Outpatient Treatment 
Addiction Treatment Timeline

At Guardian IOP we understand how difficult it can be to commit to a program of recovery, especially when you aren’t sure what to expect. You might have a million questions running through your mind. What will you be asked to talk about in group therapy sessions? Will you still be able to go to work while engaged in IOP? Do you have to move into a sober house, or can you continue living independently? How long is outpatient addiction treatment? At Guardian IOP we are available to answer any questions you have regarding the process. Our intensive outpatient treatment program offers a high level of flexibility and personal freedom while providing each client with a highly individualized treatment program and the tools they need to stay sober long-term. We combine medication assisted treatment options with a range of evidence-based therapies. Clients learn healthy coping mechanisms and relapse prevention skills, and implement what they have learned in their day-to-day lives. As part of the Guardian Recovery Network we work closely with many medical detox centers across the country, and if we believe withdrawal should be undergone before treatment is sought we are happy to put you in touch with someone who can help. Contact us at any point in time with any additional questions you might have — we are always available.

Outpatient Addiction Treatment Timeline

At Guardian IOP we offer a multi-staged program of outpatient treatment. The length of time a person spends in outpatient treatment depends on several factors, including whether or not they are coming from a higher level of care, whether or not they are working or attending school and if they have underlying mental health concerns that need to be addressed. However, the standard length of our program is 90 days. Clients begin with four days of treatment every week and eventually step down to three days a week.

The Three Stages of Our IOP Program Are:

  • Stage 1 – Evaluation – Weeks 1 & 2 – During this stage of the recovery process our clinical and therapeutic team gets to know each client on a personal basis. Each client completes a self-assessment, which details personal history with substance abuse as well as long-term plans. During the second week of treatment, clients are introduced to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy with a focus on Distress Tolerance.
  • Stage 2 – Treatment – Weeks 3, 4, 5 & 6 – During these four weeks of our IOP program clients delve into a range of evidence-based therapies, uncovering the underlying causes of addiction and working through any issues which might be keeping them stuck.
  • Stage 3 – Support – Weeks 7, 8, 9 & 10 – The 7th week of treatment begins with an overview of family involvement and the role the family plays in achieving long-term sobriety. Clients focus on relapse prevention. During the final weeks of our outpatient rehab program, clients develop stress management skills and develop a long-term plan for continuing care. Group sessions focus on the difference between willfulness and willingness, and clients identify their core values. Most clients stay between 10 and 12 weeks before graduating from our program.

Contact us today and one of our experienced and compassionate Treatment Advisors will help you determine how long your stay in IOP should be, and whether or not this level of clinical care is the best choice for you or your loved one.

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Types of Outpatient Treatment

  • PHPPartial hospitalization is the biggest time commitment when it comes to outpatient treatment options. PHP is just one small step down from residential inpatient treatment, and people who are receiving treatment in a partial hospitalization program typically meet for between five and seven days a week for 7 or 8 hours each day. This level of care is ideal for people who require more support and more intensive therapy, either because the substance use disorder is more severe or because they are grappling with underlying issues as well. While Guardian IOP does not offer a PHP program, we work closely with several PHP programs that are part of the Guardian Recovery Network.
  • IOPIntensive outpatient treatment is an ideal level of care for people who have been struggling with a substance use disorder and who have pre-existing obligations they cannot entirely step away from for months at a time. At Guardian IOP we offer an effective and flexible IOP program, which lasts for 90 days from start to finish. Clients begin by attending treatment for four days a week, and eventually transition down to three days as they continue to progress.
  • OP – Outpatient treatment provides more personal freedom than IOP. Outpatient treatment groups typically only meet for two or three days a week for 3 or 4 hours each day. At Guardian IOP we do not offer this level of care, though because our IOP program offers a step-down option which is very similar to the transition between IOP and OP. This level of care is ideal for people who need a little extra support as they transition back into fully independent living.

Our Drug & Alcohol Treatment Services Include


If you are uncertain about which type of outpatient treatment best suits you and your personal needs, we are available to help you figure it out. Simply contact us today and one of our Treatment Advisors will help you determine which level of care is the best option.

How long does outpatient treatment last at Guardian IOP?

Is Longer Term Outpatient Treatment Better?

There is an undeniable correlation between the length of treatment and long-term sobriety. Those who stay engaged in a multi-phased continuum of clinical care tend to have more successful treatment outcomes. Traditionally, a step-down curriculum of clinical care looks like:

  • Medical Detox – In medical detox a person undergoes a safe and comfortable drug and/or alcohol withdrawal in a medically monitored environment.
  • Residential Inpatient Treatment – Once a person has been physically stabilized they transition into a residential inpatient rehab, where they live in a structured setting with other sober men or women as they undergo intensive therapeutic treatment throughout the day. Most inpatient rehab programs last for between one and three months.
  • Partial Hospitalization – PHP is a step-down from residential inpatient treatment in the sense that clients are able to return home (or to a sober living house) in the evening, once the full day of treatment and therapeutic care concludes. PHP programs typically last for between one and three months depending on the needs of the individual.
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment – Once a person completes inpatient rehab or PHP they typically transition into an IOP program, which provides effective treatment with a focus on relapse prevention. Our IOP program lasts for three months and meets 3 or 4 days a week.
  • Outpatient Treatment – OP is often the final and most flexible level of care. Outpatient treatment is ideal for a person who is looking for a continuation of individual and group therapy and a little bit of extra support as they navigate early sobriety and the challenges associated with day-to-day life.
  • Sober Living – Some people choose to live in a sober living home in New Jersey or Florida as they undergo IOP or OP. Sober homes provide around the clock support and provide residents with extra accountability.
  • Aftercare – Addiction recovery is a lifelong process and it requires ongoing attention. At Guardian IOP we help our clients develop personalized aftercare plans so they can maintain success in sobriety as they transition back into independent living.

When choosing an outpatient treatment program, whether or not you have already completed medical detox and residential inpatient treatment, it is a good idea to look for a longer term program. Staying engaged in an IOP program for at least 90 days significantly reduces the risk of relapse and increases your chances of maintaining continued success in sobriety.

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Benefits of Outpatient Treatment

There are many benefits of attending an intensive outpatient treatment program, whether you have previously completed a higher level of care or are just beginning your personal recovery journey. At Guardian IOP we offer a combination of medication assisted treatment options, intensive behavioral therapy and life skills training services. Our main priority is ensuring our clients are equipped with all of the tools and resources they need to maintain sobriety long-term. Our groups are very small, allowing for more focused and individualized care. We offer morning or evening groups at our New Brunswick location and evening groups at our Hoboken and Delray Beach locations. In addition to flexible and effective treatment, benefits of outpatient treatment are:

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    How to Find an Outpatient Treatment Program

    If you would like to learn more about the length of outpatient treatment or if you are interested in additional details about our IOP program as a whole, contact us today. Our Treatment Advisors are always available to answer questions and to help you or your loved one get started with our simple and straightforward admissions process. As soon as you make the decision to reach out for help, we will be there. During our initial phone call we conduct a brief pre-assessment which helps our clinical team and therapeutic professionals determine which combination of treatment methods are going to be the most beneficial for each unique case. We also offer a free, no obligation insurance benefit check for those who are looking into potential coverage options. If you or your loved one is not currently covered by a major national provider or regional provider, we offer additional options including self-pay and private pay. Once the finer details are sorted out we help arrange local travel to one of our facilities. All you have to do is make the initial phone call and we will take care of the rest. Contact us today to begin.

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