What is an Intensive Outpatient Treatment program?

The intensive outpatient treatment program is often referred from inpatient services, with most having been discharged to the community as recently as a few weeks prior. It provides patients with specialized addiction treatment outside the hospital setting. In addition, the program provides patients with a solid structure and facilities to support their recovery while accommodating their daily life. Here is a guide on an intensive outpatient treatment program.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

The intensive outpatient program is a therapy that offers people suffering from addiction a chance to receive addiction services while living at home, going to work, or school. Some people usually start with the intensive outpatient program when seeking therapy for their addiction.

However, others transition from hospital-based (inpatient) therapy to intensive outpatient programs to build coping skills. It also helps decrease the risk of relapse for many patients. Some patients might transition to the intensive outpatient program after receiving monitored detoxification to solidify their sobriety.

What Sets Intensive Outpatient Programs Apart from Other Programs

The difference between intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization is that only the former provides care for substance abuse sufferers in their home, work, or school environments. Partial hospitalization offers the same outpatient care but in a residential setting.

Some facilities offer both types of care. In an inpatient program, the patient must participate in therapy daily and remain at the facility for the duration of treatment. In addition, the patients attend therapy once or twice a week for 3 to 6 hours per session. The program may run from 30 to 90 days, depending on what the doctor sees fit. Conversely, individuals prescribing to intensive outpatient rehab programs usually meet for two to four hours a day. Therapy takes place at least thrice weekly, depending on the chosen plan.

What Takes Place During an Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

The first days of intensive outpatient treatment usually start with participants receiving medical assessments. The primary objective is to identify any co-existing illnesses or other medical issues contributing to the patient’s addiction. Once you begin the program, you will be assigned to a team to collaborate with others to develop a treatment plan.

Group Counseling

Intensive outpatient therapy relies heavily on treatment teams or groups. These groups enhance sobriety, introduce structure, provide guidance, and develop communication skills. The intensive groups can focus on different aspects of recovery like relapse prevention, addiction education, stress management, life skills, and coping skills.

Family Therapy

The groups educate a person battling addiction about the vital role family plays in preventing relapse. In addition, it helps teach about the consequences of drug abuse on relationships. Therefore, intensive outpatient therapy assists the patient rebuild and mending broken relations with their family, friends, and colleagues.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy in intensive outpatient therapy as an adjunct therapy. The aim of therapy is not to uncover underlying issues, which influence substance abuse. However, the therapist aims to rectify and prevent maladaptive behavior.

Medication Management

Research shows that patients benefit immensely from a combination of psychosocial support, therapy, and medication therapy. Medication management helps deter cravings, block desires, and treat mental health problems associated with drug abuse. Your physician can prescribe any medication to treat physical ailments resulting from substance abuse.


Some intensive outpatient treatment plans may provide detoxification services for their patients. Detox is usually open for individuals not at risk of developing severe and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Other treatment programs might refer patients to other clinics or facilities for detox services before admission.

Matrix Model

The matrix model aims to treat addiction to stimulants like methamphetamine. The therapist or coach creates an encouraging and empowering environment for the patients. This approach promotes the development of self-regard and self-esteem within patients affected by addiction. Treatment approaches include drug education, relapse analysis, self-help, 12-step program, social support groups, relapse prevention groups, and urine tests.

Recovery at Home

It is essential for recovering addicts not to feel isolated and alone, even when not in the hospital. This feeling can be brought about by realizing that your loved ones care about you, and their support can help you stay on track with your recovery program.

How Long the Program Runs?

An intensive outpatient treatment program varies on how long the treatment might take. It may range from twelve to 16 weeks. Once the patient completes this period, one enters the maintenance phase where also lasts a couple of months. The required number of hours a person should attend the intensive outpatient program weekly is nine hours.

When is the Treatment Suitable?

An intensive outpatient program is suitable for patients with:

  • Stable social life
  • Not previously prescribed to join an intensive outpatient program
  • Find comfort in a group
  • Have low relapse risk
  • Sound mental and physical health
  • Have a strong support system

If you are struggling with addiction or know someone who does, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for assistance. We have a team ready to offer guidance to make your recovery road smooth as possible. We can help, call now 844-639-8371.

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