Intensive Outpatient Program

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Addiction is one of the most painful, isolating diseases there are. It takes great inner strength to admit to having a problem in the first place, and even more strength to reach out for help. The choices can seem complex and overwhelming, and questions are so natural and understandable!

At Avenues, we’re determined to make exploring and receiving addiction treatment as uncomplicated as we can. On this page we’ll explain what Intensive Outpatient programs are, who it’s intended for, and how it works at Avenues Recovery.

What is IOP?

An Intensive Outpatient Program, also known as IOP, is an outpatient treatment module used to treat drug and alcohol addiction and mental illness. It is much like Partial Hospitalization, yet more relaxed in that it runs for fewer hours per day. This gives clients more time to attend to personal obligations, and the ability to even begin working part-time. In IOP, as in PHP, clients live at home and travel to their treatment center for therapy up to 7 days a week.

Who Is Intensive Outpatient Treatment For?

An Intensive Outpatient rehab program generally targets those who have outgrown the programming level of Partial Hospitalization, but still want clinical guidance and supervision as they integrate back into the outside world. IOP enables such individuals to truly begin living again - working and engaging in a variety of everyday activities, while still benefiting from daily therapy and the structured support of a treatment program.

How Does it Work at Avenues?

Avenues’ IOP addiction treatment program is a critical component of our larger continuum of care, serving as the bridge between treatment and the outside world. IOP helps clients transition seamlessly into life after rehab, and empowers them to face each challenge that may arise with fortitude and inner strength. It’s what allows so many Avenues alumni to achieve and sustain their sobriety long after leaving our doors.

Here’s how Avenues treatment center’s Intensive Outpatient program works.

Clinical Program

At Avenues, clients transfer to the IOP program once they’ve met certain goals and objectives outlined in their treatment plan. In this level of care, clients begin to truly integrate back into real life as they enjoy more free time, begin working a job, and engage in various ordinary activities such as cooking, driving, shopping, and more. Individual and group therapy sessions continue at a lower frequency, as clients start assuming real-life responsibilities and practically applying healthy skills and boundaries focused on in treatment. They also continue to attend community meetings (NA, AA, HA), where they can expand and strengthen their+ sober support network - becoming a valued member of an active recovery community. Our dedicated case managers are available to assist with every detail, be it resume building, job search, application, and interviews, or any financial, familial or legal complication that may arise.

Extracurricular Program

Relaxation has been scientifically proven to be a key component of the healing process. We know that people recover best when in a calm and contented state, caring for their mind as well as body. And specifically in the substance abuse recovery field, learning to have “sober fun” is a critical recovery skill - one which our clients will turn to time and again after graduating treatment.

Because of this, at Avenues, we believe in playing as hard as we work!😊 Once clients enter our Intensive Outpatient program, they are taken on a variety of exciting weekly outings (in addition to on-campus recreational activities) - such as theme parks, whitewater rafting, beach days, restaurants, weekend camping trips, whale watching, escape rooms, baseball games, bowling, and more. As mentioned, these outings have tremendous therapeutic value. They encourage bonding, build healthy camaraderie and team spirit, and improve social skills, self-esteem, and overall physical and mental wellbeing.


Intensive Outpatient is generally an outpatient program. However, Avenues has formed strong relationships with  a collection of luxurious sober living facilities right near our IOP programs. This partnership allows our clients to live in their properties while in treatment with us. It removes the burden of travel from our clients, enabling them to reside in a beautiful domestic setting apart from yet near the facility – while still engaging in their daily therapy schedule.


1. How long does IOP treatment last?

It is hard to estimate exactly how long IOP takes since treatment is always customized to the individual, and a client will remain in IOP until they are deemed ready to move om to a lower level of care. However, the average duration of IOP (for most people) is two to three months.

2. How many hours a day is IOP?

In IOP, clinical programming lasts three and a half hours a day, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Flexible night options are always available for those with conflicting schedules.

3. How much does IOP cost?

The cost of an Intensive Outpatient Program will vary for each individual, since it depends on the type of insurance coverage they have and the amount of time they require in this specific level of care. Each Avenues Recovery Center facility accepts some of the following insurances, as well as private pay: Aetna, Ambetter, Anthem, Beacon, Blue Cross Blue Shield (All), CareFirst, Care Source, Cigna, DE Highmark, DE Medicaid, Encore Health, First Health, Geisinger, Gilsbar, Harvard Pilgrim, Highmark, Humana, Horizon, John Hopkins, Lutheran Preferred, Multiplan, Medicaid, Medicaid IN, Medicaid MD, Medicaid NH, Medicaid VT, MDwise, MHS, Optum, Physicians Health Plan, Qualcare, Tricare, UMR, Union, and United Healthcare. If you’d like to find out more, our business office will be glad to answer all of your questions, provide an individualized cost estimate, and discuss payment options with you.

4. Can I work while in IOP?

Yes! A large part of our IOP addiction treatment program focuses on workforce re-integration, and your case manager will support you through all stages of the process – from seeking employment to drafting resumes, applying for jobs and practicing for interviews.

5. Can I drive while in IOP?

If you own a vehicle and would like to begin driving again once in IOP, please speak to your primary therapist about exploring this option.

6. What’s the difference between IOP and PHP?

The difference between Intensive Outpatient treatment and Partial Hospitalization is that IOP is a less intensive level of care than PHP. This means that upon transferring to IOP, you will not be under clinical supervision for as many hours each day, which will give you more free time and enable you to begin looking for a job and working if you so wish.

Continuum of Care

Avenues Recovery offers a full continuum of care, spanning Detox, Residential, Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient, and Outpatient services. It is important to understand where PHP stands in the greater picture of substance abuse treatment programs:

Detox > Residential/ Inpatient Treatment > Partial Hospitalization > Intensive Outpatient > Outpatient

In order for any program (including IOP) to be fully effective, it must be preceded and succeeded by the appropriate levels of care. Rushing treatment, skipping a level of care, or moving to a lower level of care before it is deemed medically and clinically appropriate can all detract greatly from the overall efficacy of treatment. At Avenues, we understand the importance and necessary duration of each stage of treatment and have crafted our program to ensure the greatest degree of success possible. Therefore, Intensive Outpatient is part of the larger substance abuse rehabilitation program offered by Avenues Recovery and is not a standalone offer.

Find lasting sobriety at Avenues.

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Inpatient and
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