Intensive Outpatient Program for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

One of the biggest deterrents to obtaining the help needed for a drug or alcohol problem is the idea that you will have to leave your home and job for an extended period of time. Most people simply cannot take a long leave from their daily obligations, so they mistakenly believe that treatment is not an option for them.

Not true! An excellent alternative to an inpatient or residential treatment program is the intensive outpatient program (IOP). The IOP offers many of the same treatment services of an inpatient program but with the flexibility needed to continue to work and take care of family responsibilities while going through treatment. Because the IOP allows you to reside at home, the costs are much lower than an inpatient program.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

An IOP provides essential treatment services for the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse or addictions. A comprehensive clinical assessment is the first step of the IOP journey. This is the process that gathers important information regarding the substance use disorder—length, severity, and type of drug—as well as psychological and general health status.

The admissions coordinator reviews the information and will determine if you are a candidate for the IOP, or if inpatient care would be a better treatment fit. If detox is needed, a referral to a detox facility or coordinating an at-home detox is arranged. The individual must be completely free from the substance of abuse before beginning treatment.

A treatment plan will be created that is customized for your specific treatment needs, with benchmarks that will determine the course of treatment. An IOP may start off requiring 20 or 25 hours of participation and treatment per week, but then step down as the benchmarks are reached and a lesser degree of participation is needed. Case management is updated and refined as treatment progresses.

IOPs typically require the individual to attend a weekly individual therapy session where a deeper exploration of possible past traumas or other sensitive issues related to the development of a substance use disorder. In addition, participation in a 12-step or non 12-step recovery group is usually mandatory.

IOP Core and Enhanced Treatment Services

There is a standard for essential core services that an IOP provides. The bulk of the core services pertain to group counseling sessions, a variety of topics and types of groups that include:

  • Psychoeducational groups that promote life skills, relapse prevention planning, ongoing addiction education, peer support groups, and stress management.
  • Interpersonal process groups that involve issues that are of a sensitive nature, such as gender issues, criminal histories, and past traumas.
  • Family Program and groups that encourage family members to hash out past resentments, to rebuild trust, understanding co-dependency, and to learn new effective communication skills within the family.

Enhanced treatment services are what differentiate the various IOPs. These enhanced services might include holistic therapies, recreational activities, music/dance/art therapies, meditation and yoga, transportation services, and job skills programs.

Effectiveness of Intensive Outpatient Program

A recent study published in the APA’s Psychiatry Online offered sound evidence of the effectiveness of the IOP as a treatment option. This meta-study culled results from 12 different studies published between 1995 and 2012 to determine just how well the outpatient model performs in the recovery milieu.

In analyzing the data, the authors found that outpatient treatment programs offer the same degree of effectiveness as inpatient programs for most individuals. Citing comparable outcomes between the IOP and an inpatient rehab, the authors reinforce the viability of choosing an IOP for effective addiction treatment.

Advanced Therapeutic Services (ATS) Intensive Outpatient Program

Advanced Therapeutic Services is an Addiction IOP located in Rancho Mirage in the Coachella Valley. The IOP serves adults in local cities including Palm Desert, Cathedral City, Palm Springs, Indio, La Quinta, Indian Wells, and other local cities. ATS IOP provides a high level of treatment while allowing clients to rebuild their lives while they are receiving treatment. For those who feel they would benefit even further by residing in sober housing while receiving treatment, ATS also offers sober living resources. For more information about the program, please contact Advanced Therapeutic Services today at (760) 349-7007