Addiction treatment can be a step-down process starting with detox from cocaine addiction, opiate addiction or any other substance abuse disorder and progressing toward aftercare. Toward the end of a standard treatment strategy is an intensive outpatient program, frequently referred to as IOP. At DreamLife Recovery, this level of care generally begins after PHP or our partial hospitalization program.

At DreamLife Recovery, our focus is on encouraging and strengthening the recovery skills acquired while in PHP. This includes goal-setting and regular meetings with various intensive outpatient program support teams that turn your ideas into successful, life-enhancing habits. The intensive outpatient program at DreamLife Recovery allows you or a loved one to transition back into your community while retaining the structure of effective treatment. The intensive aspect includes nine hours per week of continued support through individual and various group therapies.


If you or a loved one are eager to strengthen recovery skills and achieve sobriety goals, the Intensive Outpatient Program at DreamLife Recovery may be the outpatient rehab program you need. This program that’s aimed at tackling drug addiction and alcohol abuse will allow for patients to adjust to their new life of recovery and fulfillment.


An intensive outpatient rehab program may be ideal for:

  • Individuals who do not need a medically-supervised detox program to defeat their drug addiction
  • Anyone who has never gone through treatment for a substance abuse disorder and relapsed in the past
  • Individuals who do not have complications like co-occurring substance abuse disorders or trauma
  • Despite the severity of cocaine addiction, opiate addiction or alcohol abuse, anyone who has only used a substance for a short period of time
  • Any individual who has critical obligations or responsibilities, such as caring for young children


Outpatient rehab programs provide more independence and flexibility than inpatient programs, but may not be appropriate for everyone. Certain individuals who may have been addicted for years or to substances with potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms should consider intensive outpatient programs only as part of a continuum of care, having ideally already participated in both detox as well as partial hospitalization programs.


The average length of stay in our IOP program is three to six weeks. Clients will receive treatment three, five or seven times per week-day or night. Our client-to-counselor ratio is 10-to-1, which means our team will provide ample attention to every client at this level of care. Each client will receive at least nine hours of onsite services per week, including:

  • Counseling and education on substance abuse and chemical dependency
  • Self-evaluation of substance use patterns and their impact on an individual’s life
  • Developing appropriate sobriety strategies to defeat their substance abuse disorder

Clients also receive a minimum of one hour of individual counseling per week. The focus here is primarily on therapeutic reprocessing, education and relapse prevention. At the end of the three-to-six-week period, or when a client is ready, they be will be transitioned to a more independent level of care as they prepare to return to their homes and communities.

What are the Benefits of a Low Client to Counselor Ratio?

Some counseling centers have a very high client-to-councilor ratio. Here at Dreamlife Recovery, we take great pride in providing you with small groups for group therapy and the opportunity for one on one counseling with counseling who can make you their top priority.

Where Can I Find an IOP With Family Therapy?

Our residential, PHP, and IOP all provide family therapy. Whether you step from our PHP program to our IOP or if you start in our IOP we invite your family to family therapy if you consent. Unlike the inpatient treatment programs that you may have to have completed entering our IOP you normally live in a sober living community or at home. We encourage you to take part in normal day to day activities during the IOP.

What is Drug Education?

Another skill we give you is drug education. This will help you identify situations that might be setting you up to relapse. You might not have been able to identify the dangers in these situations before we help you to start developing these skills.

Many behaviors are self-perpetuating. They are echoes of behaviors that may be made you feel safer while or before you became addicted, helped you survive in dangerous situations during addictions, or helped you obtain drugs which is another powerful reinforcement. Or they could be behaviors and/or actions that you knowingly repeat to either delay certain events, make things happen, and/or influence other people. Sometimes these actions are inappropriate whether you do them knowingly or without notice.

How do I Say No to Drugs and Alcohol?

We also help you say no. Whether you are saying no to alcohol, drugs, or both we will help you say no in a way that you are comfortable with. Sometimes people are uncomfortable with revealing their addiction to decline to take a substance they are recovering from. You do not have to. We will teach you methods to say no to even the most persistent person without revealing any information that you are not comfortable discussing. Addiction is a medical issue. Like any other medical issue, it is up to you how and if you want to share your diagnosis.

How Long Does an IOP Take? 

One of the main attractions of our outpatient treatment is that it is only three to six weeks. This means that if you have a high-stress job that you need to keep your attention on and/or you are the caretaker of someone who is ill and/or has a disability you can get back to your responsibilities soon. You will also return with better coping skills that will help keep you healthy and safe. Taking place in our IOP will also give you time to care for any young children you might have.

What Do I Do After an IOP?

After progressing through our IOP you will go to our aftercare program. Our aftercare program helps you continue your sobriety and it allows you to build yourself a support network of other removing people with an addiction disorder.

Besides allowing you to stay with your children and any other loved ones who might depend on you IOP allows you to either go back to or stay at work. In our program, we can coach employers on how to help you in your day to day work life. Recovery is an ongoing process and there are many times that you could be tempted in your day to day life. But there are some workarounds that we at DreamLife Recovery can help you find. For instance, if you work at a grocery store that sells liquor it would be worth it to be humble and admit to yourself that you might, at least at first, struggle to be near so much alcohol without purchasing some to take home and drink.

We can help you find ways to talk to your employer about not having alcohol readily available at company parties and get-togethers. If you work in a medical clinic, we can help you negotiate ways that you will not be able to access the drugs that you were addicted to.

If you are a stay at home mother, we can help you find ways to better explain to your spouse that having any alcohol in the house presents a danger to your sobriety. We can also help you plan get-togethers with friends that don’t involve drinking socially.

Does all Addiction Recovery Depend on Medications? 

There are many tips and tricks we can teach you in our outpatient program about how to lower stress in your life. Part of the reason some people start abusing alcohol and/or drugs is the extreme amount of stress in their day to day lives.

What Amenities Does the IOP Offer?

One of the therapies our clinic offers is yoga. We help teach you asanas and other helpful tools that you can rely on to keep you calm under mounting stress. Meditation and deep breathing are also helpful tools that we will provide you with. Some deep breathing and meditation sessions can take less than fifteen minutes.

If you are living in our sobriety community you will also still have access to our private gym and our various residences offer private bathrooms. We are also wheelchair friendly. Here are some more of the amenities at our clinic:

  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Meditation

Not only will you have access to therapies like yoga, tai chi, and meditation you will be encouraged to share your breakthroughs and new methods of coping with family members and friends.

Can Tai Chi and Yoga Help Me Bond with My Family?

Tai chi and yoga are ancient practices that have brought millions of people to help when they have needed them and provided tools for personal betterment. Even if you do not have an addiction you can benefit from tai chi and yoga. These are practices that you can share with your loved ones and maybe you can continue yoga and tai chi classes together as a way of bonding with your loved ones after you have completed your IOP.

Does an IOP Encourage Religion? 

We also provide you with spiritual counseling if you want it. Our spiritual counseling is not restricted by religion or denomination. You are also encouraged to interact with your spiritual leader if you so choose and have one of your own already.

What Else Does the IOP Include? 

In our IOP program, we continue to encourage healthy eating and physical fitness. We have an executive chef at our clinic and you have access to our private gyms. Contact us today to see if IOP is right for you. You can call us for more information at (844) 402-3592

Article Reviewed by Lidice Morales

Lidice MoralesLidice Morales, an honors graduate from the Kaiser University, has made a name for herself as the Director of Nursing at several behavioral health facilities and as the Director of Operations for Detox MD. Now she is the VP of Operations at DreamLife Recovery. She strives for better patient care through constant self-improvement and furthering her education. Her steadfast work ethic and passion in the field has remained the most important aspect of her professional career; showing dedication to not only the acquisition of new knowledge, but also its mastery. Lidice believes that a professional work atmosphere fosters cohesion and malleability amongst herself and her coworkers; thereby increasing both the level of patient care and quality of life.

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