Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)


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    Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) Rehab

    In the spectrum of addiction treatment, an intensive outpatient treatment program allows for a balance between the rigor of structured treatment and the flexibility of an outpatient setting. In an IOP program, patients can transition from inpatient or partial hospitalization to more independent settings like outpatient treatment.

    Intensive outpatient programs are often recommended for individuals suffering from a mild-to-moderate substance use disorder that doesn’t require medically supervised detox, individuals who have already attended inpatient or partial hospitalization program (PHP) rehab and want a step-down level of care, and people who have daily responsibilities or jobs that they cannot leave.  They enable patients to continue with their normal, day-to-day lives in a way that residential treatment programs or partial hospitalization programs (PHP) do not. Whereas residential treatment requires that clients reside on-site, clients in intensive outpatient programs live at home.

    The primary function of IOPs is to help people leaving inpatient treatment or hospitalization adjust to life with their families and communities. The IOP group provides people with the support system needed to maintain sobriety and deal with relapse if and when it occurs.

    One important aspect of IOP programs is standard drug screenings. Administered as part of the treatment program, screenings are a low-cost way to provide a high level of accountability and boost the confidence of those who are progressing well in treatment. Those in IOP treatment may be required to undergo drug screenings as often as two times a week.

    What to Expect During an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) Rehab

    Intensive outpatient programs are exactly as the title indicates: intensive, despite patients not living on site. People attend treatment for up to 15 hours a week. Programs must be at least nine hours to be considered intensive. Therapy sessions might last three hours at a time, three to five days a week.

    Most participants continue working, attending school, or fulfilling other obligations while not at treatment. For this reason, therapy sessions might be in the evening, on the weekends, or at other flexible times.

    Patients work with their treatment team to establish a treatment plan with defined, measurable milestones in place to indicate progress, and as these milestones are met, the time commitment required from patients each week decreases. The duration of intensive outpatient programs is typically 6-12 months. Typically, intensive outpatient programs meet 3-7 days per week, with the number of days per week decreasing as time goes by. Most programs include multiple sessions that last for 3 hours per day and a single 1-hour individual therapy session per week.

    IOPs include many of the other components of treatment including:

    • Initial screening and intake
    • Psychological and behavioral treatments
    • Education about addiction
    • Group sessions
    • Individual sessions
    • Case management support services, including housing and job assistance

    All reputable programs assist patients in developing:

    • Coping skills
    • Problem-solving skills
    • Self-awareness
    • Ability to recognize unhealthy behavior
    • Role-playing and practice asking for and receiving help

    Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Rehab Programs

    Because IOPs only require a few hours out of the day and allow clients to live at home, there are multiple benefits to this type of treatment plan, including:

    • Constant contact and support from loved ones
    • Flexibility to maintain daily responsibilities
    • Network of communal support after treatment
    • Higher level of structure than traditional outpatient care

    Intensive outpatient program models have been proven to be just as effective as residential treatment programs for those struggling with a moderate addiction.  IOPs also offer the added bonus of normalcy and the routine of home life.

    PUSH for Recovery Intensive Outpatient Rehab Programs (IOP)

    Following an initial comprehensive assessment, the initial level of care is established.  Many of our clients begin with a partial hospitalization program (PHP) and then transition to an intensive outpatient program (IOP) level of care.  However, we do have some clients that begin treatment at the IOP level of care.

    The duration of participation in the IOP level of care varies by individual and is based upon factors such as attendance and compliance of the IOP program, ability to remain abstinent, and progress made toward individualized treatment goals.  While in the IOP level of care, the frequency of group counseling participation decreases over time as the individual achieves a longer and longer duration of abstinence and achieves treatment plan milestones.

    Again, the length of time within the various phases of IOP will carry by the individual based on their progress.  However, below is an illustrative example of the average time spent within these phases of IOP.

    intensive outpatient (IOP)

    Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) Phases


    • 5 Groups Per week
    • 3-4 Week duration
    • Must be compliant to transition




    • 4 Groups per week
    • 3-4 Weeks duration
    • Must be compliant to transition




    • 3 Groups per week
    • 6 Month duration
    • Living a recovery lifestyle
    • Employment may decrease this time
    • Must be compliant to transition

    PUSH For Recovery IOP Group Schedule

    PUSH for Recovery offers IOP groups at a variety of times.  Additional group counseling sessions are added based on client feedback and needs.  Below is an example of the current IOP group schedule for the Columbus location.

    • Monday
      10:00 am - 1:00 pm
    • Tuesday
      10:00 am - 1:00 pm
    • Wednesday`
      10:00 am - 1:00 pm 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    • Thursday
      10:00 am - 1:00 pm
    • Friday
      10:00 am - 1:00 pm
    • Saturday
      10:00 am - 1:00 pm


    Donate to help the Life Recovery Society provide a safe, sober, supportive, and flexible way for individuals to earn an income while in treatment.  Life Recovery Society also plans to add a men's and women's sober living home in the Hilltop Community.