Evening Intensive Outpatient Program

Evening IOP allows the freedom to earn a living and maintain close ties with people they love while simultaneously working on trying to achieve sobriety.

Contrary to popular belief, substance abuse is not only a problem in New York’s five boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. According to a study published by the New York State Department of Health, nearly 2 million people across the state have a substance abuse problem. From marijuana and alcohol to opioids and stimulants, the entire state of New York has a problem on its hands when it comes to substance use disorders. To further illustrate this point, we only need to refer back to the New York State Department of Health study, which found that nearly 18% of adults in New York have a problem with binge drinking. And around 6% struggle with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). But binge drinking and full-on alcohol use disorders don’t hold a candle to the state’s struggles with opioids and other harder drugs.

What Substance Abuse Statistics Reveal About the State of New York

Sometimes, numbers can provide accurate insight into many things. And this is because there are no gray areas; things are either black or white. This general truth applies when you look at New York substance abuse statistics. The state’s substance abuse struggles are delineated by what most would agree are alarming numbers. Along with 18% and 6% of New Yorkers who struggle with binge drinking and AUDs, respectively, an equally high percentage struggle with opioids. While the exact percentage is not available, the number of overdose deaths related to opioids is. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), opioids account for an astounding 80% of all overdose deaths in New York.

To emphasize this point further, more people in New York die from overdosing on opioids than homicides, suicides, and traffic accidents combined. Since we are on the topic, cocaine, a powerful street-level stimulant, is the second-most-common drug involved in overdose-related deaths. Although New York’s substance abuse statistics paint the state in an unflattering light, there is some good news insofar as many people are going to rehab to get the help they need to break the cycle of addiction.

Why Many New Yorkers Are Choosing Intensive Outpatient Programs to Help Them Overcome Addiction

Everyone with a drug problem is not jobless, homeless, or without loved ones who care about them. Studies show that individuals fortunate enough to have one or more of these things in their life will often gravitate toward intensive outpatient programs when they are ready to seek help overcoming an addiction. They do so because these programs allow them the freedom to earn a living and maintain close ties with people they love while simultaneously working on trying to achieve sobriety. For those who may have never heard of them, an intensive outpatient program is an addiction recovery treatment model that helps individuals overcome mild addictions that do not require detox or round-the-clock monitoring. Much like their inpatient counterparts, intensive outpatient programs offer the following to help individuals not only overcome addiction but also regain complete control over their life:

  • Addiction education
  • Counseling with a licensed therapist
  • Referrals to social support groups
  • Life skills training
  • Nutritional planning

What New Yorkers Should Consider When Trying to Decide Between an Inpatient and Intensive Outpatient Program

Although inpatient and intensive outpatient programs are similar in many ways, there are a few key differences between the two. Intensive outpatient programs generally last six months to a year and require individuals to spend 10 to 12 hours in treatment each week. By comparison, most inpatient programs last between 30 and 90 days. Also, since individuals do not have to remain onsite, addiction recovery treatments in an intensive outpatient program are far less expensive than treatments in an inpatient program. Lastly, inpatient programs are generally a better fit for individuals with a severe addiction to opioids, cocaine, and other hard drugs than intensive outpatient programs. And this is primarily because inpatient programs offer medication-assisted detox to help individuals cope with severe withdrawal symptoms brought on by the abrupt cessation of drugs or alcohol.

The Difference Between a Standard Intensive Outpatient Program and an Evening Intensive Outpatient Program

Now that we are a little more up to speed on the difference between inpatient and intensive outpatient programs, let’s shift gears and discuss evening intensive outpatient programs and what they can offer to someone trying to break the cycle of addiction. As the name probably suggests, evening intensive outpatient programs are addiction recovery programs that individuals attend at night rather than during the day. The primary objective of these programs is to accommodate those who need greater flexibility than what is available via a standard intensive outpatient program. The long and short of it is having the ability to tend to work and home obligations or even spend time with friends in-between treatment sessions is not enough for some people. And this is where an evening intensive outpatient program becomes an attractive proposition for someone who needs a little more autonomy as they work toward getting clean and sober. In addition to greater flexibility, evening intensive outpatient programs also offer the following benefits:

Greater Emphasis on Psychotherapy

Unlike standard intensive outpatient programs, evening intensive outpatient programs focus more heavily on psychotherapy as a treatment for addiction. Psychotherapy sessions, be it dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or something else, with a licensed therapist can help individuals identify the maladaptive behaviors that led to them abusing drugs or alcohol in the first place. This recognition minimizes the risk of relapse and significantly improves an individual’s chances of achieving long-term sobriety.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Not all evening outpatient programs offer medication-assisted treatment, but the ones that do are heroes to individuals who turn to them for help overcoming addiction. Even after quitting what most would agree are mild drugs, some people still struggle with difficult withdrawal symptoms. Some of these symptoms include the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in mood
  • Congestion
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Muscle pain
  • Tremors and general shakiness
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Profuse sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting

The prescription-based drugs provided to individuals eligible for medication-assisted treatment, such as Methadone, Acamprosate, Disulfiram, Naltrexone, and Buprenorphine, do an excellent job of relieving most withdrawal symptoms brought on by the abrupt cessation of illicit drugs or alcohol.

How Do You Know Whether or Not an Evening Outpatient Rehab Program Is Right for You?

Aside from greater flexibility, leaning a little more into psychotherapy to combat addiction, and the availability of medication-assisted treatment, evening outpatient programs are not too different from their standard outpatient counterparts. And this perfectly explains why so many people find it hard to choose between the two. The right choice ultimately comes down to the substance you’re trying to quit, whether or not withdrawal symptoms are a factor, and whether or not you have commitments that preclude you from pursuing addiction recovery treatments during the day.

Bottom Line

If you’re struggling with addiction, all forms of addiction recovery detailed in this article, including evening intensive outpatient programs, can help you get your life back on track. And if you are in New York City or Upstate New York, consider yourself very fortunate as the entire state is home to rehab facilities that offer one or more of these proven addiction recovery models. To find out which one is right for you or for help finding a rehab facility in your area, consider speaking with a Long Island Treatment Center associate today.


  • How long are most IOP programs?
  • What is the IOP process?
  • What is an IOP and why is it used?

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Long Island Treatment Center