Pros and Cons of IOP Drug Rehab

Pros and Cons of IOP Drug Rehab

If you are struggling to put an end to your drug or alcohol dependency, an intensive outpatient program can provide the treatment you require, while also allowing you the freedom and flexibility you need to live your life. It’s impossible to deny that inpatient addiction treatment centers are beneficial. However, this may not be a feasible option for you. In this situation, intensive outpatient programs may be the answer. To help you decide if this is the right option for you, here’s a look at the pros and cons of intensive outpatient treatment.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

Just as it sounds, intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) allows you to address and treat your substance abuse issues in an environment that is less restrictive than that found at inpatient rehab centers [1]. At the same time, it is more structured than your typical outpatient program.

At MiBoSpi, intensive outpatient treatment consists of 10 hours of treatment each week, broken down into three classes. Designed to help you create a sustainable plan for your long-lasting recovery, classes include a variety of proven therapeutic interventions, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), group, experiential, and float therapy, life skills, relapse prevention, and psychotherapy classes, and a relapse prevention plan that is specifically designed for you.

The Pros of Intensive Outpatient Treatment

It almost goes without saying that the biggest benefit associated with intensive outpatient treatment is achieving and maintaining your sobriety.

Other pros include:

  • You can expect decreased out-of-pocket expenses. For an adult, the average cost of an inpatient addiction treatment center is around $800 per week, with an average stay of anywhere from 4 to 13 weeks [2]. In other words, you could easily spend $10,000 or more for your stay at a rehab center. While your health insurance may take care of a portion of your stay, it almost certainly won’t pay for all out of it, meaning you’ll be responsible for the rest. When you chose intensive outpatient treatment, there are no fees for room/ board and the facility’s overhead costs tends to be lower, a savings that is passed down to you.
  • You will be able to continue taking care of your responsibilities. By attending outpatient treatment, you’ll be able to continue working and taking care of your at-home responsibilities. At the same time, you won’t have to hand off your everyday jobs to someone else, potentially putting a burden on him or her. This also means there is no disruption to your family life, which may be of particular importance to you if you have children or take care of your elders.
  • You will have the chance to put the skills you learn in treatment to work. Instead of living in a rehab center that is free of drugs and alcohol, you’ll be out living, working, and socializing in your regular environment, potentially putting you in the path of temptation. This gives you the chance to put the lessons you have learned in outpatient treatment to immediate use.

The Cons of Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Just as with anything else in life, there are disadvantages of intensive outpatient treatment that you’ll need to weigh against the advantages.

They include:

  • You are likely to be faced with opportunities to use. In an inpatient addiction treatment center, you have 24/7 supervision and support, meaning you won’t be faced with enticing offers of drugs and alcohol. When you opt for intensive outpatient treatment, this isn’t the case, though you have to keep in mind that this allows you to put your skills to work.
  • You won’t be able to focus solely on your treatment. Continuing to go about your life means that you’ll come across distractions that will prevent you from focusing entirely on your treatment. Obviously, when you undergo inpatient treatment, you won’t have to worry about work, kids, scheduled appointments, etc., allowing you to fully concentrate on your sobriety.
  • Access to your counselor and other support staff will be limited. Again, inpatient treatment centers have support staff in the building at all times. These individuals are always available to listen to your concerns and offer you unlimited support. In outpatient treatment, you can’t count on always having someone there to answer your questions or offer you unrelenting support.


[1] Services in Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs

[2] The Economic Costs of Substance Abuse Treatment