IOP and Sober Living: The Perfect Pair

iop session

A sober living program is a natural next step after rehab, but what about IOP? IOP, or intensive outpatient treatment, is specifically designed to support people in recovery and provide extended care after residential rehab. As a supplementary service, it’s also the perfect mate for a sober living program.

What is IOP?

IOP stands for “intensive outpatient program.” It is a type of outpatient addiction treatment that helps people transition from a residential treatment setting into independent recovery and re-inforces relapse prevention, accountability, and essential life skills that are necessary to maintain a lifestyle of sobriety.

Additionally, some people may choose to enroll in IOP instead of enrolling in a residential program. While neither level of care is better, and studies show both are effective1, IOP may be a more appropriate treatment option based on a client’s history with substance abuse, their availability to comit to inpatient treatment, and their financial resources.

IOP vs. Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Standard outpatient addiction treatment provides greater flexibility for people in recovery than a residential program does. Although the treatment process is still just as robust, outpatient treatment provides more flexibility and the ability to live at home and attend work or school while going to treatment. This type of drug rehab empowers people to live out a sober lifestyle and practice the life skills they learned while in residential treatment with the supportive structure of regular outpatient group meetings.

IOP, on the other hand, is slightly different than outpatient treatment. An intensive outpatient program introduces an intensive care component that ensures clients have the ability to work with a counselor or therapist one-on-one to address certain areas of recovery that may be more difficult than others. This allows for more individualized care and closer management of potential issues that could cause a relapse.

Who Needs IOP?

Anyone who is recovering from addiction can benefit greatly from an IOP program. Good candidates for an IOP program may also have the following qualities:

  • They have already completed detox and residential rehab.
  • They have a stable home environment.
  • They are enrolled in a sober living program.
  • They are recovering from severe addiction.
  • They have struggled with chronic relapse in the past.

How Long Are IOP Programs?

IOP lasts about eight weeks, but this does not affect how long a client can stay at a sober living home. Sober living clients can continue to live at a sober living home for as long as they need, even after they have completed their IOP program.

At Eudaimonia, sober living clients who are enrolled in IOP attend co-ed group sessions three times weekly. Each session lasts three hours (90 minutes of Education Group and 90 minutes of Process Group). The meetings are held in a secure, clinical treatment center in Houston or Austin, depending on where the client is enrolled.

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    Benefits of IOP and Sober Living Dual Enrollment

    Clients who are enrolled in both IOP and a sober living program experience many benefits from dual enrollment. Here are a few of them.

    • IOP and sober living enrollment increase the likelihood of sustained sobriety. People who stay in treatment longer tend to have more success in maintaining their sobriety.2 After rehab, the additional structure, consistency, accountability, and peer support provided by IOP and sober living programs help people to establish a sober routine that promotes ongoing recovery.
    • IOP and sober living enrollment help people in recovery establish a supportive sober community. Clients who are enrolled in IOP and sober living spend a great deal of time attending group sessions, meeting with a counselor or therapist, and working with a sober coach to set sobriety goals and achieve them. This type of recovery work helps people establish healthy relationships with their peers and loved ones as they continue working the 12-Step Program outside of a residential program.
    • IOP and sober living enrollment reduce criminal activity and drug use and improve employment. Clients enrolled in both IOP and sober living receive recovery support services that are designed to help them rebuild a new life in recovery. On top of the continued 12-step work, process and education groups, and one-on-one counseling sessions, clients also receive education, volunteer, and employment assistance.
    • IOP and sober living enrollment help improve mental and physical health in recovery. Clients who are enrolled in IOP and sober living work daily to achieve their recovery goals and live a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle. While completing IOP requirements, clients will also learn how to establish a healthy routine while living semi-independent lives in a sober home with their peers.

    If a person is financially able, enrolling in IOP and sober living simultaneously is an excellent way to start over and prioritize a life of recovery after leaving rehab.

    How Much Does IOP Cost?

    The cost of any treatment program can become a barrier if a person is financially unable to fund it. Fortunately, there are several different types of payment options for IOP enrollment, including health insurance benefits, financed healthcare loans, or benefits provided by an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

    The cost of IOP treatment will vary, depending on the client’s insurance coverage or any other payment options they choose to use. In most cases, health insurance benefits will cover a portion of the cost of treatment and scholarships may also be available for sober living clients to utilize.

    Additional Supplementary Recovery Services

    In addition to IOP, Eudaimonia offers several other supplementary recovery support services that are included with sober living enrollment or that can be combined with it for a robust and well-rounded recovery program. Our recovery support services include:

    • Drug and alcohol testing: Sober living clients are drug tested twice weekly to provide peace of mind for family members, help clients stay motivated and sober, and ensure a safe and sober living environment for all residents.
    • Peer recovery support program: This service provides accountability and establishes a circle of support that is comprised of family members, therapists, house managers, and a sponsor, among others who play a role in the person’s recovery.
    • Three phase program: All sober living clients are automatically enrolled in our three-phase program, which is designed to help them set and achieve recovery goals while working one-on-one with a sober coach.
    • SEV Program: Our Support Employment Volunteer (SEV) program provides employment, volunteer, and education assistance for clients who are enrolled in our sober living program. It also emphasizes life skills development and relapse prevention, for a well-rounded recovery program.

    Enroll in IOP and Sober Living Today

    IOP and sober living are both essential parts of the addiction treatment process and dual enrollment can provide many positive benefits for people in all stages of recovery. If you’d like to learn more about our IOP and sober living programs, please call Eudaimonia Recovery Homes today to speak with an admissions representative.


    1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64087/
    2. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/how-long-does-drug-addiction-treatment
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