Addiction Recovery Blog

The Difference Between Intensive Outpatient & Traditional Treatment Programs

[fa icon="calendar"] Nov 18, 2020 / by Russ Kallina

Russ Kallina

At Aquila Recovery of Virginia, we are proud to offer a variety of treatment programs designed to meet each client’s needs at the level of care required. We offer an intensive outpatient program (IOP) for clients who need more structure than traditional outpatient therapy and less structure than an inpatient treatment program.

For many people, inpatient care – whether in a hospital, clinic, rehab, or other facility – can be challenging. These live-in treatment options often provide the highest level of care, however aren't always feasible for individuals with busy lifestyles. Outpatient programs may not provide enough structure or support for preventing relapse. Often, people’s careers, social activities or home lives trigger substance abuse. In this case, a more rigorous addiction treatment program is often necessary.

An intensive outpatient program, or IOP, is a level of care for people struggling with substance abuse, addiction and/or mental health issues. Unlike inpatient programs, an IOP doesn't require living in a facility. Yet, these programs do demand more time and commitment than outpatient care. In other words, IOPs are a happy medium between inpatient and outpatient care. They enable patients to continue with their normal, day-to-day lives while still providing the structure necessary for recovery. 


IOPs are appropriate for those transitioning in or out of inpatient residential treatment or as an alternative to residential treatment altogether. Unlike an outpatient program, an IOP meets for 3 hours a day, 3 times per week for 6-8 weeks. 

What does our Intensive Outpatient Program look like at Aquila Recovery?

Many of our clients have found our IOP to be the perfect program structure for their continued therapeutic needs. Our program is evidence-based, which means we utilize treatment components which research has shown to be most effective. Each week, participants will be engaged in:

Group therapy - Three, 3-hour sessions, each comprised of:

  • Group psychotherapy 
  • Group psycho-education 
Individual therapy - A one-on-one format, involving:
  • Personal therapy
  • One case management session 
  • Breathalyzer checkpoints and/or full spectrum drug testing
Our groups are facilitated by licensed, master level clinicians and licensed substance abuse counselors. If you have an established doctor or therapist, then we will work closely with them through the course of your treatment. Our goal is to provide you an increased level of support as you begin or continue your recovery journey. We will work together with you to develop tools, establish support, and maintain recovery from substances, mental health issues, or problem behaviors. Use the form below or the phone number above to reach out today to find out how we can help you.

Topics: Addiction, Positive Recovery, treatment program, remote treatment

Russ Kallina

Written by Russ Kallina

Russ Kallina is Aquila Recovery of Virginia's Program Director of Operations.