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Partial Hospitalization Programs for Addiction

Detoxification can be an important step of recovery, but for some people, it may not be enough to sustain recovery over time.1 Outpatient rehab, such as a partial hospitalization program (PHP), is one option for further treatment after detox.

What Is a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)?

A PHP—also sometimes called “day treatment”—is a type of outpatient treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs).2 PHPs are similar in intensity and structure to inpatient rehab programs, but you can still return home every night after treatment.2

PHPs are at least 20 hours per week and can include treatment for both SUDs and mental health disorders (often called co-occurring disorders).2 In contrast, many standard outpatient programs include up to 9 hours of treatment programming per week, while intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) offer 9 to 30 hours of programming per week.2

Even though PHPs include more treatment hours throughout the week than standard outpatient programs, because you don’t live at the treatment center, you have more flexibility to care for your family or go to school or work while in treatment.

The Continuum of Care

Addiction treatment typically happens on what is known as the “continuum of care.”3 This continuum includes different treatment settings and intensity levels, offering flexibility and the right level of care at the right time. People usually enter treatment at the level that is right for their treatment needs and goals as assessed by a doctor.

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the 5 levels of care are:3,4

  • Level 0.5: Early intervention.
  • Level 1: Outpatient services.
  • Level 2: Intensive outpatient or PHP level of care.
  • Level 3: Residential or inpatient services.
  • Level 4: Medically managed intensive inpatient services.

Because everyone experiences recovery differently, these levels are not necessarily the required “order of steps” through treatment; rather, they are different positions within a range of treatment services.3

You may “step down” a level to a less intense treatment if you have shown improvement on one level.3 But you may also “step up” a level if you need more intense treatment. For example, PHP treatment can be used as a “step down” for someone being released from residential treatment or a “step up” for someone who has relapsed (started using substances again after a period of not using).2

Your care team will help you understand what the next treatment “step” should be for your specific needs.

Is a PHP Right for Me?

While PHPs may be suitable for many different kinds of people and situations, only a doctor or addiction professional can truly assess whether or not PHP drug treatment is the right or safe path for you.

You might consider partial hospitalization if you:2

  • Are able to refrain from using substances outside a restricted setting. This point is due mainly to the fact that PHP patients go home at the end of treatment every day.
  • Have a history of relapse after hospitalization.
  • Need extra motivation to stay in treatment.
  • Have other co-occurring disorders that may also need treatment.
  • Will be returning to a high-risk environment with limited support for recovery.

Even though PHPs work for some people, they may not be for everyone. Partial hospitalization programs may not be a suitable level of care if you:2

  • Have a medical condition that can’t be safely managed while in outpatient care.
  • Are having suicidal thoughts or acute psychosis.
  • Have an unsupportive living situation.

How Do PHPs Work?

Because your treatment plan will be tailored to suit your specific recovery needs and goals, we can’t say exactly what your PHP treatment will look like. But, in general, you can expect some combination of the following services:2

  • Individual therapy.
  • Group therapy.
  • Job and skills training.
  • Education.
  • Family (or loved ones) meetings or support groups.
  • Medication, if needed.
  • Random drug testing.
  • Treatment for any co-occurring disorders.

How to Find Partial Hospitalization Programs Near Me

If you feel like PHP may be the treatment right for your recovery needs, contact a treatment specialist today. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading rehab provider with treatment centers across the nation. AAC’s trained staff are ready to take your call any time of day or night. They can help you get the answers you need and can also help you find the right treatment facility for you. Call us at today to learn more.

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