Do I Need Intensive Outpatient Rehab?

There’s a few reasons you might be considering intensive outpatient rehab. Maybe your locale doesn’t have any nearby inpatient rehabs, or you think your addiction’s a bit too serious for a standard outpatient rehab, yet not so serious as to require an inpatient rehab.

Whatever the cause, we’re here to help you decide whether or not intensive outpatient rehab is for you.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Rehab?

outpatient rehabAn intensive outpatient (an IOP, or IOPS) rehab is a little different than an outpatient rehab, both of which are different from inpatient rehabs.

One of the most obvious differences between outpatient and intensive outpatient is the amount of treatment sessions the patient must attend. Any outpatient rehab facility will have patients attending seminars and therapy sessions.

Regular outpatient might require just a few hours of treatment on a weekly basis, whereas intensive outpatient rehabs require many more, sometimes on a daily basis.

Inpatient rehabs are require the client to stay at the facility for their whole treatment.

What’s Involved in an Intensive Outpatient Rehab Program?

The standard routine in an IOP is pretty similar to what you’ll find in any outpatient rehab. They’re a little bit more extreme, though.

  • Someone who needs an intensive outpatient care has a somewhat serious addiction. They’ll require a stronger support system in order to complete their rehabilitation than an addict with a less severe problem.
    • They likely have much more serious addiction problems than those who can complete a standard outpatient rehab program.
    • They may have other problems that require more behavioral health services

Being Assessed and Approved

  • An outpatient rehab, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, can accept people who meet the following criteria.
    • They have a substance abuse disorder as defined by the DSM-IV
    • They do not require a higher level of care for detoxification
    • They don’t have serious medical complications
    • They are motivated, at least somewhat, to complete treatment
    • They are capable of remaining mostly sober throughout the treatment

The Treatment Itself

drug abuse recoveryIntensive outpatient rehabs are much more flexible than inpatient rehabs, but less so than a standard outpatient rehab. They allow you to come to and from the rehab center, requiring only that you attend a certain number of therapy and group sessions per week.

Outpatient rehabs vary in length. The length of treatment does not need to be specified beforehand, unlike an inpatient rehab in which patients pick a timespan before moving into the facility, concluding their treatment at the end of the timespan.


Therapy is the most common method of healing addiction and is used widely among all kinds of rehab facilities. Therapies used in an IOP can include

  • Individual therapy where a patient communicates one-on-one with their therapist. This type of therapy works specifically with the patient’s needs and can help build better foundation for furthering their recovery.
  • Family therapy allows for the recovering addict’s family to attend counseling. This allows the family to express their concerns and can add a layer of depth and insight into the treatment.
  • Group support involves the recovering addict with others suffering from similar problems.. Popular group support therapies for drug addicts and alcoholics includes groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.


Most rehabs offer educational lectures in order to teach recovering addicts new techniques and coping mechanisms.

These lectures are often given to groups so the learning can be shared. Other recovering addicts can ask questions and share information to improve upon the learning process.

Medicated treatment

For those who aren’t responsive to therapy and education, medicated treatment may be required.

Medication like Methadone or Suboxone is sometimes prescribed during intense bouts of opioid addiction.

Finding an IOP

If you think an intensive outpatient program is for you, make sure you find one that suits your needs.

  • Consider the location of the rehab center
  • Check online to see if the facility has received positive reviews
  • Consider the price of the treatment in comparison with its quality

Always make sure you put thought and effort into choosing the right rehab center, to make sure you’ll have the best possible recovery.