treatment services

Intensive   Outpatient


Intensive Outpatient at Creo Spero

If you are struggling with drug addiction, finding the drug treatment program that perfectly fits your unique needs can be a challenge. In your search, you have no doubt been told that a residential drug treatment program will provide you with the tools and support you need to get and stay sober. In a residential program, you will reside in the treatment facility itself to address the underlying issues of your substance abuse. While the programs, services, and supportive environment of a residential treatment program are very effective, it may not be your best option. Are you in need of intensive drug treatment services but are unable to commit to extended periods away from your family and work? If so, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) may be a better treatment option for you. This article will dig deeper into IOP’s, how they differ from other outpatient treatment programs, as well as their benefits. If you have further questions about intensive outpatient programs and if they are right for you, call Creo Spero toll-free today to learn more.

What is the Intensive Outpatient Process?

What is IOP?

An intensive outpatient treatment program (IOP) is seen as a fusion of residential and traditional outpatient treatment programs; In an IOP, people receive the intensive therapy and treatment programs found in a residential treatment program but are allowed to live at home fulfill their family and work commitments. Depending on their schedule, people who attend intensive outpatient treatment programs will go to the treatment facility for programs and services during the day or evening. In general, people will attend treatment three times a week for three hours each session. The frequency and duration of sessions are dependent on the severity of their addiction.

The typical length of an IOP is 6-8 weeks but can go longer depending on your individual needs. An IOP is an excellent option for those who don’t require medical detoxification or around-the-clock care. Not only are these programs excellent as a stand-alone program, but they are also an excellent transition program for those just completing residential treatment and who need extra support.


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What are the Differences between an IOP and Outpatient?

You may hear IOP and general outpatient drug treatment programs considered the same. There are minor differences found between IOP and general outpatient programs. First, general outpatient programs feature reduced hours you would spend in treatment programs. While you may spend 9 hours or more a week in an IOP, you may only spend 3-6 hours per week in a general outpatient program. Also, OP’s are not as intensively structured as an intensive outpatient program. A traditional outpatient program is ideal for people whose addictions are is less severe and is often used as a “transition” program from an IOP.

Happy smiling women sitting in circle in community meeting or group therapy session with coach, holding hands and thanking each other for support, sincere, true friendship and achieving goals together at Creo Recovery Intensive Outpatient Program

What Programs and Services are Available in an IOP?

When you undergo treatment at an intensive outpatient addiction program, experienced staff will work with you in creating an individualized program that meets your needs. In an IOP, you will undergo counseling and therapy primarily in a small group setting. However, you can also be assigned an individual counselor for meetings and counseling on a regular, weekly basis. Many intensive outpatient programs are also Twelve-Step based programs in which clients are encouraged to attend Twelve Step meetings such as AA, NA, or other similar self-help groups. With this type of treatment, newly recovering addicts will be able to build a foundation of recovery and support immediately upon leaving formal drug treatment.


Intensive outpatient programs have experienced and licensed counselors that are on staff and can tailor individualized recovery programs that will allow you to continue developing the essential life and coping skills needed for use outside of treatment and in their day-to-day lives. Many areas and topics are covered during a client’s time at an intensive outpatient center. The topics that can be covered can include the following:

• Understanding the concept of relapse and relapse prevention
• How to manage urges and cravings
• Understanding how addiction affects brain chemistry
• The progression of the disease of addiction
• Understanding and application of the Twelve Steps in recovery
• Family counseling and education programs
• Spirituality
•. Co-occurring mental and physical disorders that can underlie substance use
• The stages of change


In addition to these topics, intensive outpatient-based programs can also cover emotional management, the legal issues regarding substance abuse addiction, personal responsibility and self-efficacy, the psychological and sociological consequences of drug abuse, and the development of a healthier alternative to drinking and drug use.


If you are considering an intensive outpatient drug treatment program, there are tremendous benefits that will improve your chances of long-term sobriety. First and foremost, IOP’s have a longer duration when compared to residential treatment programs. As stated earlier, an intensive outpatient program typically runs 6-8 weeks, but can go longer if you need additional programs and support. Additionally, these programs are “step down” programs in the fact that the frequency and duration of programming can be decreased as you progress through treatment.

Another tremendous benefit of an IOP is its cost. Traditionally, intensive outpatient drug treatment programs are less expensive than residential programs. Since these programs are offered in a clinical setting, there is greater flexibility in responding to your individual needs. Since you are attending programming while you are living at home, you have the opportunity to put into practice the coping skills you learn in an IOP. Importantly, you have access to treatment resources in the event you should experience a relapse.

Are There Drawbacks to Intensive Outpatient Programs?

While an IOP can provide you immense benefits in your recovery, there are some disadvantages that you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, an IOP will not be a good option for you if you don’t have the support of family and friends. This is especially true if you still have contact with friends who are actively using substances. Secondly, you may experience distractions at home and work that can take focus away from treatment. While you have access to counseling and therapists in an IOP, it is not as close by when compared to residential drug treatment. Building a solid, sober support network is more challenging since you don’t spend as much time with others in an intensive outpatient program.


Let Us Help You Recover at Our Orange County Intensive Outpatient Program

Choosing to undergo treatment at an IOP is a considerable commitment of your time. When selecting an intensive outpatient program, you need to be sure the facility you choose has the programs, services, and support you need to make long-term recovery a reality. Call Creo Spero Recovery toll-free today if you are looking for an IOP that will give you the tools to empower and transform your life. As one of the top treatment centers in California, the treatment staff at Creo Spero utilize treatment programs that get results.


We believe in using a creative and integrated treatment approach that treats you as a whole being. We offer a wide range of traditional and emerging holistic therapies to create an individualized treatment program that meets your unique and specific needs. Begin your recovery journey today; call Creo Spero.



Did you know that most major insurance carriers will help cover the costs associated with treatment? Creo Spero offers a free insurance benefits check to anyone who contacts us. Whether you come to our program or not, we will help you find the best treatment options that fit your personal needs. Don’t wait any longer. Find your path to recovery today.

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