If you are researching substance use disorder treatment options, you have likely come across the term IOP. At Green Hill, our primary goal is to ensure our clients and their families understand all aspects of an individual’s journey to recovery, so let’s start with the basics about IOP and then dive a little deeper.
What Does IOP Stand For?
IOP is an acronym and stands for Intensive Outpatient. Let’s break down exactly what that means.
Primarily, IOP is a form of outpatient therapy. This means that participating in IOP does not require admission to a hospital facility such as a detox or rehab.
The intensive part? Well, that is where IOP differs from other forms of outpatient. Let’s take a look at some of the key differences such as time commitments, what actually takes place in therapy, as well as insurance and billing.
How Does IOP Differ From Other Forms Of Outpatient?
IOP differs from traditional outpatient therapy in a few key ways. IOP comes with a larger time commitment each week, relies more on group therapy, and is typically more expensive, but often covered by most insurances.
What Is The Time Commitment of IOP?
Regular outpatient counseling or GOP (General Outpatient) is typically a once a week, and lasts about an hour, this form of therapy often goes on indefinitely, or when the individual is ready to move on to different forms of support.
IOP typically requires 3, 3-hour sessions a week for 12 weeks. With a nine-hour-a-week commitment, IOP requires a larger commitment. But this is because IOP has a definitive end. After an individual successfully completes a 12 week IOP program, they are typically transitioned to some form of general outpatient.
Intensive Outpatient is a level of care that typically (more on this in a moment) comes after inpatient treatment or partial hospitalization. IOP is most successful when the individual is also living in a structured, supportive living environment during their early recovery.
What Can I Expect To Do In IOP?
Most general outpatient therapy is typically a one-hour session between just patient and clinician. In these individual sessions, patients can update their therapist about their emotions, challenges they are facing in life, and explore potential solutions.
IOP typically is group therapy-based. In IOP, individuals can expect to experience a variety of different therapies, but most importantly, they will experience the accountability of the group. Group therapy is powerful as it allows for a bond to form between those going through similar emotional experiences at the same time.
IOP also allows for more outside-the-box therapies such as games, music/art therapy, as well as the addition of speakers and educational lectures. IOP typically builds off of what is discussed in inpatient but does not require inpatient care as a prerequisite.
Is IOP Covered By Insurance?
IOP is often at least partially covered by most insurance plans. It is important to note, that different IOP providers accept different insurance, so always double-check your benefits are accepted by the provider before beginning care.
IOP is often covered because it is seen as a crucial step in the continuum of care. It works as a great step down from inpatient to normal life, as well as a starting point for those whose addictions have not progressed to the point of warranting inpatient care.
Intensive Outpatient In The Continuum of Care
As briefly discussed above, IOP is typically either in the middle or beginning of the continuum of care when it comes to substance use disorder treatment. Let’s take a look at and discuss where IOP lies in the continuum of care for different individuals.
IOP as Primary Treatment
IOP can often be the starting point in addiction treatment. When someone realizes they need additional support getting sober, IOP typically is a good starting point. It is less of a time commitment than inpatient treatment and allows one to stay employed without disruption or attend classes for school.
That being said, IOP should only be used as primary treatment under specific circumstances, usually related to an individual’s drug use history. When it is able to be the primary form of treatment, IOP typically has the best results when paired with sober living. This allows for the bonds and accountability formed in group therapy to be carried over to the living environment as well.
IOP As A Step Down
IOP is also commonly a step in the continuum of care. IOP typically will come after inpatient treatment or a partial hospitalization program. When a patient transfers back home, or to a structured living environment after inpatient, they typically will go through 12 weeks of IOP.
This allows the individual to have regular support during the initial transition back to society, and normal life. IOP provides a place where they can talk about the challenges they are facing in recovery and life in general, and get support and help from the group. It is the perfect step to take after inpatient, or when entering sober living.
IOP For Students In Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill
Regardless if you are looking for primary care, or a step down after inpatient care, Green Hill recovery can help. Our IOP is typically made up of students from our local colleges, as well as other men looking for support in the next steps of their recovery journey.
Are you or a loved one a student at Duke, UNC, NC State or another local Raleigh college and need help with addiction? Contact Green Hill today, we can help you or your loved one get back on track with minimal disruption to life and studies. Contact us now to learn more.