Benefits?



By enrolling in intensive outpatient treatment, your schedule is more flexible to accommodate work, school, and life responsibilities. The key to finding success with Intensive Outpatient is to outline a substantial commitment to recovery balanced with your own responsibilities, whether they be financial, relational, or other. You will be able to undertake a variety of counseling and therapy opportunities, so you can find what is the most helpful, and discuss your recovery with medical professionals and share experiences with people facing similar conditions.



Outpatient treatment pairs recovering addicts with the right network of peers and professionals needed to maximize success. Group meetings, social gatherings, and one on one sessions can arm you with the knowledge and confidence to carry into the rest of your life. Becoming more aware of the underlying causes of your addiction, be they environmental, genetic, biological, or all of the above can go a long way towards putting the pieces of your life back together.


Relapse Prevention and Coping Skills

Undergoing intensive outpatient helps you gain the skills and coping mechanisms necessary for recovery. The treatment can significantly reduce your chances of relapse and instill confidence in your ability to maintain sobriety. You’ll learn ways to manage conflict at home and work, how to deal with and sort out negative emotions, plus develop healthy habits. Oftentimes, patients in recovery become overly confident following release, and may suffer a minor relapse believing they are now more capable of handling their consumption. This kind of faulty thinking can be prevented by implementing a relapse prevention plan.



Responsibility is an essential life skill which Landmark Recovery of Louisville introduces to all residents. To build accountability begins with handling small tasks like making your bed every day, timely attendance of group therapy sessions and following guidelines. In rehab, you learn to take responsibility for all your actions. When you get away from a highly structured environment, you need to build upon the tools that you learned. The best way to do that is to maintain accountability to others that can mentor and encourage you.


Next Steps

At Landmark Recovery, we approach treatment from the perspective that everyone is different, and requires a unique and ongoing solution. Reach out to Landmark Recovery today for the best drug and alcohol rehab centers in Kentucky that can help you to begin your journey to a better tomorrow.



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Topics: intensive outpatient

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