If you’re considering a rehabilitation program, you may be curious as to which one to choose between an Intensive Outpatient program and a Residential Inpatient program. The biggest difference between Intensive Outpatient and Residential Treatment is where the patient resides. With Residential Inpatient rehab, the patient lives at the facility, whereas with Intensive Outpatient Treatment, the patient in recovery lives either at home or in a sober living residence. This allows the patient to be able to work through the final stages of their treatment process by making regular visits to an Outpatient rehab facility.
Intensive Outpatient drug treatment involves day and night sessions which occur over the course of weeks and up to months, with varying hours based on the recovery program. Many IOP facilities will require regular attendance of at least three sessions a week, with the possibility of assigning treatment specialists to patients as necessary. Though sometimes court ordered, most Outpatient programs are completed on a voluntary basis.
The sessions in an IOP plan total less than nine hours a week with regularly scheduled structured programs that involve individual therapy, group therapy, or a combination of both. Participation in such support groups as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous is also encouraged. Some of the sessions included in IOP include relapse prevention training, family counseling, and substance abuse withdrawal management.
Although IOP is comprised of a number of hours spent each week in sessions, this is not all there is to it. Though the minimum number of hours a week is around nine, it can get up to 70 or more hours per week between the variety of recovery treatment services offered. The environment of structure and therapy within IOP allows individuals in recovery to have the freedom to live at home or in a sober living residence while also interacting with the outside world to help in readjusting to daily life.
The support groups within IOP allow individuals in recovery to develop social skills and communication skills to learn how to function in social situations without the use of drugs and alcohol as a social lubricant. The group leader shares information and skills with the group and the clients work together to help one another in their learning and recovery process be they new to recovery or not. The flexibility in supervision is beneficial to those new to recovery as it helps to prepare them for reentry into the world while leading and maintaining a life of sobriety.