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The Different Levels of IOP Explained

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The Different Levels of IOP Explained

An IOP is an intensive outpatient program. This kind of program provides much more recovery help than you’ll find in standard outpatient care. In the right set of circumstances, it may be vital to your sobriety efforts. In an IOP, treatment takes place in stages or tiers. Knowledge of the intensive outpatient program tiers can help you or your loved one prepare for treatment. In turn, this preparation may help make you feel more comfortable with the treatment process.

Defining IOP Treatment

Intensive outpatient programs belong to what is known as the addiction continuum of care. This continuum includes all treatment programs, from the most basic to the most extensive. Each program type occupies a specific level on the continuum. IOPs form Level II, along with partial hospitalization programs, or PHPs. Level I includes standard outpatient programs. Level III includes both residential programs and inpatient hospitalization. The highest level of the continuum, Level IV, is reserved for intensive, medically supervised inpatient care. 

What distinguishes IOPs from PHPs or standard outpatient programs? To begin with, they provide more weekly treatment than standard care and less treatment than PHPs. Specifically, you receive treatment in an IOP anywhere between nine and 19 hours a week. People who qualify for IOPs must also meet key criteria. As a rule, these criteria include:

  • A lack of any uncontrolled mental or physical health issues
  • Relatively low odds of experiencing a relapse
  • A stable home life
  • A well-established personal support network

IOPs often rely on group therapy for their participants. For this reason, the ability to thrive in the presence of others is also important.

Stages or Levels of IOP

As noted, IOPs themselves form a level of addiction treatment. However, there are also IOP tiers or stages. In order of their occurrence, these stages are:

  • Treatment entry and engagement
  • The early phase of your recovery
  • The maintenance phase of your recovery
  • Community support for your continuing sobriety

Each of these IOP tiers is crucial. The entry and engagement stage helps you adjust to treatment and increase your recovery motivation. The early recovery stage is where you learn the skills needed to develop a substance-free lifestyle. In the maintenance stage, you learn to solidify your earlier treatment gains. In the community support stage, you prepare for your transition back to daily life when treatment ends. This stage also includes the actions needed to protect your post-rehab sobriety.

It’s important to note that these four stages are not unique to IOPs. In fact, they form the framework of recovery at all levels of addiction care. 

How Long to Complete the IOP Tiers?

What is the timeline for completing each level of IOP? That, of course, depends on the details of your personal situation.

The entry and engagement stage of IOP treatment is the shortest. Most people complete the early recovery stage between six weeks to three months. It can take anywhere from two months to a year to complete the maintenance stage. The community support stage is essentially ongoing.

Get the Help You Need in New Start’s Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program

Are you or your loved one in need of IOP treatment? New Start Recovery’s intensive outpatient treatment program is here for you. We provide expert guidance through all levels of IOP, from entry and engagement to community support. 

You may begin your recovery in our IOP. You may also transition into our IOP from another level of care. In either situation, you’ll receive a customized treatment plan designed to meet your unique personal needs. Call us today at 833.433.0448 or fill out our brief online form for more information on our services.

Posted in Addiction, Intensive Outpatient Program, Mental Health Treatment