Newswise — In response to a growing need to provide specialized treatment for mood disorders and substance abuse, Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care recently opened four intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) to provide behavioral health care to specialty populations. The programs, licensed by the New Jersey Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, focus on mood and anxiety disorders in Edison, women’s addiction in New Brunswick and Newark, and co-occurring mental health and addiction issues in Newark. IOPs are intended for individuals with acute and intense symptoms who would otherwise meet criteria for a higher level of care. Participants attend treatment for three hours a day, three days a week, for up to 12 weeks. “This schedule allows someone who works or attends school to receive an intensive level of care and still maintain their functioning in the community,” says Mary-Catherine Bohan, vice president of Outpatient Services. The IOP programs, which accept public and private sector insurance plans, address specific concerns beyond the core issue to give more targeted treatment than is provided by traditional outpatient treatment programs. “Gender-specific programs, such as the IOPs in New Brunswick and Newark, allow us to address specific concerns of women facing addiction, such as trauma and postpartum depression,” Bohan says. Participants are screened for PTSD and other co-occurring disorders. The IOPs include psychiatric evaluation and medication management by psychiatrists and advanced practice nurses. Masters-prepared professional staff provide psycho-education sessions, as well as individual and family therapy. Participants have access to 24/7 crisis management services. IOPs can be an individual’s initial point of entry into treatment, a step up from a less intensive level of care or a step down from a more intensive level of care, such as acute inpatient and residential care or acute partial hospitalization programs. IOPs can also be used as a diversion from inpatient level of care through the emergency department or crisis services. Upon discharge, the programs provide for transition to a less-intensive level of care and community supports. The clinics can be reached by calling 800-969-5300.