What Is IOP?: 5 Questions About Intensive Outpatient Programs

ntensive Outpatient Programs
Picture of Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Joshua Yager M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Joshua Yager M.D.

Dr. Joshua Yager is an Atlanta native, board-certified family practice physician who is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of his community.

Table of Contents

Intensive Outpatient Program, also called IOP, treats various mental health and substance use disorders. It involves life skills classes and group therapy for people struggling with substance abuse issues. It is intensive because of the nature of the treatment and the schedule. You meet your treatment team for a minimum of 10 hours per week. The ‘outpatient’ in IOP means that you get to go home each night instead of staying in the treatment center. Plus, you will also follow a set routine and schedule. 

Below, we have answered the top five questions about intensive outpatient programs!

What is an IOP program?

An IOP program in Atlanta is a treatment program for addiction, mental health, and other issues. You can undergo IOP while working and studying. During an IOP, you participate in:

  • Group therapy sessions
  • Support groups
  • Life skills classes
  • Individual counseling

It also offers courses to address the underlying issues which may have caused your addiction. These courses cover topics like:

  • Emotional regulation
  • Family and Community
  • Self-discovery
  • Trauma education
  • Relapse & Prevention

An IOP is ideal if you need a step-down from inpatient care. You can continue your daily life after the treatment and still get intensive care. You can go for it if you need help without the restrictions. 

How long does an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Last?

An IOP program near you usually lasts eight to twelve weeks, with sessions anywhere between three to five days per week. Each session will last for about two to five hours per day. 

What do you do in an IOP level of care?

In an intensive outpatient program, you undergo therapy, attend support group meetings, learn to stay sober, and develop valuable life skills. You move towards building a healthy and fulfilling life during recovery. 

A regular day in an IOP involves learning skills, finding a job, and attending support group sessions and therapy. Usually, an IOP is flexible; you can attend virtual sessions too. 

Is group therapy a part of IOP?

Group therapy is an integral part of most IOP programs. It will allow you to interact with people struggling with the same issues and find support. Its benefits include: 

  • Building a support system
  • Relating to others
  • Sense of belonging
  • Building social skills
  • No fear of judgment
  • Sharing tips and coping skills  
  • Feeling alone in recovery

Does insurance cover IOP? 

Your insurance plan may cover an intensive outpatient program in Atlanta depending on the policy. However, depending on your plan, the program length may vary. Therefore, before entering the program, verify your insurance and check what plans and providers we accept. We will verify the coverage and give you an estimate of the costs. 

About Hope Harbor Wellness/Atlanta Intensive Outpatient Programs

You must have understood what an IOP is. At Hope Harbor Wellness, we offer the best addiction treatment in Georgia to help our clients experience life without substance use disorders. Our clients choose us for our proven treatment methods and high-quality, compassionate care. We offer an intensive outpatient program, a partial hospitalization program, and outpatient programs to fit the needs of different patients. Contact us at 678-672-6731, email [email protected], or fill out our contact form.


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