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What is IOP Addiction Treatmen?

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what is intensive outpatient addiction treatment

IOP stands for Intensive Outpatient. It is on the outpatient side of the substance use disorder continuum of care. Intensive outpatient treatment ranges from nine to nineteen hours a week of treatment, which typically translates into 3-5 days of group therapy sessions, along with individual therapy. IOP clients also have the option to see a psychiatrist, and at Encore, clients also have the added resources of a nutritionist, vocational coach and recovery coaches. We believe in a holistic model of care that involves not just treating the primary addiction, but the typically neglected areas that suffer due to addiction as well. Having a positive career and life trajectory are something a vocational coach can assist with, and a nutritionist can ensure that you are nourishing your body and feeling your best to tackle all that life offers.

Who is IOP for?

Intensive Outpatient treatment is just one of the levels of care an individual with substance use disorder can enter to recover. For any treatment program, an assessment will be done by trained staff to determine the person’s appropriate level of care to begin treatment. The assessment serves as a basis for an initial treatment plan where strengths, needs, and goals are identified. Some individuals enter an intensive outpatient program after completing a residential program or detox. Others begin their recovery journey in an intensive outpatient program. An important determinant of success in an intensive outpatient program is an individual’s living environment. Ideally, an intensive outpatient client will be living in a stable, safe, and supportive environment. These can range from living with supportive family members to living in sober housing.

Why Not Just See a Therapist?

Intensive Outpatient treatment provides a person with more access to services than simply seeing a therapist individually. Intensive Outpatient treatment, which includes group therapy for the majority of its time, provides a client with their first community of other sober individuals with whom they can relate to and connect in a healthy way, moderated by trained professionals. Because connection is such a vital part of recovery, this treatment community can provide enormous support, encouragement, and hope to an individual with substance use disorder.

One of the biggest boons for group therapy is not just the solidarity in treatment it provides, but also the understanding each individual comes upon when they realize that everyone has different but similar reasons for developing a substance use disorder. Also that it is far more common than they realize. When people discuss their unique experiences, it can help the listener also understand what is unique about their experience that they perhaps erroneously believed as commonplace. This can help in the identification is personal triggers and stressors that are key to preventing relapse down the road. This information is invaluable.

Community engagement is an important piece of sustained recovery success, and learning to connect with others in a group therapeutic environment can make it easier to connect with persons in recovery in community organizations. Individual therapy is still a very important piece of intensive outpatient treatment, but it is the synergistic effect of individual therapy and group therapy which truly makes intensive outpatient treatment helpful for those who need it.

Intensive Outpatient Addiction Treatment at Encore Recovery

Intensive outpatient treatment is offered at Encore Outpatient Services for individuals with substance use disorder. If you want more information on intensive outpatient programming and IOP at Encore, please feel free to give us a call at (703) 436-8158 or send us an email at

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