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Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program (IOP) Los Angeles

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What is an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program?

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) is an ideal treatment plan for people who are transitioning from an inpatient or residential treatment center. Intensive outpatient treatment provides people with a thorough support system that newly sober individuals need in the first few months of recovery. They also have the unique advantage of allowing patients the opportunity to live at home. This allows people in an IOP program to begin the process of rebuilding their lives and preparing for “real life.”
IOPs provide clients with a rigorous and evidence-based rehab program that is tailored to each individual. Caseworkers monitor the progress of each patient as they progress through treatment. We offer a wide variety of treatment modalities that tackle addiction from a variety of angles. Intensive outpatient programs recognize that recovery from substance abuse is rarely a matter of simply abstaining from drug use. It involves self-reflection, changing unhealthy behavior patterns, and getting family members involved.
Most intensive outpatient programs are held in clinics, offices, or community mental health centers and last approximately four hours a day, during the majority of the week. For those who need the additional support of a sober living environment, our IOP works with individuals to get them placed in appropriate sober living houses. The in-depth program of recovery offered by IOPs dovetails nicely with the trigger-free security of a sober living home.

Levels of Care

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) are a great option for individuals who want the intensity and structure of an inpatient treatment program with the flexibility of an outpatient program

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) provide individuals with a thorough, daily regimen of group and individual therapy that newly sober individuals need in the first few months of recovery.

Outpatient treatment programs are an effective and very flexible kind of treatment program for individuals struggling with addiction, mental health and impulse control disorders.

Aftercare treatment programs are services that people who graduate from inpatient and outpatient programs are advised to make use of to facilitate long term sobriety after leaving treatment.

How Does an IOP work?

Intensive outpatient treatment centers tend to use an assortment of treatment philosophies to provide the patient with a range of tools with which to combat addiction. Caseworkers generally take into account the patient’s individual history with addiction and mental health when designing a treatment plan. The majority of intensive outpatient programs are informed by similar evidence-based treatment strategies. These include but are not limited to:

Patients can expect to receive individual therapy as part of their individualized outpatient program. Therapy sessions are designed to help individuals understand the underlying issues behind their addictions. They can also be very helpful for addressing other comorbid mental health disorders. It is common for patients to work with counselors who are trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. CBT is recognized as the most effective and evidence-backed form of treatment for substance use disorder. The aim of CBT is to change unhelpful patterns of thinking and behavior. For this reason, it is useful for individuals who are learning to recognize triggers, develop new coping mechanisms, and deal with the difficulties of sober life as they arise. As a very goal-oriented treatment modality, CBT offers patients a way to make measurable progress in each session.

IOPs use family therapy in conjunction with individual therapy. Treatment programs understand that addiction is rarely the product of one individual client’s isolated mental state. In fact, many cases of addiction can be understood as arising from unhealthy family dynamics. Trained counselors can work with patients to examine and develop a better understanding of their family situations. Often this means treating other family members. Doing so can be a healing process for everyone. After all, addiction not only arises from unhealthy dynamics like codependency and abuse, but it can also create those dynamics. Trained counselors practicing family therapy can offer relief not only to patients dealing with addiction, but to family members who may have been affected by the damage wrought by substance abuse.

In an IOP, group therapy provides individuals an opportunity to share tools with each other and work through difficulties about which they share an understanding. The benefits of working together with other people in recovery are numerous. Not only do patients in group sessions have a chance to develop important life skills, they also can learn meditation, mindfulness techniques, and relapse-prevention strategies. For many people, group therapy is the first time they’ll encounter other like-minded individuals. IOPs consider the development of a sober social support system crucial to long term recovery, and group therapy offers our clients a chance to begin nurturing such a community.

Intensive Outpatient Programs are equipped to handle patients with other mental health disorders. Whether you’re currently untreated and in need of proper medication or have a variety of prescriptions that require careful monitoring, IOPs are well-staffed to guarantee the care you need. Individuals with comorbid mental health disorders need treatment for both issues if they’re to have relief from one. Regular sessions with a psychiatrist to identify any disorders requiring treatment is followed by diligent medication management so that no patient is left behind.

Whether a patient is making use of an IOP as a first-line treatment for addiction or as part of a transitioning strategy from a residential program, intensive outpatient programs aim to offer strategies for living life outside of treatment. Recovery involves not just detoxing from drugs or alcohol but building a variety of skills that will aid people in their future lives. Because drug addiction often causes users to neglect these important life skills, IOPs offer an assortment of workshops that help prepare people for the sober lives ahead of them.

Intensive Outpatient Programs works closely with patients, their caseworkers, and their counselors to develop an aftercare plan that reflects their needs. No one should be left on their own without a plan when they’re discharged from treatment facilities. IOPs help patients construct a plan that will ensure their long term sobriety. This means putting clients in touch with any medical services they might need. Others transition from an IOP to a more flexible outpatient program (OP). The vast majority go on to attend support group meetings via 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. Meetings like these are cost-free available throughout the United States and offer both a social support system and a program of recovery to follow long after graduation.

The Benefits of an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program

It Allows For a Flexible Schedule

Many people are interested in getting the most intense level of care but would rather not sacrifice commitments to work, family, or other life priorities. For these individuals, the time requirement of inpatient programs can be impractical. After all, many people want to get sober so that they can more effectively live their lives and be present for their commitments and loved ones. Abandoning all that to take up full-time residency in an inpatient treatment center can seem counter-intuitive. Intensive outpatient programs, which offer the same full range of services found at a residential program, can be a great option. IOPs allow patients to pursue the highest level of recovery for a period of time each day while continuing to honor important commitments to family, career, and education.

It’s Great for Transitioning from Inpatient Treatment

In intensive outpatient treatment program can be an essential next step after graduating from a residential treatment program. Graduates of an inpatient program can continue to reap the benefits of the treatment they received and the support network they began cultivating by enrolling in an IOP. Numerous studies show that recovery from addictions to drugs and alcohol is more likely for people who commit to programs of recovery for longer periods of time. An IOP can also make the process of returning to “real life” much smoother, by continuing to provide a support system and a strong program of recovery while former inpatient residents encounter new challenges living outside of an institution.

It's Affordable

Not everyone seeking addiction recovery in a rehab facility finds it easy financially. Inpatient programs tend to be expensive, often costing patients thousands of dollars. Intensive outpatient treatment programs are far more affordable since patients only have to pay for treatment facilities but do not have to worry about the additional expense of a bed and lodging.

IOP for Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders

It is extremely common for those with substance use disorder to have other mental health disorders as well. Individuals who also suffer from other mood disorders are referred to by medical professionals as “dual diagnosis” or “comorbid.” For this population, it is essential to receive the highest levels of care to facilitate recovery. This is because drug and alcohol problems are deeply tied to other mental health issues. Comorbid patients often find that their substance use disorder and other disorders interact with and mutually reinforce each other, making recovery from addiction impossible unless patients simultaneously receive treatment for their other problems.


Intensive Outpatient Programs have the treatment facilities for comorbid patients who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction as well as a wide range of other mental health disorders. IOP programs provide clients with individual therapy and medication management and help them develop coping strategies for their mental illnesses. Patients work with a treatment team to develop an integrated treatment plan that addresses all aspects of their needs.


Mental health disorders that are common in dual diagnosis patients:


  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and Panic Disorder
  • Mood disorders
  • Borderline Personality Disorder

Are You a Good Candidate for an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program?

Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs are ideal for patients living at home who want to receive the highest levels of care. It allows people to build a strong social support system, attend intensive therapy sessions and develop an understanding of the underlying issues of their addiction. A good candidate for an IOP is someone who is ready to commit to intensive treatment for a significant period of time. Many choose IOPs because they have family obligations or other commitments that prevent them from enrolling in an inpatient program. IOP programs cater to a diverse group of people, including:

How Do I Find and Make Financial Arrangements for an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

Intensive outpatient treatment provides people with a thorough support system that newly sober individuals need in the first few months of recovery. They also have the unique advantage of allowing patients the opportunity to live at home. This allows people in an IOP program to begin the process of rebuilding their lives and preparing for “real life.”


  • Graduates of inpatient programs looking to transition to an IOP can get help from their caseworker choosing an appropriate program
  • The Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator offered through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website offers a comprehensive listing of IOPs.
  • Create Recovery Center’s staff and resources are also available to talk to potential clients about their needs.
  • A representative from your insurance plan can also help find local IOPs that are covered by health insurance.
  • If you are part of a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous, asking for help there can often lead to a good recommendation for a treatment program.
  • Counselors, psychiatrists, and other health care professionals are also available to offer referrals to IOPs near you.

Unlike residential treatment programs, outpatient treatment and IOPs do not require patients to pay for lodging. Services take place in outpatient settings and treatment facilities for a limited period of time each day. As such, costs tend to be lower than they are in an inpatient program, which often cost patients tens of thousands of dollars. However, the costs of IOPs vary considerably, depending on factors such as the number of services they offer and length of treatment.


While intensive outpatient treatment programs are an affordable option for many people seeking addiction recovery or a program for relapse prevention, many individuals struggle financially. For some, drug and alcohol abuse has taken away their source of income or significantly damaged savings. Very recent graduates of residential programs hoping to transition to an IOP rarely have a job to fall back on. Fortunately there are a variety of ways to finance addiction treatment at an IOP. These include:


  • Health insurance. Not all substance abuse treatment programs accept insurance, and likewise your insurance company might not cover certain IOPs. But this is always a good first place to investigate.
  • A negotiated payment plan. Some programs make arrangements for people who are down on their luck.
  • Not everyone is in a position to ask for help from friends and family, but those who still have this kind of support can likely find resources here.
  • Taking out a personal loan. Taking out a personal loan is not as hard as it sounds. It may even be a good investment in your financial future, since your earnings will likely increase if you achieve sobriety after financing your recovery.

Many IOP programs are covered by health insurance. In fact, the Affordable Care Act classifies addiction treatment as an essential health benefit. This means that insurance companies are legally obligated to finance your recovery. That said, not all IOPs accept insurance, and your specific health plan might refer you to a specific IOP. To determine if health insurance will cover your intensive outpatient treatment program, it is essential to reach out to your desired IOP representatives as well as your insurance provider.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment at Create Recovery Center

Create Recovery Center’s Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program offers a high level of care for people seeking addiction treatment and relapse prevention. Create Recovery Center takes a holistic approach that takes into account the whole person’s life, including their family members and unique mental health history. We understand that recovery from substance addiction is rarely a matter of simply detoxing from a drug. We work with individuals to end their physical dependence on substances, but after that is when the real work begins. At our Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program, patients can expect to rebuild their lives from the ground up and develop tools to cope with the challenges ahead. To that end, we offer a wide variety of services and treatment modalities that include but are not limited to:


Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about Create Recovery Center’s intensive outpatient treatment program in Los Angeles, California. One of our staff will take however much time is needed to determine your unique needs and design an appropriate treatment plan conducive to your long-term sobriety.