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Can I Continue Working While Attending an Intensive Outpatient Program

Can I continue working while attending an Intensive Outpatient Program

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) provide flexibility to individuals who need drug rehab services but have other responsibilities they aren’t able to walk away from. IOPs typically meet 3 to 5 days per week for several hours each day. Many people ask, can I continue working while attending an Intensive Outpatient Program? The answer is yes; it’s possible to continue working while participating in an IOP.

There are several factors to consider and tips to follow when trying to determine how to balance IOP treatment programs with work. This can include determining your specific work schedule before beginning the program and understanding your current job requirements and personal circumstances.

How To Keep Working While Attending an Intensive Outpatient Program

If you plan on participating in an IOP and also continue to work, you’ll need to do some planning ahead of time with your schedule. This will help things run smoothly, especially when you first begin the program.

IOP Program Schedule

As mentioned, many IOPs meet several days each week (typically 3 to 5 days) for 3 hours each day but offer multiple meeting options. For example, you might be able to choose between morning, afternoon, and evening therapy sessions, making it possible to choose sessions that are before or after work.

Flexibility of Your Job

Some jobs have more flexibility than others. If your job allows you to adjust your working hours, that will make it easier to attend specific IOP sessions. It could be worth speaking with your employer to see if you’re able to make slight adjustments to the time you leave work at the end of each day or the time you arrive to work in the morning. If your job has very specific hours that you’re required to be there and they aren’t willing to make any adjustments, you’ll want to choose an IOP that meets later in the day so that you don’t need to miss any sessions.


Getting to and from the drug rehab facility can take some time, so you’ll want to factor in the location of your work and/or home when considering the sessions that are right for you. For example, if you plan on attending evening IOP therapy sessions and leaving straight from work, make sure to account for rush hour traffic.

Gather a Support Network

Having a support network can be extremely helpful when considering working during an IOP. This is especially true if you have children. Before beginning to balance an IOP with work, try to get a support system in place. Reach out to family and close friends, letting them know you’ll be joining a program, and consider asking for help on specific days and times.

Establish a Self-Care Routine

In addition to gathering a network of friends and family to help support you in juggling work, an IOP, and daily responsibilities, it can help to establish a self-care routine ahead of time. This can be as simple as meditating or practicing gentle breathing exercises. By taking a few minutes each day to breathe and rest, it will be easier to de-stress and manage your schedule.

You aren’t alone in finding ways to work while receiving drug abuse treatment and therapies. Our team at JC Treatment Center understands that participating in an addiction treatment program can be challenging, and we are here to help and support you throughout the process.

What are the Benefits of an Intensive Outpatient Program?

There are many benefits of an IOP, which include the ability to:

  • Maintain work or school commitments
  • Have a degree of flexibility with your schedule
  • Remain close to your family and friends
  • Receive support for any co-occurring mental health disorders (including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and others)
  • Learn to identify triggers that contribute to your drug or alcohol addiction
  • Access effective addiction treatment therapies and treatment sessions (this can include individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and other support groups)
  • Lower out-of-pocket expenses compared to a residential treatment center

If you’re someone who needs flexibility with your addiction treatment program, who has a mild to moderate addiction, and who does not need around-the-clock support, an IOP might be a great fit for you. Additionally, if you are someone who has just completed an inpatient program or Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), an IOP might also be the ideal option.

At JC Treatment Center, we’ll conduct an assessment to determine your specific needs and understand your current mental health and any prior history with addiction and treatment. After evaluation, we’ll be able to determine whether an IOP is the most appropriate option for you. Additional services might also be provided, including outpatient detox.

Can I Pay For Drug Rehab with Insurance?

Yes. Most major insurance providers cover some of the costs of rehab for drug and alcohol abuse. These providers include (but are not limited to) Aetna, Cigna, ComPscyh, and many others. To find out which services your insurance policy covers (including whether Intensive Outpatient Treatment is covered) you can verify your insurance here.

Get Addiction Treatment Today

At JC Treatment Center, our programs are designed to address the symptoms of a mental health disorder and substance use disorder. As a result, patients often receive improved outcomes, faster recovery times, and a lesser chance of relapsing. Our team at JC Treatment Center in Pasadena, CA strives to provide you with the addiction treatment and mental health treatment solutions you need and deserve to get your life back.

Through compassionate care, expert staff, and innovative substance abuse solutions, we give you effective tools to help you stay sober and live a healthy life.

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