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Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) In Canada

Intensive outpatient drug and alcohol treatment is very similar to traditional outpatient programs operating within Canada. These types of facilities are used by individuals who may be struggling with substance abuse or chemical dependency problems, eating disorders, or battling depression and self-harm issues. Intensive outpatient drug rehabilitation programs do not typically offer detox services as part of treatment but can help patients locate a detox program if it is required. Detox is normally a requirement for any addict because it is necessary for a client to be drug and alcohol-free for a certain time prior to starting any form of therapy. Patients attend intensive outpatient centers will attend daily counseling each week, and will typically go for 12 to 20 hours per week, but this will depend on their schedule and treatment structure. Overall, outpatient programs do allow patients to take part in daily activities such as work, or being with his or her family. The therapy and counseling methods offered at intensive outpatient centers will be somewhat different for each program, but there will be traditional options such as 12-step programs, and non-traditional approaches provided.

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What are the benefits of intensive outpatient treatment (IOP)?

It can be difficult to convince an addict to get help, especially if they have never been to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center before. Many addicts fear the time away, and fear they will be losing out on their freedoms. If addiction is not too severe; meaning if the addict has only been using drugs for a short period of time, an intensive outpatient program may be a viable solution. In order to determine this, the family should speak with an addiction counselor, or receive some form of in-person assessment. Some of the benefits of intensive outpatient drug rehab include:

  • The addict can still live at home and be with the family – some addicts require the stability of home life, or may have responsibilities with work and financially supporting his or her family. In other cases, there may be children involved, and the addict has a lot of responsibility there in taking care of them.
  • The patient can still maintain daily responsibilities and activities – it is not too uncommon for a person to be attending school and is also struggling with an addiction, and will still need to be part of classes while they receive treatment. In other circumstances, the patient may still need to work or operate a business and provide for their family.
  • Family support structure – the addict can still be directly supported by family and friends while they go through rehab, and can also put some attention on re-building the family dynamic. Some addicts really upon the support of the family, and will use their help through the rehabilitation process.
  • Significantly lower cost than inpatient treatment – the reason residential drug rehab centers cost so much is because the addict is living in the facility for a pre-determined set of time. It does cost money to house, feed, and treat people, but with intensive outpatient programs, the addict is simply paying for the treatment if it is a private program.


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Marcel Gemme

More Info

Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people.

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Sylvain Fournier

Sylvain Fournier | Bio

Across Canada, there are many different treatment options to choose from, private, government-funded, inpatient, and outpatient. See More