If you or a loved one are experiencing the pain of active addiction to drugs or alcohol, it’s time to seek help. If it’s time to get better, it’s time to choose an appropriate level of care and treatment, but the burden of choice is all too real when it comes to addiction treatment.

There are detoxes, inpatient treatment centers, outpatient classes, and much more, but recently IOP has become the treatment of choice for many addicts and alcoholics of all levels. IOP can’t help you if you don’t know what it is so let’s learn about IOP, how it differs from other treatments and five reasons IOP might be the best type of treatment for you.

What Is IOP?

IOP stands for intensive outpatient program – a form of treatment developed to help addicts recover from drug or alcohol addiction. IOP has quickly become one of the most popular ways to help people recover from their addictions and continue a new path to sobriety due to its balance, the tools it comes with, and several other factors.

IOP is unique in that it’s less direct treatment than inpatient programs, but much more direct than simply going to twelve-step meetings or trying early recovery on your own. So how is the level of care different from inpatient treatment?

Intensive Outpatient Vs Inpatient

During inpatient treatment you are effectively checking into a treatment facility like you would check into a hospital. You’re sick and you need to remain under the care of the facility until you’re feeling better enough to leave. During inpatient treatment, you remain in the facility twenty-four hours a day anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Not everyone needs fully-supervised care or detox, many only need IOP to get better. If you need any of the following in recovery, IOP is a good fit. In the end, IOP is a great type of treatment for chronic addicts, addicts early in their addiction, and everyone between.

1. You Need A Balance

In early recovery, you should focus on recovery first, but it’s understood that there is a lot happening in everyday life. Not every person can drop everything they’re doing and put themselves directly into an extensive treatment program – most people require a balance.

IOP gives that balance. You’ll be sleeping in your own bed and having dinner with your own family, but you can also continue intensive focus on your recovery. IOP itself comes in different levels, from short sessions a couple days of the week to IOP ‘day camp’ where you spend your entire day at IOP before returning home. What level of IOP is needed depends on the individual situation, but every form of IOP helps provide a balance between home life, work, and recovery.

2. If You’re Not Quite Ready For ‘The Real World’

Withdrawal doesn’t abruptly stop when you quit drinking or using drugs. After initial chemical withdrawal, most patients experience post-acute withdrawal symptom (PAWS.) PAWS are symptoms more closely associated with psychological withdrawal and not chemical dependence. Your brain is slowly learning to readjust to the real world but it’s not quite ready yet, which means you aren’t either.

Trying to immediately return your life to how it was before drugs or alcohol is difficult for the strongest and downright impossible if you’re not ready to be there. IOP gives you a step from inpatient treatment, detox, and early recovery to resuming your independent life. IOP can act as a lifeline during early recovery, one which you’re always encouraged to grab.

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3. You Want To Build Your Toolbox

During treatment, you will hear a lot about ‘building a toolbox’. Sobriety isn’t about building a deck but building your recovery toolbox is one of the most important steps in early recovery. When people refer to the toolbox they’re referring to plans and actions you can take to avoid going back down the path of addiction.

Your toolbox can include tools like breathing exercises, ways to deal with certain emotions, how to cope with triggers, places to meet others, and resources you can reach out to. The more tools you have in your toolbox and the bigger it is, the better your chances of long-term recovery and happiness. IOP gives you these tools.

4. You Don’t Require Inpatient Treatment

Addiction is addiction but not all addicts are the same. Just like a patient may require extensive surgery for a bad bone break but only a splint for a hairline fracture, some addicts and alcoholics may need more or less intensive help. Some chronic addicts and alcoholics require detox in a controlled environment for safety. If you’re not at that level but still want intense treatment, IOP is right for you.

5. You Want To Continue Towards Success

Patients who seek further treatment than a standard detox are often the most successful in the long term. IOP helps you build your toolbox, helps you meet others that can aid in your recovery, helps you find more resources for your addiction, and much more.

Let’s imagine you’ve just had your braces removed. You can either take a doctor’s advice and wear a retainer for the best long-term results, or you can leave the retainer behind and watch your teeth slowly return to their previous state. You can think of initial detox like getting the braces removed and IOP like wearing the retainer. If you want to play the long game for your recovery and give yourself the greatest chance of beating your addiction for good – you need IOP to get there.

There are many unique reasons people choose IOP, but it’s intensity, discipline, and balance of life and recovery make IOP one of the most successful programs in the US. If these reasons speak to you, head online or pick up the phone to discuss IOP for yourself today.


If you are addicted to drugs or know someone who is, do not hesitate to reach out for help. The disease of addiction is one that can be treated and managed. You or your loved one do not need to live in pain any longer. With the help of the experienced staff at our Delray Beach IOP, recovery is possible.