Intensive Outpatient is offered by most reputable treatment centers as a means for clients to continue working with their therapist in both individual and small group sessions. This enables you to continue building on the work you’ve done in residential treatment, while maintaining access to your support network as well as the accountability of regular drug testing and mandatory meetings and therapy sessions. As valuable an asset as IOP is, many of those in early recovery quickly tire of the demands of such programs and discharge early. In most cases, this is a bad move and only places you at greater risk of relapse, though there are a few circumstances in which an early departure from your IOP may be best for you.
You must always remember whatever we prioritize ahead of our recovery we are sure to lose, and part of your recovery program is your participation in IOP. You should do everything possible to accommodate your IOP schedule in your daily life, as most programs offer morning or evening sessions in order to provide an opportunity for anyone to retain gainful employment while remaining active in IOP. Most excuses participants come up with to justify their early departure from IOP revolve around their work schedule, and while it is important to acquire and maintain employment in sobriety, you should absolutely be able to reconcile your work schedule with your IOP program so that you may continue with both.
One of the only circumstances which may occur and require your early discharge from your IOP program is a need for you to return home, whether due to family obligation or financial necessity. If you have exhausted your resources and are unable to remain in the area of your treatment center, your only option is obviously to return home. While this may present several threats to your recovery, you can mitigate these by seeking enrollment in a comparable IOP program near your home, as well as reaching out to the local 12-step recovery community. There will always be a community of sober supports nearby, all you must do is seek them out!
IOP is an excellent tool for those in early recovery, providing continued thearpy, accountability, and a community of like-minded individuals with whom you can relate and grow alongside in sobriety. You should do all in your power to complete your IOP program, not succumbing to the temptation to contrive some hollow excuse so you may free up your time for more indulgent pursuits. So long as you remember that your recovery must come first, above any other desires or commitments, you will succeed in sobriety and will not be tempted to depart IOP before you have completed the program!