Addiction A-Z

Intensive outpatient treatment

Intensive outpatient treatment (IOT) is a primary treatment program that can allow addiction professionals to tailor intensive, yet non-residential, treatment to the specific needs of each individual patient.

In the past, drug rehab patients typically underwent an intensive period of inpatient treatment followed by much weaker aftercare. Some patients, such as those with co-occurring mental issues, were even required to visit multiple service providers to receive the complete level of drug rehab that they needed. This often resulted in patients not complying with the outpatient treatment plans.

This substance abuse treatment model is intended to bridge the gap between the traditional medically managed intensive inpatient treatment and less intensive outpatient treatment and can also be a more cost effective option. Although IOT is not as intense as traditional inpatient care, it does allow for a tremendous amount of variation in the scope of treatment, with many programs offering either both day and evening drug treatment programs to meet the familial and employment needs of patients.

As a result, many professionals no longer rigidly adhere to a 28-day inpatient treatment model or the typical non-intensive outpatient plan of weekly sessions of group or individual therapy, with many believing that both of these models are less effective and efficient at treating substance abuse than the more intensive outpatient plans. .

However, because intensive outpatient drug rehab still lacks standardized quality of care measures, it is not currently possible to do a comparative analysis of what is being offered. For example, some intensive outpatient day programs consider themselves to be partial hospitalization; yet others, that offer the identical type of care, do not use that label.


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