Intensive Outpatient Program at East Coast Recovery Center

An intensive outpatient program, or IOP, is a treatment option that allows individuals to seek help while still going about their normal lives. Unlike inpatient or residential treatment programs, clients continue to live at home and attend scheduled therapy sessions to manage substance use, addiction, mental health, and behavioral disorders.

Intensive outpatient programs do require a bigger time commitment than standard outpatient options and typically consist of about 9 hours of therapy each week. These sessions often take place at a treatment facility, but some online options do exist for individuals lacking care in their communities.

individual intensive outpatient treatment program

Who is an IOP for?

Intensive outpatient programs are effective for individuals that do not pose a safety threat or need daily monitoring. When residential or inpatient treatment is not an option, IOPs can provide intensive care for struggling individuals at home. Some individuals are unable to leave their lives behind for an extended period of time because of family or work commitments. For these people, IOPs are often the best choice. They still receive intensive treatment, but they may remain at home. IOPs are also used to help individuals transition from a live-in facility to home life while still having access to treatment.

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A partial hospitalization program, or PHP, isn’t appropriate for everybody, but it frequently suits those who require more care than traditional outpatient care can offer. You might live in community-based housing provided by the treatment center or go home every night in PHP treatment. PHP treatment is often used as a step-down for individuals who have successfully completed inpatient treatment but aren’t ready for the demands and stresses of everyday life. Because PHP treatment programs are versatile, they are also suitable for people with less severe addictions who do not need intensive treatment or 24-hour care. 

PHP and IOP differ in the amount of time and days required for treatment. Treatment provided by PHP treatment providers varies, but PHP clients receive treatment for 20 to 35 hours per week. For example, someone might attend treatment for six hours per day, five to seven days per week. 

A typical IOP patient may receive about nine hours of treatment per week, usually divided into three hours per day for three days per week, either during the mornings or evenings or on weekends. Because IOP is flexible, it is helpful for people who have family responsibilities or who must continue with work or school while still receiving a substantial level of treatment. 

What is the IOP Process?

Intensive outpatient treatment usually consists of 9 hours of treatment, split across three or five days a week, depending on the program you’re in or your individual requirements. The amount of time spent in IOP ranges from six to 30 hours a week, on average. Treatment options tend to last for three months, though your individual needs might affect how long you stay. If at the conclusion of the 90-day treatment period you still haven’t recovered enough to return to standard treatment, you will probably be asked to continue therapy. 

An IOP program uses the same therapy as a traditional inpatient treatment program. During CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy, you will learn how to think and behave by identifying your triggers and developing new ways to respond to them. You may participate in group therapy, along with other individuals struggling with addiction, to learn more about addiction and address it together. 12-step programs are also very popular in IOPs. For many people, taking the 12 steps is a method to help control addiction and build a community. 

What is the IOP Process?

When you first enter an intensive outpatient program, you will have a complete physical and mental evaluation to determine the appropriate treatment strategies for your unique situation. In order to mitigate withdrawal symptoms and cravings and allow participants to continue with their rehabilitation without fear of relapse, medication-assisted treatment is also available. Clients will report to the clinical facility throughout the week on a part-time basis with treatment times depending on a client’s work schedule, class schedule, or family obligations. During day intensive outpatient treatment, participants will typically participate in the following: 

  • Individual Therapy 

  • Group Therapy 

  • Communication skill building

  • Relapse prevention techniques

  • Family therapy 

How Long is the Intensive Outpatient Program?

Intensive outpatient treatments are customized to each person’s specific situation. The most successful outcomes are seen in 90-day programs, but the time frame may vary. You may begin with daily appointments that progress to appointments a few days per week that last two to four hours. To determine how long intensive outpatient treatment might last for you, consult with an addiction treatment professional regarding your unique circumstances and time obligations.

How Much Does an Intensive Outpatient Program Cost?

The price of an IOP, like any medical or mental health treatment, is a major issue for many people, if not the biggest issue. However, before thinking about the cost of substance abuse treatment, remember that the specific cost will vary from facility to facility. 

When determining how to pay for treatment, start with insurance. The majority of private and public/government-funded insurance providers offer a wide range of mental health and substance abuse services, and if IOP is medically necessary, it is probably covered in some fashion by your plan. To avoid surprise medical bills, contact your insurance provider directly by using the number on the back of your card to determine how much they’ll cover and which treatment providers they work with. You can also inquire as to whether specific treatment centers accept your insurance and how they collect copays.

Benefits of IOP program

What are the Benefits of an IOP in Boston?

Intensive outpatient programs offer several advantages that will help you maintain sobriety long-term. They include:


With intensive outpatient treatment, you may maintain your work or school schedule. Though certain phases of treatment might require a temporary relinquishment of responsibilities, most people are able to remain in school, keep their jobs, and even return to them after treatment is over. 


Having access to a community of individuals who are struggling with similar issues is one of the greatest advantages of IOPs. These programs are among the strongest motivators of success because they help individuals recognize that they are not alone in their recovery journeys.

Reinforces Skills Learned

In contrast to residential treatment programs, IOPs allow clients to actively practice what they learn during treatment in their day-to-day lives. When clients are taught new coping techniques such as mindfulness or meditation, they have the opportunity to apply those skills in real-life situations at home. IOPs are also important because they allow clients to learn new skills that will help them cope with present distress. 


IOPs are more private than residential treatment facilities, which is another advantage. When you live at a residential treatment facility, your company is everyone else’s company. You become extremely close with people undergoing treatment with you, especially as everyone is likely to be undergoing similar struggles. A bit of privacy is gained by working in an IOP, and you can determine what you would like to keep to yourself or share with fellow clients.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment at East Coast Recovery Center in Boston

Just 20 minutes outside of Boston in Cohasset, Massachusetts, is where recovery awaits you. Our goal at East Coast Recovery Center is to help those struggling with a substance use disorder to succeed in recovery and life. Every person’s path to recovery is unique, just as substance abuse treatment strategies must be. If you or a loved one could benefit from learning more about our intensive outpatient program, or any other treatment plans or services we offer, contact us today. We look forward to your call. 

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