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How Long Is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

Before you begin treatment in an IOP, you will want to get answers to several questions, including how long is an intensive outpatient program? When you know what you expect in an IOP, you will be better prepared to benefit from the care you receive.

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

As its name indicates, an intensive outpatient program, or an IOP, is a non-residential level of care. This means that patients who receive treatment at this level need to be at our center only when the program is in session. 

Intensive outpatient programs serve patients who can benefit from more than a single session each week, but whose needs aren’t severe enough to require either full days of treatment or round-the-clock supervision.

Beginning with the level that offers the most extensive programming, here’s where the IOP fits in our continuum of care at Etowah Recovery Center:

  • Residential treatment
  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
  • Intensive outpatient program
  • Outpatient treatment

Some patients begin at the residential level, then transfer into our PHP, IOP, and/or outpatient program for stepdown support. Others enter treatment at one of our outpatient levels. We work closely with each patient to determine the course of treatment that will best align with their needs, goals, and preferences.

How Long Is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

There’s no simple answer to the question, “How long is an intensive outpatient program?” There are several good reasons why this is the case. Here are three:

  • Imposing an artificial limit on the amount of time that someone can spend in an IOP would be putting the focus on the program, not the person. At Etowah Recovery Center, we base our treatment-related decisions (including determining optimal length of stay) on what is best for each person who is entrusted to our care.
  • Flexibility is an important aspect of our IOP. This feature allows us to further customize each patient’s experience by adjusting the number of days each week that they attend sessions. Thus, over the course of a week or a month, all patients in our IOP will not have spent identical amounts of time receiving care.
  • We are cognizant of the fact that insurance providers may limit how long a person remains in our IOP. We will always advocate for our patients’ needs, but we understand that financial concerns affect the answer to the question, “How long is an intensive outpatient program for me?”  

Who Can Participate In an Intensive Outpatient Program?

To determine if our intensive outpatient program is the ideal placement for each prospective new patient, we review their treatment history, assess their current needs, and discuss their short- and long-term goals with them. 

In general, we have designed this program for those who meet criteria such as the following: 

  • Age 18 or above
  • Have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder (addiction)
  • May also have a co-occurring mental health disorder
  • Do not need round-the-clock care or 24/7 supervision
  • Have access to transportation to and from our center

If you believe that our IOP may be the right environment for you or someone that you care about, please contact our center directly. A member of our team will be happy to provide you with the details you need so that you can make the most informed decision.

What Are the Benefits of an Intensive Outpatient Program?

The specific benefits that you receive from our IOP will depend on how you have been affected by addiction and where you are in your recovery journey. In general, though, you can expect to benefit from the following features of our program:

  • A supportive environment where you will be treated with respect
  • Thorough intake assessments to identify the full scope of your needs
  • Personalized services provided by experienced professionals
  • Multiple forms of therapy and support services
  • Flexibility to adapt the treatment schedule according to what’s best for you
  • Time to attend classes or work when the IOP is not in session
  • Opportunities to share support with others who are working toward a similar goal
  • Discharge planning to help you make continued progress after you complete the program

How Can I Choose the Right Intensive Outpatient Program?

Personalization is an essential element of quality care at any level. When you are a evaluating treatment center to find the right IOP, don’t be afraid to ask questions about any aspects of the center’s services. 

The following are examples of questions that can help you determine if a certain IOP is right for you:

  • What types of therapies and support services are included in your IOP?
  • Does every patient follow the same course of treatment, or do you develop individualized plans for each person?
  • If you offer individualized plans, how will you determine what elements of care will be included in mine?
  • How long is your intensive outpatient program? How many hours per day (and days per week) will I receive care?
  • How do you determine if a person has had a successful experience in your IOP?
  • Does your IOP offer care for addiction only, or do you also provide programming for patients who have co-occurring mental health concerns?
  • Do you offer alumni services or aftercare support?

Begin Intensive Outpatient Treatment in Atlanta

Etowah Recovery Center offers compassionate, integrated services to help adults who have been struggling with substance abuse, addiction, and certain co-occurring mental health disorders. We understand that addiction and mental illnesses affect different people in different ways, and we are focused on providing each of our patients with a truly customized treatment experience.

If you’re ready to end your substance abuse and begin your journey toward long-term recovery, the Etowah Recovery Center team is here for you. To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact Us page or call us today.

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