What is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?


An Intensive Outpatient Program is often the next stage after a patient has successfully participated in our Partial Care (PHP) Program. At our IOP program, the patient continues to keep a formal schedule, but is able to maintain a job, spend time with family, and work toward their long-term recovery goals while still receiving regular treatment. The sessions begin as several hours per day, but decrease in both duration and frequency over time as the patient makes progress toward goals. IOPs are also known as step-down programs; they cannot begin until a patient has successfully detoxed.

Patients typically step-down and graduate from our PHP program into our IOP program. Still, IOP offers more structure than a General Outpatient Program.

Who is IOP Substance Abuse Treatment for?

As with any treatment option at Oakvine, the best fit for an Intensive Outpatient Program is determined on an individual basis. However, there are some common stages of recovery that might make a patient the right fit. These include:

  • Patients who have already experienced the worst part of withdrawal. At this point, you no longer require constant monitoring, but still need daily therapy to stay on track.
  • If your substance abuse is considered mild or moderate, you may be a good candidate for IOP.
  • IOP often works well for those with a safe, caring home environment.
  • IOP can serve as the initial step in your treatment before our General Outpatient Program. Patients in our General Outpatient Program typically only spend 1-2 hours per week in therapy. Intensive Outpatient, by contrast, offers around 9-12 hours per week. It allows you to participate in your regular life while receiving therapy at the beginning or end of the day.
  • Conversely, IOP can also be very beneficial for those who have transitioned to an outpatient program, but now find yourself wanting more frequent check-ins.
  • Finally, some patients don’t meet the criteria for in-patient services, which could make IOP a good solution before our General Outpatient Treatment.

Oakvine does not recommend IOP for patients currently battling severe cases of addiction.

Our Intensive Outpatient Treatment Services

The IOP services we offer align to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Treatment Improvement Protocols (SAMHSA TIP). These services include:

  • 12-Step and Non 12-Step treatment programs
  • Counseling sessions, both at the group and individual levels
  • Psychiatric examinations and psychotherapy
  • Medical and mental health treatment
  • Support group meetings
  • Behavioral therapy sessions, both at the group and individual levels
  • Life skills and relapse prevention trainings
  • Educational training and opportunities
  • Monitoring of alcohol and drug use
  • Case management
  • Medication Assisted Treatment

Details of our IOP Drug Rehab Austin Program

We begin every IOP by assessing the patient’s needs. This helps the therapist working with the patient to create a personalized recovery program for that patient, based on where they are in their recovery process, any co-occurring illnesses, and the overall mental and physical health of the patient.

We then determine the timing and cadence of meetings. Each plan is customized, but the typical commitment looks like:

  • 1-2 hours per therapy session
  • 3-5 sessions per week
  • An average of 9 hours per week (though that can range from 9-12 hours)
  • About 90 days total

We hold IOP sessions on weekdays and usually kick things off with a trained professional asking for a group check-in. Patients can expect a roundtable approach in which each member of the group is encouraged to share stories, concerns, or ask questions. The group setting really enables patients to improve their communication skills, to experience social situations without drugs and alcohol, to commit to structure, and to empathize with others.

After the kickoff, the group leader will introduce the topic of the day, which might include:

  • Maintaining abstinence and recognizing triggers
  • Acquiring skills to deal with triggers
  • Recognizing stress and coping with it
  • How to develop a support system
  • Potential emotional issues you may encounter
  • Potential physical issues you may encounter

For substance abuse recovery patients who want or require individual services, Oakvine’s Austin staff is happy to provide those as well. Some of the goals for individual treatment include:

  • Maintaining abstinence
  • Achieving behavioral change
  • Improving problem-solving skills
  • Developing a support system
  • Addressing psychosocial issues such as housing, employment, and meeting probation requirements

These are some of the hallmarks of our approach, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach to addiction. We encourage you to seek a specialized treatment program that truly addresses all of your unique needs and focuses on your long-term well-being.

Ready to Start?

Oakvine Recovery Center works tirelessly for your sobriety. Whether you’re looking for an Intensive Outpatient Program or another option, we’ll find the right approach for you. Call us right now at (877) 255-6890.