Various rehab facilities offer two types of a recovery programs:

  1. Inpatient program
  2. Outpatient program

Both these programs are used to achieve the sobriety in the patient effectively and both the programs work differently. Inpatient and outpatient programs are opposite to each other as in an inpatient program, the patient has to stay at the rehab residential facility and in an outpatient program, the patient can live at his house and seek treatment. Let us understand the outpatient program in detail:

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

There are instances when people suffering from mental health or addiction issues require more than what individual therapy can offer. An intensive outpatient program (IOP) may be recommended for men and women who need more extensive mental health care. Rehab treatment programs called intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are used to treat addictions, depression, eating disorders, or any other addictions that do not require detoxification or round-the-clock monitoring.

Furthermore, an outpatient program is basically the next step of intensive inpatient treatment. There are high chances of relapse even after the recovery at the rehab centers and in this case, outpatient treatment plays a helping role. The patient can visit the rehab facility seeking treatment as an outpatient while staying at home. It also enables the patient to practice the social skills in real life which they learned in the residential program.

Who Can Opt For Intensive Outpatient Program?

The outpatient program is not suited for everyone; there are some criteria about who can go for IOP treatment. Let us go through them:

  • Patients with mild to moderate symptoms.
  • Patients who do not require detoxification.
  • The patients who are not likely to experience any withdrawal symptoms after quitting the substance abuse.
  • Patients who are not likely to harm themselves or others.
  • Patients who have a supportive family environment.
  • The patients who have the flexibility from work, school, college, or any other responsibility to adjust the time for their treatment.
  • The patient who is not in touch with any other addicted individual in his/her social life.

It is important to note that IOP programs are not for individual suffering from severe addiction that has the most possibility to face withdrawal symptoms. Moreover, these programs are also not for the patients who cannot offer a full commitment to the treatment schedules.

How Does IOP Work?

The duration of the intensive outpatient program depends upon the condition of the client and how long will it take for them to completely recover. Generally, outpatient treatment can last for 8 to 12 weeks or more.

  • IOPs (Intensive Outpatient Programs) give flexibility and independence to live in the home environment while giving part-time addiction recovery. They provide post-detox treatment to help patients transition from early recovery to long-term sobriety.
  • IOP as per its name is intensive treatment because it requires a commitment to a strict schedule of treatment for some fixed hours of the week by the team of clinicians, therapists, support groups, and other experts.
  • In this type of program, the patients visit and stay at the treatment facility for some hours of the day like 4 to 5 hours, and can go home each night.
  • The outpatient programs are designed in a structured way that you learn and build life skills here that would be benefited in your new sober life. IOP is like an after-school for those with mental illnesses and addiction issues.

Treatments or services offered in the Outpatient program:

There are various types of treatments offered in an outpatient program but they differ from person to person. Each patient goes through a health assessment before enrolling in the program and a specific treatment plan suitable to the particular patient is made. Though some general treatments offered in the outpatient program are as follows:

  • Individual, family, or group therapy
  • 12-step support group
  • Substance intake monitoring and relapse prevention
  • Psychiatry
  • Mindfulness therapy
  • Life skill training and coping strategies
  • Health, fitness, and nutrition
  • Vocational education on substance abuse and its effect on mental health
  • Complementary therapies like acupuncture, massage, art, music, etc.

Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Program:

  • IOP treatments are affordable compared to inpatient as it does not include the staying and food cost of the patient.
  • Helps balance routine life and responsibilities with the ongoing treatment.
  • Keeps the patients close to their family and friends which is especially important during the recovery stage.
  • Helps with self-discovery and finding the true meaning of life with sobriety.
  • Helps you with your privacy


In this blog, we have understood everything about the intensive outpatient program. If you require a step down from inpatient care, partial hospitalizations, residential treatment, or any other higher level of care, then an intensive outpatient program from Vantage Point Recovery might be your choice. But, integrity and commitment are essential components required of any effective program for addiction recovery. Patients with addictions can attend an IOP without it affecting their relationships, routines, or jobs.