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Substance Use Intensive Outpatient Program

Our Substance Use Intensive Outpatient Program is open to our clients to join and participate at any time. Participants spend approximately 12 weeks in this level of care. This service is available in person at our Montrose Outpatient location and by televideo to anyone in our region.

Using the MATRIX model, this program includes the evidence-based Early Recovery Skills, Relapse Prevention, and Family Education curricula, and structured social support through the SMART Recovery program. Following completion of this program, our clients will participate in continued care individualized to address their unique treatment needs.

Referral Process

Participants of this program may be referred by any primary care provider, behavioral health provider, or judicial partner through the centralized referral process. Referrals will then be directed to the Director of Substance Use Services to coordinate admission. Participants may also self-refer by calling us at 970.252.3200, by using our Same Day Access for New Clients service, or may be recommended to the program by their CMH treatment provider. 

Appropriate clients for this program may meet the following criteria: 

  • Diagnosed with substance use disorder 
  • Active or recent substance use within past month 
  • Would benefit from daily structure to meet treatment goals
  • Meets criteria for intensive outpatient level of care 

From Intake to Discharge

Initial Intake

Program participants will complete an intake consisting of an evaluation of mental health, substance use, and medical history. During the intake process, the clinician administers various assessments which serve as screening and diagnostic tools to guide referrals to the program. These assessments will serve as initial points of measurement for future evaluation of our client’s progress. Admission paperwork will also be completed at this time. Initial assessments usually take about 1½ hours.

Ongoing Assessments

The clinician will conduct ongoing assessments after the fourth and eighth week in the program to evaluate our client’s stage of change and investment in treatment. Clients may also participate in drug testing to support accountability and commitment to treatment.


Upon completion of the program, our client will meet with his or her clinician who will conduct an assessment update reflecting our client’s progress made while in the program and change in substance use patterns. The clinician will make recommendations regarding further treatment or discharge.


Treatment Providers

Program treatment is provided by a team of certified and credentialed Axis Health Sytem staff including clinicians who facilitate groups as well as individual and family therapy sessions and manage care coordination with referring partners. The program is also supported by experienced case managers and a recovery coach who is certified in the SMART Recovery program.

Treatment Services


Early Recovery Skills groups focus on behavior changes to support establishment of sobriety from substances. Groups are structured and routine, and do not regularly include process as part of group.


Relapse Prevention groups are open, discussion-oriented groups focusing on discovering and preventing the pattern of relapse. Groups explore such topics as guilt and shame, triggers, and motivation.


Family Education groups include significant members of the participant’s family and support circle. These groups provide education to family members on substances, how substance use impacts the family system, and how families can support recovery.


This service supports the establishment of stability and skills for maintaining stability. Life skills groups also serve to engage our clients in other services. Topics include housing, employment, benefits, and harm reduction skills.


Self-Management and Recovery Training, or SMART Recovery, is a group using tools from effective practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing to build motivation, cope with urges, and manage thoughts, behaviors, and feelings.


The relationship between client and therapist is significant to recovery. Through the therapeutic relationship, our clients can develop trust and maintain accountability in their recovery. Our clients participate in individual therapy sessions to encourage deeper reflection into their recovery, and to discover and address underlying reasons for their substance use. Individual therapy may use a variety of trauma-informed therapeutic approaches including cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, or other modalities as appropriate. Following completion of the program, our clients may transfer care to a different therapist for a specialized focus in a related area of treatment.


An important aspect of recovery is the client’s support system. Our clients participate in family therapy sessions with significant individuals in their lives to help develop a healthy support system and encourage use of effective relationship skills. This program encourages inclusion of significant persons to help with engagement and support ongoing success after treatment.


Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is offered through our medical services program. MAT uses pharmacological interventions to reduce cravings for substances and helps our clients maintain normal functioning as they recover from substance use. Eligible clients must complete the required assessments and blood work before beginning medication treatment as well as any required UAs and follow up appointments.


Continued Care

After completing the initial 12 weeks of this program, our clients will meet with their individual therapist for clinical assessment to determine appropriate next steps in treatment. Care may be transferred from the program clinician to a different qualified clinician to focus on other clinical needs. Coordination with other parties will continue as needed.

Recovery is a long process and we’re here for you every step of the way. To support success, continued care may last up to 48 weeks. Treatment services include individual therapy, substance use groups, and co-occurring groups. As participants progress in treatment, they will reduce the frequency of services. Once treatment goals are met, our clients have the opportunity for regular check-ins with a member of their treatment team to help them maintain their progress.

Individual therapy after completing this program may continue to focus on recovery. Based on clinical assessment, individual therapy may also address co-occurring mental health concerns, explore and resolve underlying reasons for substance use, and other areas. Individual therapy may use a variety of trauma-informed therapeutic approaches including cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, or other modalities as appropriate.

After completing the program, participants may be referred to continue their progress in an outpatient substance use group. Based on our clients’ stages of change, these groups build on skills previously established in early recovery. These skills help our clients develop greater insight and feel supported in making changes to their lives that allow them to consolidate and maintain their progress in recovery.

Co-occurring groups simultaneously address substance use and mental health concerns. Co-occurring group options may include “Complex Addictions Treatment”, “Seeking Safety”, dialectical behavioral therapy, relationship groups, or other groups as clinically indicated.