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Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) in New Jersey

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for Treating Addiction

An intensive outpatient program (IOP)[1] provides recovering individuals with a less intensive option in addiction treatment. These programs have fewer time requirements while still providing the patient with high-quality resources. Rather than residing at the facility, the individual will live at home while traveling to the center for scheduled treatment sessions.

Whether it’s you or a loved one struggling with substance abuse, progress, and recovery are possible. Taking the first step by seeking help sets you on the path to a long-lasting sober life. From pain comes many valuable lessons and growth. Our goal is to show you the potential that’s always been there and set you up for a more fulfilling, sober life after treatment.

Understanding IOPs: A More In-Depth Look at Intensive Outpatient Programs

IOP stands for an intensive outpatient program. An intensive outpatient program is composed of regularly scheduled sessions that target addiction and any underlying mental health disorders. An intensive outpatient program also serves as a step-down form of treatment after an individual completes a more intensive level of care but can be in their own home environment.

IOPs work with you to provide the right amount of flexibility. Perhaps you have a child to take care of at home or evening classes at school. We’ll work with you to develop a schedule that doesn’t interfere with your responsibilities. Unlike residential treatment, individuals recovering from substance use disorders are not required to live at the treatment facility during recovery..

However, patients will also have the option to reside at the facility to receive treatment services if that’s what they choose. We encourage you to reach out to our professionally trained and caring staff so we can help you find the right treatment. Intensive outpatient treatment may be ideal for one patient and not the other. Each person’s addiction recovery journey is unique.

What Candidate is Best Suited For an IOP?

An intensive outpatient program consists of weekly hours at the facility, including addiction treatment and mental health counseling. These hours will incorporate individual and group therapy.

The ideal candidate for an intensive outpatient program can be defined in a few different ways.

IOPs may be the best option for those that have:

  • Completed a residential or partial hospitalization program
  • Developed sufficient coping skills
  • Show a willingness and desire to partake in treatment
  • A strong support system at home

In other cases, an intensive outpatient program is a recovering individual’s first step in the treatment process. Although it can be used as a step-down form of treatment, IOPs can be immensely beneficial for those using it as their core treatment too.

An intensive outpatient program may work with you best if:

  • You suffer from a less severe addiction. Perhaps your addiction is at a fairly moderate stage and you wish to partake in an IOP to prevent residential treatment.
  • You’re using an IOP as a step-down form of treatment. Intensive outpatient programs can be a valuable method in aftercare planning.
  • Your most significant needs are emotional support and community reintegration. IOPs provide an amazing network of recovering individuals that aim to help other peers and receive help back. The community serves as one of the focal points in an intensive outpatient program.
  • You cannot commit to residential treatment. Work, school, and family obligations may prevent the individual from committing to full-time treatment at the facility. In other cases, individuals may prefer treatment with lower costs, such as an IOP.

What to Expect in an Outpatient Rehab

Each treatment program will vary based on the unique individual. Perhaps one patient needs extra one-on-one sessions with a therapist, while another patient benefits from group therapy. Regardless of the situation, we’ll create a comprehensive treatment plan that incorporates many evidence-based methods of treatment[2].

Although each program differs, there are key components within each treatment plan that are generally the same.

Another major advantage is that the recovering individual will receive healthcare education on the specific issues that they are learning to cope with. Group sessions aim to promote acceptance and healing in an understanding and supportive setting.

The therapist and patient work together to come up with healthy coping mechanisms and tools to address temptations. Any underlying mental health concerns are so addressed and worked through in individual therapy.

Medication management

Some patients require medicine as they undergo the detox process to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. These are very carefully prescribed, and each patient is monitored throughout the entire process. This is something we do not take lightly. Follow-up meetings with the psychiatrist will also be held for medication management and support.

Group therapy

Group therapy sessions are a key component in intensive outpatient programs. Our supportive staff and your fellow peers will be there for you throughout the recovery journey. There will be days when you need to vent, and maybe there will be days when you just want to listen.

Individual therapy

Individual therapy consists of one-on-one sessions with a therapist in a private environment. Individual therapy sessions allow patients to express themselves. They can talk openly about their fears and concerns.

Family therapy

In many situations, including an individual’s family members into treatment can have a lot of benefits. Problems are addressed healthily and productively. This can also serve as a time for one’s family members to become educated on what their loved one is going through.

Continuing care

Our goal is to set you up for recovery success long after treatment ends. Our licensed specialists will help create a discharge plan that works for you to maintain sobriety. The purpose of aftercare planning is to avoid relapse and help guide you along the recovery journey.

Learn More About Our New Jersey-Based Outpatient Facilities

Absolute Awakenings Partial Care Facilities

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3000 NJ-10, Morris Plains
New Jersey 07950

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3000 RT 10 W, Morris Plains
New Jersey 07950

Additional Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs

Intensive outpatient treatment programs hold many benefits. From flexibility to a supportive community, an IOP can give you the help that you deserve and need to recover. Intensive outpatient programs are also helpful for those that require a dual diagnosis treatment.

Dual diagnosis is when the patient is simultaneously struggling with addiction as well as a mental health disorder. This is often the case. Addiction often has underlying emotional and mental roots. Thus, the benefits of an intensive outpatient program can help address all aspects of addiction. These benefits include:

Cost-Effective Treatment

Intensive outpatient programs offer a solid medium in between residential treatment and standard outpatient programs. Due to the less intensive level of care, IOPs are generally cost-effective.

Medical Care

IOPs offer a wide range of specialists during the recovery process. Physicians, advanced health professionals, and nursing staff provide continuous medical aid.

Access to Mental Health Services

IOPs offer consistent access to mental health providers. To reiterate, addiction is rarely solely a physical disease. Mental health concerns such as depression[3], anxiety, and post-traumatic disorder can play a significant role in the addiction recovery process.

What an Intensive Outpatient Program Must Include

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the American Society of Addiction Medicine(ASAM) sets standards in place for intensive outpatient programs and the principles of effective treatment for addiction disorders.

As stated by the ASAM, the definition of an IOP is an outpatient program that consists of at least nine hours of treatment per week (no maximum) and allows the patient to return home after treatment. This is the first standard that a potential patient should look for in an IOP.

Other requirements must be met, such as:

  • A physical assessment, psychological assessment, and an assessment of the individual’s social conditions before treatment
  • Treatment must use evidence-based methods
  • A professional and structured treatment approach
  • Personalized treatment for each patient
  • Treatment providers must be held accountable for the quality of treatment provided

How do IOPs Differ from Inpatient Rehabilitation Treatment Programs?

Inpatient rehabilitation, also referred to as residential treatment, is the highest level of care offered. On the other hand, intensive outpatient programs offer a less intensive option for recovering individuals.

Residential treatment offers around-the-clock medical care and support. This type of treatment calls for much more commitment. The recovering individual must also reside at the facility for the full duration of the program. In IOPs, the patient will travel to the facility for scheduled treatment sessions but return home after.

The day-to-day structure of treatment also differs. In residential treatment, each day has a structured routine from morning to evening. It’s a full immersion approach toward treatment. The recovering individual will be able to use additional amenities that the facility offers as well, such as daily nutritional meals.

Partial Care FAQs

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is a form of treatment that offers a higher level of care than traditional outpatient therapy but is less intensive than residential or inpatient treatment. IOP is designed to meet the needs of individuals dealing with substance abuse, addiction, mental health issues, and other behavioral health concerns.

With an IOP, individuals are able to receive extensive therapeutic services while still maintaining their daily responsibilities, such as attending work or school and taking care of family needs.

What is the duration of an IOP program?

The duration of IOP varies depending on the patient’s needs and the severity of their condition. Treatment typically lasts between 8 to 12 weeks, with several hours of care provided per week. The structure of IOP allows patients to balance treatment with their other personal commitments.

Patients will work closely with their treatment team to set individualized goals, and the length of the program will be determined by specific factors such as progress in the program, any changes in the patient’s condition, and individualized treatment goals.

The treatment team will conduct ongoing assessments throughout the IOP to ensure that the patient is receiving the appropriate care and moving progressively toward long-term recovery.

How often are therapy sessions scheduled in an IOP program?

IOP programs typically provide therapy sessions three to four times per week, and each session can last up to four hours. Patients receive individualized, evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness-based stress reduction.

Group therapy sessions are another essential component of IOP. The group setting provides patients with opportunities for peer support and connection, and group members can offer valuable insights and feedback. Depending on the patient’s needs, family therapy may also be a part of the treatment plan.

What types of therapies are included in an IOP program?

IOP programs implement a range of therapeutic modalities to address the diverse needs of individuals dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues. The specific types of therapies included in an IOP program can vary depending on the patient’s unique situation.

Some common therapy modalities implemented in IOP programs include:

  • Individual Therapy – Focuses on exploring individual challenges and working on improving decision-making processes.
  • Group Therapy – Involves a group of individuals working together and offering one another peer support.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – Helps people identify negative thought patterns and behaviors and replace them with positive ones.
  • Motivational Interviewing – Assists individuals in understanding their motivations and goals for recovery and setting achievable goals for themselves.
  • Family Therapy – Helps families understand and cope with the patient’s condition.

Is an IOP program suitable for everyone?

While IOP can be an effective treatment option for many individuals, it may not be the best solution for everyone. Patients with too severe or advanced medical conditions may need more concentrated care provided in an inpatient or residential program.

Ultimately, the care team will determine the most appropriate level of care for the patient. If IOP is deemed to be suitable, the care plan will be personalized to ensure that the individual receives the best possible treatment to achieve their treatment goals.

What an Intensive Outpatient Program Must Include

It is a sign of strength and courage to seek help for addiction. The recovery journey will have ups and downs, which is why a supportive and encouraging support system is so crucial. In intensive outpatient programs, we aim to provide you with consistent support through therapy, support groups, as well as other resources to ensure your needs are being met.

Intensive outpatient programs can help you or a loved one conquer addiction through a wide array of benefits, such as:

Immersion in a supportive environment all with the common goal of life-long sobriety.

At Absolute Awakenings, we take pride in our empathetic and supportive community. You’ll be able to give and get support within an understanding community. Our goal is to ensure that you never feel alone during the recovery process.

Immersion in a supportive environment all with the common goal of life-long sobriety.

At Absolute Awakenings, we take pride in our empathetic and supportive community. You’ll be able to give and get support within an understanding community. Our goal is to ensure that you never feel alone during the recovery process.

Savings relationships in your life.

Addiction tends to affect much more than just the individual struggling with it. It’s a disease that can cause chaos in relationships, careers, and other aspects of one’s life. That’s where a recovery center comes in. We’ll help you make the right steps to rebuild the relationships in your life. When you become a better version of yourself, you’re able to give much more to those around you.

Savings relationships in your life.

Addiction tends to affect much more than just the individual struggling with it. It’s a disease that can cause chaos in relationships, careers, and other aspects of one’s life. That’s where a recovery center comes in. We’ll help you make the right steps to rebuild the relationships in your life. When you become a better version of yourself, you’re able to give much more to those around you.

Seek Help and Call Us About an Intensive Outpatient Program Today

No matter what stage of addiction you may be in, progress is possible. Remember, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. To recover, a comprehensive and unique treatment plan is crucial.

Our goal is to provide you with the right tools for recovery success long after mental health or substance abuse treatment ends.

Also, we offer aftercare planning to ensure you take the right next steps in maintaining sobriety.

Intensive outpatient programs offer high-quality treatment with a less intensive level of care. From therapy to medical support, treatment is uniquely tailored to each recovering individual. Contact us more information about IOPs. We’re here to guide you throughout the entire recovery journey.


McCarty, D., Braude, L., Lyman, D. R., Dougherty, R. H., Daniels, A. S., Ghose, S. S., & Delphin-Rittmon, M. E. (2014, June 1). Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the evidence. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). Retrieved April 24, 2023, from


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). (n.d.). Chapter 8. intensive outpatient treatment approaches. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved April 25, 2023, from


Pergamon. (2022, June 15). Long-term effectiveness of a prolonged exposure-based intensive outpatient program for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research. Retrieved April 24, 2023, from


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