What is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

IOP stands for Intensive Outpatient Program. IOPs and IOTs (Intensive Outpatient Treatment program) are the same thing and offer the same course of care. The only difference is the name. There are many IOPs around the country but one of the top ones is Sana Lake Recovery Center in Dittmer, Missouri. IOPs allow patients to live at home while receiving top-notch care and therapy for their substance abuse problems. 

What Do I Expect in an IOP?

You learn many critical skills in an IOP. While IOPs are not 24 hour/7 days a week programs they do offer intensive therapy and critical information. Some things you will learn in your IOP is:

  • How to socialize without drugs or alcohol
  • Drug education 
  • Coping strategies when confronted with psychological problems or being offered drugs and/or alcohol
  • Relapse prevention techniques
  • Stress management strategies
  • Assertiveness training

What Activities do IOPs Offer?

Many of the same activities used in residential therapy and a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) are used in an IOP. These activities are: 

  • Psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Drug education
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Why do People go to IOPs Instead of Residential Treatment Programs?

While residential treatment programs and PHPs are very important steps for some people if someone has only abused drugs and/or alcohol for a short period of time and has only abused certain drugs they might only need an IOP. IOPs allow you to live at home in your own community. This is very beneficial to people who:

  • Have young children at home
  • Work in certain businesses
  • Are the sole caretaker of elderly parents or other family members
  • They have other responsibilities in their community or family that other people are not able to or available to take on

Who is Not a Good Candidate for an Intensive Outpatient Program?

Sometimes people cannot go through an IOP alone and be successful. Most people do have responsibilities but if you have an addiction you probably already have a hard time dealing with your responsibilities or you might be failing to keep up with them. Some people need residential treatment and the 24 hour/7 days week care that comes with it if:

  • They have been abusing certain substances
  • The substance abuse has gone on for a long period of time 
  • They have certain co-occurring disorders 
  • They have gone through clinical addiction recovery programs before and relapsed
  • The person does not have a stable and/or safe environment to go to between treatments 
  • They lack a support network in their community

Co-occurring disorders are a combination of an addiction disorder and another mental disorder that occur together in the same person. You cannot be successful on your road to recovery if all of your mental disorders are not being treated properly. 

Dual Diagnosis and IOP

Mental disorders like depression can cause severe suffering. When an individual is suffering from a mental disorder and addiction simultaneously, this is called dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. People with mental health issues tend to mask their symptoms by drinking or taking drugs, while research shows that oftentimes people with substance abuse issues have an underlying mental health disorder in conjunction. Some common mental health disorders that trigger and reinforce an addiction disorder are:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Trauma including psychological and physical trauma

Can Trauma Cause Addiction?

Trauma, including abuse, can be a major trigger for the start and continuation of addiction. We at Sana Lake Recovery Center offer intensive trauma recovery treatments. We realize that it can be hard to talk about your experiences and you will never be forced to start talking about them. We prove to you that you can trust us and we gently help you talk about what happened to you. 

What are Some Trauma Recovery Treatments?

We use Reprocessing Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization (EMDR) to help you start recovering. We also help place you with a therapist in your area who specializes in trauma and addiction and with whom you feel comfortable with. We understand that therapy is different from other medical processes. You might not like your heart doctor but that won’t affect your level of treatment. If you do not like or feel comfortable around your therapist it will be harder for you to make progress. 

How Long do IOPs Last?

The standard length of an IOP is 90 days with at least 9 hours of therapy three to five times a week. An IOP is not as time-consuming as a residential treatment program or the PHP that comes after it, but addiction is a very serious disorder. 

Can You Ever Recover From Addiction?

There is no way to just suddenly stop being addicted. Addiction recovery is a lifelong journey, but once you complete a drug rehab program you have the chance to start a new chapter in your life and return to health and normalcy. 

What do I need to do to Complete an IOP?

Many IOPs require that their patients stay sober for at least 30 days before discharging them to an aftercare program. 30 days may seem like a lot to ask in such a short period of time, but your IOP can be lengthened if you need it. You will not be asked to leave just because you have a slip. 

Who is a part of the IOP Recovery Team?

There are many people who help you during your IOP and beyond into the aftercare program. Some of the people who will take the responsibility of helping you are:

  • Therapists
  • Caseworkers/social workers
  • Nurses
  • Outside agencies that work with social workers and case managers to provide additional support to you after your discharge

What do Case Managers do?

In an IOP case, managers are the professionals who deal with the non-medical treatment of the patient’s clinical recovery process. Routinely case managers provide drug and alcohol testing.  Drug and alcohol testing is very important during the first phase of your recovery journey. It helps hold you accountable and it provides information to the medical personnel in case you relapse, which is, unfortunately, a very common occurrence. In addition, case managers do the following: 

  • Help you find recreational facilities and meeting places

Finding places where you can go to participate in healthy activities like taking up a new hobby or playing a sport with other people can be very beneficial to your health. These activities can help calm your mind and help you to continue to develop as a person.

  • Give you an additional person to confide in and someone who will provide you with knowledgeable advice if you want a second opinion on day to day activities like how to eat healthier.

Sometimes people feel like some problems are not important enough to bring up in therapy. Please remember that all your problems are valid and worthy of attention. 

  • Provide you with HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, and other STI testing and information 

Often your recovery clinic will provide you with these tests but sometimes it can feel intimidating to ask. A case manager is an additional person who is also very easy to approach.

How Do I Get the Stuff I Need After Drug Rehab?

Some more life intensive services that a case manager can help with are:

  • Finding a food bank
  • Obtaining clothes that are suitable for a job interview
  • Job and/or vocational training
  • Helping you find cost-effective transportation services  
  • Providing you with the information needed to find someone to give you legal advice or other legal help if you need it

What are the End Goals of an IOP?

One of the main goals of an IOP is to put you in a mental and physical condition where you do not take drugs or drink alcohol for at least 30 days. Staying sober is a requirement throughout the aftercare program as well. If someone slips or relapses during their IOP they will receive continued counseling in the IOP and they often have to continue the program until they meet the 30-day criteria

  • Complete program goals

You will have your own personalized goals when you enter your IOP program. Your goals are often a combination of professional requirements and things that you want to achieve before leaving the program. 

  • Being competent in your assertive skills to get out of situations that might cause you to relapse because of peer and/or family pressure

Some people have to trigger people or situations that make them want to abuse substances. During your IOP you will learn you have the strength to leave these situations and/or break off the connection with people who trigger your addiction. 

It might sound easy but if one of your triggers people is a long-time friend or even a family member it can be very difficult. Trigger places might be places that make you want to abuse substances while you are at them. 

Trauma is a big stressor that often causes people to turn to drugs and/or alcohol for comfort. Being in a place that reminds someone of their trauma might cause them to slip or relapse. 

  • 12 step-program

Your caseworker will help you find a local 12 step program like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). 12 step programs like these can help you stay sober and continue your treatment in combination with a therapist if you have a dual diagnosis or you feel the need for one. 

Do I Need Therapy after Drug Rehab?

Your aftercare program might offer continued therapy, but once it is over you will begin therapy outside your clinic’s network. A case manager can help you find a local therapist that suits your needs. 

How Do I Find an IOP?

Sana Lake Recovery Center is located in Missouri. Our dedicated team of professionals offers everything you need to start your new life on your road to recovery. When you have made the decision to start your new life please contact us