Get Help Now

Whether you’re ready to start your journey with EHN Canada now or just want to learn more, our admissions counsellors can guide you through your options.

EHN Canada


Not quite sure? Chat with a live consultant.

Intensive Outpatient Program For Addiction Begins At EHN Montreal

The newest clinic in the Edgewood Health Network is now offering our Intensive Outpatient Program. On February 1st, EHN Montreal began running the program designed for those who want to participate in intensive addiction treatment while continuing to maintain their day-to-day lives. Inpatient treatment is not suitable or possible for everyone seeking help, and so we’ve created a high-quality outpatient program that meets the needs of those clients.

The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) includes over 90 hours of psycho-social education, group therapy and individual therapy.  Clients are able to explore the underlying causes of their addiction and address them in a safe and supportive environment.

Programming in English has already begun with a French IOP following in May.  Intensive Outpatient treatment has already been extremely beneficial to many clients in our other locations. Brent Lloyd, clinical manager of EHN Calgary, says that the program is popular even though it’s difficult. “Participants have asked for extensions on their three month program because of the growth they’re experiencing. They are interested thriving and not just surviving. It is not for the faint of heart, however, the dynamics that transpire when you treat people with respect and invite them to be part of community is inspiring to watch. The gratitude they express is humbling. ‘I feel heard, loved, seen and shame and guilt is not driving my life.’ We also hear ‘this stuff is hard.’ We remind them, yes, but not as hard as living in active addiction.”

Ivy_corporate AIR

Ivy Tolchinsky is EHN Montreal’s Clinical manager. Ivy is passionate about recovery and has dedicated over 12 years of her work experience to the field of addiction as a counsellor, supervisor and group facilitator. During that time she
has dealt with a wide range of individuals at various stages in their recovery process; from newcomers to those struggling with issues in later recovery. She empowers people to use their lifestyle transition as a learning process to find new and fulfilling directions while maintaining sobriety.

If you or someone you know would like more information about the IOP in Montreal, please call 514-521-9023 or visit to learn more about the various services offered at EHN Montreal.

Intensive Outpatient Programs started in Toronto and Calgary

We are excited to announce that our two newest clinics, EHN Toronto and EHN Calgary, have begun their first sessions if our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).  We know that not everyone needs an inpatient residential treatment program.  And we also know that not everyone is able to attend one; Sometimes work or family commitments prevent us from leaving home.  But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get the best care possible for your addiction.  Our IOP programs consist of 9 hours of therapy per week for 12 weeks.  We include psycho-social education, group therapy, family therapy and individual counselling.  The IOP program provides education on addiction and an introduction to recovery.  We teach our clients about anxiety management, relapse prevention, healthy living and we provide them with a recovery plan. We use evidence based practices that are tailored to meet the needs of the individual and we connect them with a whole new network of peers in recovery.  It’s about providing an understanding of addiction, insight into their own addictive behavior, and building new habits for a happy, healthy life in sobriety.

Our Toronto clinic will be taking continuous admission to their IOP program while Calgary will run sessions a few weeks apart. Head to or for more information.  Get started down your path to recovery with the Edgewood Health Network.

Intensive Outpatient Programs: Early Intervention Can Mitigate the Need for Residential Treatment


The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Similar to other chronic illnesses such as cancer and diabetes, addiction, if left untreated can develop into a more severe condition over time.  The negative impact of addiction can range from physical and emotional damage, to severe life impairment and even death.  This progression of the disease can occur over many years, however it often begins with use of a substance to induce a desired mood change.  The discovery of this perceived benefit can then lead to the individual’s misuse of the substanceor using to the point of intoxication in order replicate this sensation.  Substance misuse can further progress as the individual exploits this relationship between the substance use and its desired outcome.  This would be considered substance abuse, and the individual may continue to use the substance even despite the fact that it is beginning to interfere with their life, impact their work or personal relationships.   If not addressed, substance abuse can then develop into a substance use disorder. Individuals struggling with a severe substance use disorder often require a greater amount of the substance in order to feel the same effect as the first use, and negative physical symptoms such as withdrawal may occur if the substance use is discontinued. As the illness progresses the difficulty to stop using the substance increases. 

The development of an addiction is often characterized by negative consequences such as DUIs, performance issues at work or family concern. Some of these consequences can serve as warning signs that the substance use is becoming out of control. By recognizing the warning signs and realizing that perhaps one’s substance use has progressed to misuse or even abuse, an individual can be proactive in avoiding the progression of the illness and prevent further negative physical, mental and social consequences. Early detection of the illness however may require insight into the personal problems that fuel the substance abuse.  Help from a professional addiction counselor may be a necessary means of addressing the substance use issue. It is important to get help and there is a range of treatment options available depending on the severity of the problem. For those appropriate, treatment is possible without having to attend a residential rehabilitation program. For example, mild and moderate substance use disorders can be effectively treated within an outpatient context.  One possible option is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).

Components of an IOP include group process and counselling, psycho education on the disease of addiction and recovery, relapse prevention, cognitive behavioural therapy, aftercare planning and substance use monitoring.  The goal of the IOP is abstinence from mood altering substances, and therefore clients will learn to establish relapse prevention tools, but they will also begin to address underlying issues associated with the substance use and bring them to the surface. This can help them understand what is perpetuating the addiction and help to find other means of coping with stress or relationship issues, for example.

Family-SupportdollsAn intensive outpatient program is well suited to individuals who are motivated to address their substance use issues, before they further impact their health and well-being. They are also ideal for individuals who have supportive home environments, with loved ones who will encourage them in their recovery. While addiction is a very serious health issue, the good news is that it can be effectively treated, especially in its early development. Participation in programs such as an IOP, can be an important and meaningful way to address substance use issues before they lead to more severe problems.

Intensive Outpatient Programs: A Flexible Option for Addiction Treatment Could be the Solution

Substance use disorders are pervasive and can affect everyone. Research has demonstrated that about one in ten Canadians reports having a substance use issue, and these individuals include professionals, those who are employed or self-employed and those who have other daily responsibilities and commitments such as homemakers and caregivers. At times, substance use disorders are problematic to the point that the individual needs to seek help from addiction counsellors and mental health professionals. Traditionally, when substance use is problematic, residential programming has been the conventional option for addiction treatment. However, taking an extended amount of time off could be a barrier in getting the help that is needed, especially for those who are employed or have daily commitments. It is for this reason that treatment providers also offer Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs). For those in need of addiction treatment, IOPs allow people to work and honour their daily commitments while also attending regular, outpatient treatment sessions in order to address their problems and to learn the tools that can help them maintain sobriety.

Outpatient programming is not for everyone but when appropriate, it can be a meaningful and effective treatment option to address a serious health issue such as a substance use disorder. As with any other treatment programs, recommending an IOP must be part of the individual’s treatment plan. This means taking into consideration any physical, emotional or behavioral problems relevant to the person’s care. The treatment plan must consider the needs of the client and begins with a comprehensive assessment of the individual. Once the assessment is complete, a professional can decide on the best level of care that will meet the client’s needs.

There are multiple factors that must be considered when determining whether or not someone is a good match for an IOP. For example, one of the primary considerations is the level of medical need such as a history of withdrawal symptoms, as well as existence of medical conditions that require monitoring. Professionals will also consider whether or not the individual has other emotional/cognitive/behavioral problems that may require closer attention by a mental health professional. In order to meaningfully participate and keep up with the program, the person must also have a sufficient level of motivation to be able to maintain sobriety while attending scheduled meetings. This often means that the client must have a stable and supportive home environment that will be able to foster a successful recovery.


IOPs typically take a group approach, providing clients with opportunities to learn from and support one another while developing communication skills and socialization experiences that do not involve the use of drugs or alcohol. Such programs that cultivate a supportive environment, also establish a safe and trusting relationship between group members, as well as the counsellor. Those that are further along their path of recovery can provide guidance and support for newer members, helping them refine the new skills and tools they are learning.

Clients typically participate in a variety of groups that make up an IOP program. Such groups can include psychoeducational sessions or lectures, where individuals can begin to understand the nature of addiction and how it has been impacting their mind, body and social life. These sessions are often also accompanied by relapse prevention and skills training, as well as a selection of videos that may help clients with their understanding of the material. Other groups may consist of teaching some very concrete skills such as assertiveness training, refusal techniques and stress management strategies.
As with any other treatment program, intensity and client retention are vitally important for outpatient programs. Research shows that successful outcomes are closely related with the length of program and how often clients are able to attend. It is also important that once the client completes the intensive component, they attend regular aftercare meetings and create a close network of supports that will help them maintain a successful recovery going forward. Such meetings can also serve as a safety net in case the person begins to struggle and may require more intensive support in order to prevent a full on relapse.
Successful outcomes also depend on client’s individual characteristics. For example, research has found associations between severity of substance use and treatment success. There is also something to be said about how long someone has been struggling with an addiction, the severity if their cravings and how many previous attempts at treatment may have had. Finally, symptoms of co-occurring mental health problems such as depression or anxiety can also impact an individual’s recovery. Overall, it is best to leave the decision of selecting an appropriate treatment modality to a professional who is able to consider a variety of factors that may be contributing to the maintenance of the addiction. However, when appropriate, participation in an IOP can be a realistic, meaningful and effective means of addressing alcohol and substance use disorders.