The key difference between residential treatment and an IOP is flexible scheduling. Clients are able to return home each and every night, and if they have jobs or other obligations treatment can ordinarily be scheduled around those obligations. For people in recovery, IOP can restore a sense of normalcy in the schedule without sacrificing individualized, intensive treatment.
Having freedom and the comforts of home can do wonders for a client who is further along in their recovery and doesn’t require medical supervision. Increased freedom does come with increased responsibility, however, it is important to consider other options if you believe your loved one or yourself may not be able to maintain sobriety while away from treatment. Ideally, clients who choose IOP have safe and supportive living arrangements that are completely sober – either with family or in sober housing arrangements.
There is no set amount of time during which a client is expected to be in IOP – as the amount of time needed varies from person to person. Most people, depending on needs and circumstances, spend somewhere between 10 and 30 hours each week participating in the various offerings of IOP. The majority of clients attend IOP session between three and five days each week in three to four hour increments.