Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) in San Diego: What It Is and What to Expect

3 Nov, 2020
Intensive Outpatient Program

As an addict, you might feel all alone in your fight, but you’re not. According to research, approximately 23 million Americans have an alcohol or drug addiction they are currently battling. It’s hard to break an addiction alone, though, and many addicts never seek help. One of the reasons for this is that they don’t want to give up their daily routines in life to check into a rehab. The good news is that you don’t have to give up your daily routine to get help. Instead, you can check into an intensive outpatient program in San Diego to get the assistance you need to break the chains of your addiction.

If you’re interested in learning about how these programs work, continue reading this guide that explains everything you need to know about intensive outpatient programs (IOPs).

An Intensive Outpatient Program Does Not Require a Stay

One of the first things people often ask when evaluating programs is, “what is an intensive outpatient program?” It can help to learn what an intensive outpatient program is not before understanding what it is.

The first thing to know is that it is not an inpatient treatment program.

An inpatient program requires that you stay at a facility during your treatment plan, and you might have to stay for a few weeks or longer. It depends on the severity of your addiction.

The second thing to know is it is not a typical outpatient program. Typical outpatient programs offer services that require sessions once or twice a week.

An intensive outpatient program is a mixture of these two plans. It does not require that you stay at a facility, but it requires more time than an outpatient program.

When you enter this type of program, you must attend sessions three to five times every week. Each session may last three hours or so, and you might have to attend these sessions for several months.

The Facility Works With Your Schedule

Every facility has different intensive outpatient program details, but the unique aspect is that a facility will work with your schedule. If you work a day job five days a week, they will work out a plan for you to come for sessions during the evening.

If you work nights, they can plan it around your night job. If you have a revolving work schedule, they can adjust your program as needed.

A drug addiction treatment facility wants to help you break your addiction. Therefore, they are willing to accommodate your schedule.

As a result, this program works well for people who have jobs and families.

You Can Continue Your Normal Life

People with addictions cannot always leave their families and jobs to attend weeks of inpatient treatment. The result is that many people will not seek help for their addictions. They simply have too much to lose.

An IOP is beneficial for people like this, as it allows them to continue their normal lives. People in these programs can continue working as usual. They can continue living at home with their families.

At the same time, though, they receive the help they need for their addictions.

Another benefit of these programs is that they encourage family involvement. Not only can you continue living your life as usual, but you can also bring your family to some of the meetings.

Including your family in the meetings helps them voice their feelings, concerns, and thoughts. It also helps you understand and take responsibility for your actions towards them, relating to your addiction.

Intensive programs focus on family support because they know it helps. If you have a loving family encouraging you through your treatment, you might have a higher chance of getting and staying clean.

You Receive the Support, Education, and Treatment You Need

The next question people often ask is about the intensive outpatient program curriculum that facilities use. In other words, what services do these facilities offer for intensive programs?

Here are some of the key parts of an IOP:

Drug Testing

An IOP program requires regular and unplanned drug testing. When you arrive for your meetings, you may or may not have to go through a drug test.


You will have counselors to talk to and stay accountable to during your program. Having accountability increases the odds of success when breaking an addiction.

Individualized Counseling

Intensive programs also provide individual counseling. One-on-one counseling helps addicts openly talk about their addictions, feelings, and concerns. It can help you learn your triggers and decrease your chances of relapsing in the future.

Education About Addiction

Drug recovery programs also offer education about addiction. Learning why you become addicted and how addiction works is helpful for most people.

You’ll also learn why it’s so hard to break an addiction and steps you can take to improve your chances of success.

Encouragement From Other Recovering Addicts

You’ll also have access to other recovering addicts. You’ll have a support system around you, and you’ll have people who can encourage you to succeed.

IOP Offers a Vital Step in the Recovery Process

Most drug treatment facilities offer several programs to help addicts break their addictions. An IOP program is one of several steps you can use.

Once you complete the program, the facility might encourage you to take part in a second program that is likely less intense and time-consuming. They might suggest coming to weekly meetings at the center or seeking counseling weekly.

Recovering from drug addiction is not a process that happens overnight. It takes time, and some people must devote a lifetime to staying clean. If you want to get clean and stay clean, you must be willing to do what it takes.

Call Us to Learn More About IOP and Other Options

An intensive outpatient program might be the type of program you’ve been hoping to find. Getting help for your addiction substantially improves your odds of success, and we’re here to help.

Sober Life Treatment Center in San Diego offers various programs designed to help people break their addictions and lead fulfilling sober lives. Please contact us if you have questions or want to enroll in one of our programs.

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