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Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs: Balancing Treatment with Work

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Home recovery Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs: Balancing Treatment with Work

If you are struggling with substance use but don’t want to jeopardize your job by entering treatment, help is available.  Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) could be the solution to your dilemma.  Whether you have work, school, or other adult obligations, an IOP can help you get the treatment you need while balancing your daily responsibilities.

At Design for Change Recovery, we provide an intensive outpatient program that can adapt to your situation.  Our full continuum of care incorporates evidence-based practices that foster whole-person healing for lasting recovery.  Contact us by phone, email, or online to learn more about our IOP.

What Are Intensive Outpatient Programs?

Intensive Outpatient ProgramsIntensive outpatient programs require a time commitment, however, you do not have to stay in the treatment facility 24/7.  During treatment, you can continue to live at home or go to a sober living facility. You will attend scheduled therapy sessions and other activities for a set amount of time each week.  This type of arrangement allows you to continue working, going to school, or providing for your family.  

Most IOPs provide group and individual therapy sessions that you will attend for about 20 hours per week. They may also offer family therapy sessions.  The sessions can be scheduled around your other obligations.  

Benefits of a Sober Living Facility

Intensive outpatient programs are flexible and you are not required to live in a sober living home.  However, depending on your situation, it might be a good choice.  A sober living facility typically provides a supportive, substance-free environment where others are also going through their own experience with substance use disorder.

Sober living facilities differ in how they operate, but they generally expect you to follow specific guidelines such as:

  • Curfews – Sober living homes strive to help clients avoid relapse.  To do so, they impose strict curfews to help keep individuals on track and promote a sense of personal responsibility.
  • Meeting quotas – You may get a meeting card to help track your meeting attendance.  The meetings and counseling sessions are for your benefit, so you must attend regularly.
  • Random drug tests –   The purpose of drug testing in sober living facilities is to help keep clients accountable for their sobriety.
  • Support – Many sober living homes ask that you provide emotional support to your housemates as well as accept support from others.
  • Chores – Doing chores is a good way to contribute to the facility and prevent boredom.  In early recovery, boredom is a major trigger for relapse.
  • Respect – Show respect for your housemates and the staff as well.  
  • Overnight guests are not allowed.
  • Sleep at the facility at least 5 nights per week.
  • Abstain from substance use while living in the facility.
  • Cell phones – Some facilities allow cell phones and pets if they are not disruptive.  However, cell phones and internet use are usually restricted because they can act as relapse triggers.

Who should consider a sober living home?  If you have completed rehab and do not have a supportive home environment to return to  you will benefit from a sober living facility. Among the other benefits,  most individuals in these facilities are serious about recovery and can be a source of inspiration and  support for you.

The length of time you stay in a sober living facility depends on your unique situation.  Some people stay between 166 and 254 days.  

How Do Intensive Outpatient Programs Work?

People from all walks of life struggle with addiction including business owners, retail workers, executives, housewives, and many others.  They don’t want to put their jobs at risk by attending inpatient treatment.  An IOP is the right solution for these individuals due to the flexibility.  A balanced approach to addiction treatment is available in intensive outpatient programs

Because IOPs don’t provide a room, meals, and other amenities, they are less expensive.  Also, many insurance companies cover some of or all of the costs.  However, if you don’t have insurance, an IOP will require less out-of-pocket expense for you.  Furthermore, being able to continue working will make it easier to manage the costs.

Similar to residential programs, an IOP may require detox before you enter treatment.  Of course, this depends on the drug you’ve been using.  For instance, meth doesn’t necessarily require a medical detox, but heroin and alcohol often do due to the potential for severe withdrawals.

All in all, an intensive outpatient program helps people transition back into the real world after rehab.  

Intensive Outpatient Programs at Design for Change Recovery

If you think IOP is the right choice for your needs, please contact us to learn more about our programs.  One of our treatment advisors will verify your insurance and choose the treatment plan that aligns with your unique circumstances.  

Design for Change is a fully licensed and JCAHO-accredited facility that provides effective, affordable addiction treatment for any kind of substance use disorder. 

Contact our Lancaster, CA facility by phone, email, or online for more information about our intensive outpatient treatment programs.


Sources: – What Did We Learn from Our Study on Sober Living Houses and Where Do We Go from Here? – Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs


Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs: Balancing Treatment with Work