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How An IOP Rehab Can Benefit You In Early Recovery

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How An IOP Rehab Can Benefit You In Early Recovery

If you or a loved one is just starting out in their recovery journey, you may be comparing treatment options in order to find the best fit. Intensive outpatient (IOP) rehabilitation is an increasingly popular option, especially among working adults and individuals with responsibilities at-home. IOP rehab can benefit you during early recovery in a variety of different ways. For starters, it offers a more structured format than traditional outpatient treatment without the residential requirements that inpatient rehabilitation and partial hospitalization maintain. This characteristic makes it easy to work into your busy schedule. Learn more about the unique advantages IOP offers below.

How IOP Works

Outpatient rehabilitation operated on a part-time basis. However, some people may need more time and individualized services than a traditional outpatient program can provide. IOP was designed to fill this treatment gap. It typically operates for a longer duration and is characterized by more frequent meetings and hours spent in treatment each week. Most IOP plans span 30 hours a week in the early recovery phase then gradually reduce over time as goals are being met by the client.

In addition to this, IOP rehabilitation offers an in-depth psychosocial assessment. During it, a specialist reviews an individual’s mental health history as well as treatment history if applicable in order to develop the best treatment plan possible for their needs. It takes behavioral patterns into account as well which ultimately allows the specialist to customize therapies to each client. For example, some people may thrive in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) while others may find more success participating in a mixture of individual counseling and group therapy sessions.

What to Expect

IOP treatment follows a highly structured format that evolves around a few different key components. They consist of the following:

  • Assessment and detoxification
  • Treatment engagement
  • Early recovery

Treatment engagement is the second step in the process that marks the beginning of therapeutic services and group activities. Outpatient treatment relies heavily on a mixture of individual and group processes, both of which have their own perks. Individual services that as one-on-one counseling, meetings with a specialist and other forms of therapy center around each client’s current feelings, behaviors and needs. Group-based services address the community as a whole while encouraging members to share their stories and feelings in a productive way.

Early recovery marks the point at which educational services and relapse prevention strategies are introduced to each client. It focuses on skill acquisition, especially when it comes to developing new behavioral patterns and coping methods to combat cravings and urges to use. Loved ones may be encouraged to participate during this stage. Family therapy and meetings are often available to educated loved ones about the true nature of addiction as a chronic disease and mend hurt relationships caused by it.


Aftercare follows the early recovery stage of IOP. Typically it involves participating in treatment on a less frequent basis. For example, hours may be be reduced to 10 or less per week and continue to drop from there as goals are being met by the client. Aftercare helps individuals ease out of treatment without cutting all serviced entirely. This fading process empowers clients to apply what they have learned in a real world setting while still having access to professional support as needed.

Rehabilitation centers encourage clients to maintain an active role in their recovery regardless of how long they have maintained sobriety. This can take place in many different ways. Community-based groups, hobbies and developing new friendships are all excellent options. One of the most important components of successful relapse prevention is to avoid going back to the behaviors, settings and people that led to the formation of addiction. For this reason, treatment and aftercare plans suggest new interests and social opportunities. Fortunately, many rehabs provide on-site activities.

Choosing a rehabilitation program can feel overwhelming, but is well worth the investment. With an individualized plan, you can gain the skills and confidence you need to maintain lifelong sobriety. If you are struggling with finding the right treatment center for your needs, our counselors are here to help. Ready to get started?

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Medically Reviewed By

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC Clinical Director
Learn about Inessa Maloney

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC has been dedicated to the mental health and substance abuse field for a decade, providing her expertise to guarantee quality and accuracy.

  • Specializes in outpatient services with a focus on substance abuse
  • Expertise in reality-based therapy, CBT/DBT, and motivational interviewing
  • Holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling
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