What is IOP and How Does it Help with Substance Abuse

Substance Use Disorder IOP

Substance Use Disorder is not an uncommon phenomenon even if you feel like you’re the only person in your immediate circle that’s struggling with it. In 2014, approximately 21.5 million Americans struggled with addiction, as published by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). This makes addiction one of the most common diseases amongst people in the United States. Intensive Outpatient Programs or IOPs have helped those struggling with addiction to create long-lasting change in their habits through group therapy. IOP provides people with addictions a safe space to get clean from drugs or alcohol. This supportive community helps to prevent individuals from relapsing back into the crippling harms of substance abuse. 

Many of us are trying to overcome our addictions, to deal with the obstacles of life, and feel completely lost. You may feel overwhelmed because you lack the tools to create and maintain successful, sustainable change. That is where IOP comes to the rescue. Sage Neuroscience Center has openings for our Intensive Outpatient Program in Albuquerque. Having an addiction is not your fault. It does not make you a bad person. Your brain and body formed a dependence on a substance and this dependence can be treated. Addiction is a disease that can’t be completely cured but must be treated by healthcare providers. It is just like any other sickness. 

How Sage Can Help

Sage is a resource. It’s a place to grab hold of an outstretched hand, gather your tools, and learn how to implement those tools in your life. Our Substance Abuse team is highly skilled in their area of expertise on top of being kind and understanding. Our SUDS IOP facilitators are the kind of people you just want to hang out with all the time. 

Seeking help, entering a program, and going through detox can all stir up fear and apprehension. We aren’t trying to pacify those feelings but instead, take some time to inform you of what the path to recovery looks like at our agency. It is important to know that Sage Neuroscience Center is an outpatient clinic; meaning that we do not take in patients for overnight services, nor are we available 24/7. Depending on the medical acuity of a potential patient’s substance abuse issue, they may be better suited for an inpatient program. If you are in need of an inpatient facility, we would be happy to recommend one to you. 

What is SUDS IOP?

Sage’s Substance Use Disorder IOP is a group therapy program that encourages clients to actively participate in their recovery in a safe, supportive environment. We use evidence-based, cutting edge, and diverse approaches including mindfulness, Matrix Model, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) interventions. 

In addition to IOP, we offer individual therapy, medication evaluation and monitoring, relapse prevention groups, family and couples counseling, and aftercare services. Sage provides urine drug screens, reports for formal litigation processes, and collaborative care with other providers on your treatment team. That’s what makes Sage special- we have your whole team under one roof that knows your story and can collaborate to work out what’s the best treatment path for you. 

Throughout the duration of an IOP you will attend group meetings and individual counseling to explore the root of your substance abuse problems.  The group program focuses on providing skills and advice to cope with those core issues. The main goal of this essential service is to encourage people to actively practice implementing a host of skills in a supportive, didactic environment.

What Should I Expect?

During your initial visit at Sage Neuroscience Center, you and your provider will collaborate to design a treatment plan that often consists of a combination of our services. For instance, a patient’s best course initially may be to go through our medical team for supervised detox and medication management. Then the patient would begin our intensive outpatient program. They would do this while still regularly meeting with their medication provider for monitoring while going to individual therapy weekly. Another patient may be better suited for inclusion in our once-a-week recovery support group and individual therapy. The providers at Sage know that every person has different needs. We are committed to finding a way to make recovery manageable and approachable for you or the person under your care. You should expect to feel nurtured and comfortable in our hands. We want you to have the best recovery experience possible. 

In this program, you will explore ways to reduce the frequency and severity of your symptoms, increase confidence and self-worth, and improve your daily functioning without drugs or alcohol. The integrative and supportive approach of our team will help you to enhance the quality of your life. People that whole-heartedly involve themselves in the program gain the greatest benefit. Sharing personal stories, triggers, and conflict resolutions allow not only the person sharing to heal and grow but also the people around them to do the same. Everyone could use a bit of inspiration. 

Who is Eligible for the Substance Use Disorder IOP?

So how do you find out if Sage will be a good fit? The Intensive Outpatient Program at Sage is for individuals who struggle with addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. We have other IOPs for behavioral health for clients who have mental health needs outside of addiction. People enter a program when overcoming substance abuse or they have already overcome major hurdles with their Substance Use Disorder and need help adjusting to life without drugs or alcohol. 

The first step is simple: fill out our new patient paperwork on our website by clicking here or stop by our clinic to fill out your forms in person. You can give us a call with any questions at (505) 884- 1114. Our support staff and our clinical addiction services team members are happy to fill you in with all the details.

After submitting your new patient paperwork, an intake specialist reviews your information and calls you directly to do a brief phone assessment of how your specific needs and our services match up. As determined by that call, our intake team will set you up with our soonest available appointment. In this appointment you will have a chance to meet with a provider who specializes in addiction treatment.

How Do I Know if I’m Ready for IOP?

You will know if you are ready when you have begun the detox process and you are in a stable enough position to function in a group setting. You must also be open and willing to face the reality of your situation and how you ended up there. Intensive outpatient Programs are similar to individual therapy in that you share your thoughts and feelings. Some triggering things may be brought up in discussions.

This may sound scary but you can’t heal without opening up. You must be receptive to advice and enthusiastic about implementing the skills the Sage IOP facilitators will teach you. You will learn a lot about yourself and addiction in general. At the end of the day, anyone can go to IOP but you have to have an open mind and the determination to change your life. These qualities are a must to actually benefit from your program. 

We currently are running IOPs both in-person and online. For some people, telehealth IOPs are more accessible than coming into the clinic. They are also a good option if you live outside of the Albuquerque area. Virtual IOPs will continue through this pandemic period and perhaps after. 

Do I Have to be an Existing Patient to be in IOP?

While individual counseling is recommended along with detox to participate in IOP, it is not necessary to enroll solely in the Intensive Outpatient Program. We encourage you to go to individual therapy during your recovery journey to dive into more personal problems one-on-one with a provider. 

What is the difference Between Outpatient and Inpatient Care?

Inpatient care is for individuals who require hospitalization or need to go to a rehabilitation facility. Inpatient care requires you to put your life on hold while you go through the fully immersive rehab process. Outpatient care, on the other hand, allows you the flexibility to live your life as usual and you only need to come to the clinic for your services and treatments. Inpatient care is also usually more expensive because you have to live there for an extended period of time. 

Is this AA or a 12-Step Program?

The IOP for addiction recovery does not follow the 12-Step AA program but it does provide that same supportive group environment. The Sage IOP is also not faith-based. We have our own evidence-based educational materials that we follow to provide the tools you need to experience a better quality of life. 

How Long is the Program?

For adults, we offer morning, afternoon, and evening times for our SUDS IOP. Based on availability, you would choose the track that best suits your schedule. Many of our patients maintain a normal work schedule and/or tend to family obligations while also attending a substance use outpatient program. It is a three-day a week commitment for three hours a day. We know this is a big chunk of time but this is why it is called an “Intensive” Outpatient Program. The number of weeks varies based on the patient’s needs but averages approximately 12 weeks. It’s a big commitment but putting in the time to get better is worth it.  

Who Runs the IOPs?

We have some amazing, talented, intelligent providers who specialize in substance use disorder treatment. We may be a little biased but trust us, they’re great. The providers who facilitate the Substance Use Disorder Intensive Outpatient Programs are Andrea Gonzales, Solomon Foulk, and Bob Barnes. You can learn more about them and other Sage Neuroscience Center providers by visiting this page

How Much Does IOP Cost?

All of our Substance Use Disorder IOP tracks are currently accepting private insurances, Medicaid insurance plans, and self-pay patients. We accept BlueCross Blueshield, Presbyterian, Molina HealthCare, medicare, Medicaid, New Mexico Health connections, Truehealth, Western Sky Community Care, and Aetna health insurances. For self-pay rates, please contact us.

Can My Family Come With Me to IOP?

Families and loved ones are encouraged to be a part of the program to generate support and motivation. Our providers work closely with IOP participants in the groups and in the individualized private sessions to ensure that their healing is as beneficial and long-lasting as possible.

Having a support system at home that understands your goals can help you with your recovery. If you don’t have someone in your life to support you, Sage can be your surrogate family. Our community will always welcome you with open arms.

What Happens When I Finish the Program?

When you complete your IOP, we hold a small graduation celebration for you where you can invite your family to watch you get a certificate of completion. To continue your progress of having a life filled with health and happiness and avoid future relapses, we offer Aftercare services and encourage you to participate in them. 

Step Down Care 

Sage Neuroscience Center provides aftercare services for those who graduate from our IOP. The Aftercare Support Group facilitates change congruent to long-term health management. Our Aftercare Group allows you to retain those connections you made in IOP and continue your sobriety journey. Our community can continue to help you achieve success and hold you accountable in progressing forward. This group meets weekly from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., held every Tuesday. For Aftercare Support Group details, click here.

We would like to take the time to show gratitude and appreciation for not only the providers that help clients through their program but also the people who have recovered and are now living rich and fulfilling lives. Those who have remained sober prove that recovery is possible and they give others hope. Sage Neuroscience Center provides a safe space for you or your loved one to create and execute planned success. Envision yourself next year. See yourself standing in front of that someone who jokingly asks, “Where did the year go?” See yourself smile. Have that beautiful picture in your mind of how your life will look after you put in the work to reap the benefits. Imagine all that you can accomplish while being clean or sober. If you can quit for one day, you can quit for a lifetime. Hope is not lost. 

Sage Can Change Your Life

If you would like to learn more about IOP, please click this link.

*This post has been updated and was originally published in February, 2019.

Community Outreach & Marketing

BA in Strategic Communication – University of New Mexico Imani is a writer and social media manager who assists the admin of Sage with community outreach and marketing. Her own struggles with mental health and experience in therapy give her a unique perspective to empathize with the patients/clients of Sage. Her experiences influence the blogs that she writes and the social media content she produces. In her free time, Imani enjoys traveling, making YouTube videos, reading, and obnoxiously singing to show tunes. * All blog content that is written by Imani is approved by a licensed mental health professional.* Read Imani Campbell's Full Bio    |   Browse All Articles Written by Imani Campbell

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