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Evening Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Evening intensive outpatient programs are a structured therapeutic treatment option that provides mental health and substance abuse services during evening hours, catering to individuals who have daytime commitments like work or school.

Having the proper addiction treatment is important when working toward better mental health and overcoming substance abuse. For some individuals, the 24-hour support of residential drug treatment programs is a necessary part of the recovery process. Others may find the treatment offered in a partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient treatment, or traditional outpatient support is more suited to their needs.

For many individuals, the level of care they require may range from minimally intensive to highly intensive. If you need more than weekly treatment sessions during recovery but don’t feel that you require inpatient care, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) may be the right choice.

It can be challenging for individuals in recovery to step away from their daily routines, and that’s where our evening intensive outpatient program can be beneficial. Evening programs provide flexibility for those who need intensive treatment but have other obligations during the day.

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What is an Evening Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

An evening intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a treatment program for individuals dealing with substance use disorder and mental health issues.¹ Whereas a residential program requires individuals to live at a treatment center, an evening IOP program is far more flexible, allowing individuals to live at home, continue their daily lives, and travel to the facility in the evening to receive treatment.

At Rockland Recovery, we provide individualized care tailored to each person and their unique needs and circumstances. In our evening intensive outpatient treatment program, individuals participate in addiction recovery treatment sessions several days per week for up to three hours each session. They attend group therapy sessions, individual counseling, and additional support services during this time.

Who Could Benefit From Evening Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

An evening intensive outpatient program is recommended for individuals who have mild to moderate issues with substance use disorders and do not require 24-hour supervised addiction treatment. An evening IOP can be the right choice for those already in recovery who need a transitionary level of care before more intensive residential treatment or less intensive outpatient addiction treatment.1,2

Many individuals with substance abuse issues need the structured environment and strong support system of a professional addiction treatment program but have work or family obligations. Other individuals have completed inpatient treatment or a partial hospitalization program and no longer need the same level of care. In either instance, an evening intensive outpatient program could be the next step in their recovery journey.¹

An evening IOP is a good fit for those who:

  • Need comprehensive treatment for substance use disorders or struggle with mental health, and need a higher level of care than what is typically offered in a traditional outpatient addiction treatment program.
  • Need the flexibility of an evening intensive outpatient program to continue attending school, work, or meeting other commitments while they receive the structured care necessary for long-term recovery.
  • Are transitioning from more intensive treatment, such as a residential program, but still need the ongoing support of intensive outpatient programming.
  • Can learn coping skills for sustained recovery and engage in evidence-based practices, including group therapy, family therapy when needed, individual counseling, and process groups.
  • Can stay connected to a solid support system of friends, family members, and community resources for additional emotional, social, and practical support.

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If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, we encourage you to request a confidential call. At Rockland Treatment Center, we understand the sensitivity and complexity of your situation and are here to offer you a space to explore treatment options, ask questions, and receive support from experienced professionals. Taking this first step can be challenging, but it’s a courageous and significant move towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.

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What Happens During Evening Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

Individuals participating in evening IOP programs should expect a flexible schedule with more care than traditional outpatient care but fewer hours than a partial hospitalization program. This care includes individual therapy, support groups, educational activities, mental health services, recreational time, medication management, and other benefits tailored to their unique needs and circumstances.3

Safe, Structured Environment

At our rehab center, we strive to create a structured, safe environment for individuals where they can feel comfortable exploring the potential factors contributing to their mental health disorders or addiction struggles. The structured care of an IOP program is also intended to help individuals learn and practice healthier coping skills for the stress of their daily lives.


Comprehensive Medical and Psychiatric Assessment

When an individual first enters into an intensive outpatient program at our treatment center in Massachusetts, our teams of professionals will do a full medical and psychiatric assessment. This assessment helps us understand a person’s unique situation, challenges, and recovery goals to tailor their addiction treatment plan accordingly.


Therapeutic Services

Depending on their specific treatment plan and scheduled days for evening IOPs, an individual may participate in individual and group therapeutic services at our outpatient treatment center. Our range of pharmacological, behavioral, and psychological therapies include:

  • Medication management
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Mental health services
  • Co-occurring treatment for poly-substance addiction
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Motivational interviewing
  • 12-Step facilitationCase management
  • Planning for aftercare services

In addition, our evening IOP program has additional therapies, including gender-specific care, art and music therapy, meditation, and yoga, that can provide many benefits.


Group Programs and Workshops

Group programs and workshops in an evening IOP cater to the specific needs of the participants and teach ways to cope with stresses that may impact recovery. Some of the topics addressed during group programs include:

  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Anger management and other coping strategies for managing emotions and stress
  • Life skills and education
  • Recognizing healthy and unhealthy dynamics in relationships

Why Choose Intensive Outpatient Treatment Over Residential Drug Treatment Programs?

Evening IOPs are a critical part of continued care for people struggling with addiction and mental health challenges.3 For most people, IOPs are just as effective as inpatient treatment, PHP programs, and traditional outpatient options.

Flexibility for Daily Routines

For many people, inpatient treatment, whether at a hospital or treatment facility, can be challenging. A residential program requires patients to live at an addiction treatment center while receiving care for substance use disorders. Individuals are isolated to keep them away from potential relapse triggers. But for many people, living away from home isn’t practical.

Individuals may not be able to commit to inpatient treatment if they have family obligations or work and school routines they need to maintain. While a daytime IOP offers a solution that allows individuals to live at home or in a sober living facility, it can still be challenging for those with daytime commitments. Our evening IOP treatment option is a more flexible alternative to a daytime IOP, allowing individuals to spend time in the evening hours working toward recovery.


Affordable and Accessible Care

While residential treatment programs offer more structure for individuals who need supervised care, they can also be more costly than a partial hospitalization program or outpatient treatment. While most public and private health insurance providers cover a portion of addiction programs, many policies are more likely to cover outpatient programs than residential care due to the associated cost. Most patients find just as much benefit from our evening IOP program, and the lower cost makes it a more accessible option for many.

If you or a loved one needs addiction recovery support, our team can help you find out what your policy covers. Don’t let lack of insurance coverage stop you from seeking quality care, either. Let us know your situation, and we can help you explore financial options.


More Immersive Options for Severe Addiction

An intensive outpatient treatment program isn’t usually the right recovery choice for individuals who are struggling with severe co-occurring addiction issues and mental illness. Alternative options include:

Inpatient Treatment

For patients who need to detox medically or need to isolate from their usual routines, residential drug treatment programs are usually recommended. Inpatient addiction treatment provides constant supervision and support, immediate medical intervention when necessary, and an immersive treatment approach that intensive outpatient programs simply cannot provide.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)

For those who do not need round-the-clock care but struggle with more severe addiction symptoms, a partial hospitalization program (PHP) is an option. PHPs provide six or more hours of treatment every day while allowing individuals to return home at night. This option provides a higher level of intense, daily care for those not ready for an IOP program’s flexibility.

While evening IOP programs aren’t the best fit for everyone, they provide a practical solution for individuals who require more flexibility or are ready to transition from more intensive care.

We accept most insurance plans

We accept a wide range of insurance plans, making it easier for more people to get the quality care they need without worrying about the cost.

Get Help From an Evening Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) in Massachusetts

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, reach out to us by filling out our online contact form or call us at 855.732.4842. Our team can provide more information about our services and answer any questions you have about our evening intensive outpatient program (IOP).

At Rockland Recovery, we know that addiction can be challenging, and asking for help is the first step toward recovery. Our team of caring, compassionate professionals is committed to your long-term success, so get in touch, and let’s move forward together.

Get fast answers to your questions

Looking for information on addiction treatment or just need to talk? Our experienced and compassionate team is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Contact Rockland Recovery Treatment Centers

At Rockland Recovery, we’re committed to providing compassionate and effective addiction treatment services. We understand that reaching out for help is a significant step, and our team is here to guide you through every stage of your journey toward recovery.


Rockland Recovery is a leader in addiction treatment and mental health care. Our multidisciplinary team of top medical experts is committed to addressing the unique needs of each patient. Reach out to us anytime – we are available 24/7.

For additional information or to find addiction treatment and mental health services in your area, contact us directly or visit SAMSHA’s treatment locator. For immediate assistance, call or text 988 to reach the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline or 855.732.4842 to speak to a Care Coordinator at Rockland Recovery.

  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021). Clinical issues in intensive outpatient treatment for substance use disorders.
  2. McCarty, D., Braude, L., Lyman, D. R., Dougherty, R. H., Daniels, A. S., Ghose, S. S., & Delphin-Rittmon, M. E. (2014). Substance abuse intensive outpatient programs: assessing the evidence. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.), 65(6), 718–726. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201300249
  3. Jaspan, J. (2020). The value of structured outpatient treatment. National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Medical Reviewer Kate Perfetti, LADC II

Medically Reviewed by Kate Perfetti, LADC II

Kate is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor who has worked in the field of substance abuse for the last nine years. At Rockland Recovery, Kate works to provide resources to the local community and engage and progress Rockland Recovery’s alumni program.

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