Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) at North Jersey Recovery Center

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) has long been a way to treat addiction when a longer stay at a residential treatment center was not necessary or possible. An intensive outpatient treatment program can also serve as a step-down from more intensive outpatient treatment as people transition back into the community. 

Our intensive outpatient program in NJ at North Jersey Recovery Center (NJRC) is particularly a great form of outpatient treatment for individuals with substance addictions that live in the northeast and don’t have the time or the finances to be able to spend 24 hours in inpatient care. 

IOP programs in NJ are a successful part of a continuing care program. They offer direct services for people with substance use disorders or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders who don’t need medical detoxification or 24-hour supervision.                 

An intensive outpatient treatment program is designed to provide behavioral, psychological, and social support therapies to patients while they continue to live at home. This allows individuals to continue to participate in work and educational activities and participate in treatment at rehab facilities in the morning or at the end of the day. 

How Can Our NJ Intensive Outpatient Program Help You?

Individuals primarily use intensive outpatient treatment to treat the following disorders:

  • Eating disorders
  • Bipolar disorder (including mania)
  • Unipolar depression
  • Self-harm
  • A chemical dependency that doesn’t require detoxification
  • Transitional treatment for patients just released from psychiatric treatment

What Is an IOP?

What is an IOP? Well, it’s an intensive outpatient program that operates on a small scale and doesn’t utilize intensive residential or partial day services

An intensive outpatient treatment program in NJ, offers ambulatory services for individuals with addictions who don’t meet the diagnostic criteria for residential or inpatient treatment. IOPs also offer ambulatory services for people who are discharged from 24-hour care in residential treatment facilities. Such people still need more support than the weekly or bi-weekly sessions provided in traditional outpatient care.    

A psychiatric intensive outpatient program is geared to patients who have primary mental health issues. A dual diagnosis intensive outpatient program is for patients who have problems with both drug and/or alcohol dependency and mental health issues.

Intensive outpatient treatment program participants have the opportunity to utilize therapeutic groups to be able to recognize and understand problematic patterns in their lives. This helps intensive outpatient treatment members reinstate positive life role functions in their own lives. It also helps IOP members create supportive connections in their communities.

How Long Is an Intensive Outpatient Treatment?      

AdobeStock_438898466-300x200IOP programs in NJ offer a minimum of nine hours of service per week in three, three-hour sessions. Some intensive outpatient programs offer more sessions per week or longer sessions per week, while others become less intensive over time. 

Since intensive outpatient program services are rendered in outpatient settings, the duration of substance abuse treatment within IOPs may be longer than that required for inpatient services. Individuals that receive intensive outpatient treatment remain in their homes, reduce the use of expensive facilities, and learn to recover in their communities.

The duration for intensive outpatient treatment is usually three to four months. More long-term IOP programs in NJ may be needed for patients with more serious addictions. When a person completes outpatient treatment, that person continues to attend outpatient therapy sessions for several more months and even up to a year afterward.

Core Services of Intensive Outpatient Program Treatment

A set of basic services is essential to all intensive outpatient programs. This includes any intensive outpatient program in NJ. It’s a standard part of the treatment package offered to every patient. Enhanced services such as child care or arranging transportation may also be offered during intensive outpatient treatment based on individual needs. 

The core services of an intensive outpatient program are:

Group Counseling and Therapy

Group therapy forms the most important part of an intensive outpatient treatment program. Recent studies confirm that for relapse prevention training, the group approach is just as effective as one-on-one therapy. Group counseling allows intensive outpatient treatment programs to lower their costs in comparison to more expensive individual counseling. 

The group therapy approach supports intensive outpatient program patients by:

  • Allowing them to develop communication skills and receive socialization. This is especially useful for individuals whose socializing has mainly revolved around using drugs or alcohol.
  • Establishing an environment where patients help, support, and confront one another when necessary.
  • Introducing structure and discipline into the lives of patients whose lives are often chaotic.
  • Providing norms that reinforce healthy ways of interacting in a safe and supportive therapeutic environment that’s necessary for recovery.
  • Providing individual recovery that can be advanced for intensive outpatient program group members who are further along in their recovery and can help other members.
  • Giving intensive outpatient treatment program group members the opportunity to impart new information, teach new skills, and guide other members as they practice new behaviors.
  • Offering different types of groups during the course of treatment to address different skills. 

Types of Groups in an Intensive Outpatient Program:

  • Psychoeducational—These intensive outpatient program groups provide supportive places where patients can learn about substance abuse and dependence and its consequences. These groups are usually begun early in treatment. They are low-key rather than emotionally intense. Various forms of relapse prevention training are provided within psychoeducational groups.
  • Skills development—These groups offer patients the opportunity to practice certain behaviors in the safety of the intensive outpatient treatment setting. 

Skills Training in Our Intensive Outpatient Program Includes:

1.) Drug or alcohol refusal training – Addiction treatment training where patients act out scenarios of refusing the offer of substance use.

2.) Relapse prevention techniques – When patients analyze triggers and high-risk situations where there’s substance abuse and then learn ways to avoid them.

3.) Assertiveness training – Training that teaches patients the difference between assertiveness, aggressiveness, and passive behaviors. Intensive outpatient treatment program patients than practice being assertive.

4.) Stress management –  Training that helps patients identify situations that cause them stress and helps them learn techniques to respond to stress.

5.) Support groups – Groups that include rehab patients in the same recovery stage and rehab patients who are working on similar problems such as changing negative thinking, tolerance, and conflict resolution along with how to examine how one’s actions affect the group.

6.) Interpersonal process groups – Groups that focus on a single issue of particular importance such as gender, sexual orientation, or sexual abuse. Interpersonal process groups may also be family or couples groups that assist rehab patients in learning about the effects of substance use on relatives and significant others.

Individual Counseling in Our Intensive Outpatient Program

Individual counseling is an important supplement to group therapy. One-on-one psychiatric interventions and addiction counseling are appropriate for patients with co-occurring substance abuse and mental disorders.

Typically, counseling in IOP programs in NJ address the immediate problems created by a patient’s substance use disorder. Individual IOP counseling also addresses the patient’s current efforts to achieve and maintain sobriety.

 A 30-to 50-minute individual counseling session is usually scheduled at least weekly during the initial intensive outpatient treatment program stage. A primary counselor is assigned to intensive outpatient treatment program patients during individual counseling so that the patient and therapist can establish a collaborative relationship.

An individual counseling session for an intensive outpatient treatment program typically consists of the counselor eliciting the patient’s reactions to group meetings. During an individual IOP counseling session, the counselor may want to explore how the patient spent his or her time since the last time they met. 

The individual IOP counselor will then ask how the patient is feeling and inquire about his or her drug and alcohol use. Individual counselors will even ask patients if they have any urgent issues. 

Individual IOP counselors help patients review their reactions to group topics. IOP individual counselors will also go over treatment plans and coping strategies with patients. 

Issues too sensitive to discuss in group therapy will be discussed while in individual counseling for an intensive outpatient treatment program. IOP individual counselors will even help patients access services that they need that are outside the program’s capabilities and plan the transition to another level of care or discharge.

Psychoeducational Programming in an Intensive Outpatient Program

Psychoeducational groups are more teaching-oriented and involve a straightforward communication of facts. The counselors who lead these groups need to be extremely knowledgeable about the subject matter. 

These sessions, like recovery groups, need to prompt discussion that helps the patients relate the topic to their personal experiences. Psychoeducational group discussions also need to be prompt in a way that encourages emotional and behavioral change.

 Some typical topics discussed in psychoeducational groups in an IOP program include:

  • Understanding motivation and committing to treatment
  • Determining the seriousness of the problem
  • Conducting self-assessment and setting goals
  • Overcoming barriers
  • Understanding the effects of drugs and alcohol in the brain and body
  • Learning about withdrawal symptoms
  • Knowing the stages of recovery
  • Learning strategies for quitting and finding the motivation to stop
  • Identifying high-risk situations and triggers
  • Understanding cravings and urges
  • Understanding abstinence and the use of prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Understanding relapse and developing personal relapse plans
  • Learning daily living skills, parenting, and educational skills
  • Rebuilding personal relationships

Pharmacotherapy and Medication Management in an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program

Pharmacotherapy and medication-assisted treatment are critical components of effective substance abuse treatment. Medications target specific and limited aspects of substance use disorders. Pharmacotherapy itself doesn’t cause people to change lifestyles or restore normal functioning.

Programs that require attendance 3 to 5 days a week are ideal for identifying rehab patients that require medication and monitoring compliance. Pharmacotherapy and medication management services help addiction treatment patients in several ways. AdobeStock_163806703-300x200

Some of these several ways are: 

  • By providing detoxification and relief of addiction withdrawal symptoms if necessary.
  • Preventing relapse and reducing cravings.
  • Reducing the medical and public health risks that rehab patients face when they use injections or illicit drugs.
  • Alleviating the underlying disorder that may have contributed to a patient’s development of a substance use disorder.
  • By monitoring the treatment of some medical conditions associated with addiction.

In spite of extensive laboratory research and clinical trials, there is no compelling evidence of effective medications for treating dependence on marijuana, inhalants, hallucinogens, cocaine, and other stimulants. Researchers do, however, support the effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment for alcohol and opioid dependence.

Many patients who enter intensive outpatient program treatment have co-occurring mental health disorders. Individuals with just moderately severe disorders may be treated in an intensive outpatient program that’s designed primarily for patients that suffer from addiction.

Intensive outpatient program treatment works in coordination with mental health services. For example, moderately severe co-occurring disorders include stable mood and anxiety disorders. High-severity disorders include schizophrenia and mood disorders with psychotic features, such as borderline personality disorder.

Monitoring Drug and Alcohol Use in an Intensive Outpatient Program

IOP programs in NJ include the routine monitoring of patients and their illicit drug and alcohol consumption to determine if the therapies selected are having the desired effect. Some intensive outpatient programs rely on the patient’s self-reporting, but most use the objective method of testing specimens.  

Rehab monitoring helps clinicians determine the need for treatment modifications. It also helps families regain trust in their clinicians. On top of all that, rehab monitoring helps patients avoid relapses. It even discourages patients from substituting a different drug or alcohol for their drugs of choice.

Case Management in an Our NJ Intensive Outpatient Program

Individuals who abuse substances are likely to have other interrelated problems in addition to their substance use issues. Services to address these issues may be fragmented across several agencies. 

It may be difficult to access help with treating certain issues without the assistance of a case manager who is knowledgeable about service providers. This is especially true since case managers for addiction treatment have the ability to access these different services. Thus, case managers help patients prioritize needs that can’t be provided by an intensive outpatient treatment program.

Case management services include:

  • Providing a core set of social services that include assessment, monitoring, and advocacy
  • Providing patients with a single contact person who is responsible for finding needed resources
  • Responding to patients with needs for individualized assistance
  • Intervening with providers on behalf of patients
  • Focusing on immediate ways to meet patient needs (e.g. clothing, shelter)

12-Step Fellowship

12-step fellowships are the most common and widely attended groups for recovery support. Involvement in a 12-step group such as AA, NA, or CA is associated with a high retention rate in addiction treatment and in recovery. 12-step groups prove principles of conduct and support for as long as the individual wants to participate.

Is an Intensive Outpatient Program Right for You?

Outpatient treatment for drug or alcohol addiction can be very successful, particularly if the patient is a willing participant. Intensive outpatient programs are important parts of the sequence of care for substance use disorders. In fact, an intensive outpatient treatment program is just as effective as inpatient treatment for most people.  

Make the next move to help yourself or someone you love. Contact North Jersey Recovery Center today! We customize our inpatient and outpatient treatment programs to meet your needs. 

Our intensive outpatient program allows you or your loved one to learn more than just sobriety. We get lives back to their full potential and provide individuals with continuous monitoring to keep them on track.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Laura Riley

Laura-Riley-Cropped-Profile-150x150Medical Reviewer

Laura comes to NJRC with 23 years of vast clinical experience in hospital, residential, outpatient, and community outreach settings where she has worked, supervised clinical teams, and volunteered. She has provided substance abuse and mental health counseling, clinical coordination, and advocacy to individuals, families and groups, and specializes in co-occurring disorders for both adults and adolescents.