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Partial Hospitalization Program Treatment

There are several levels of care available for those who seek treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Each level varies from the next in terms of treatment intensity, time commitment, and level of services provided, among other factors. Participating in a level of care that is appropriate for you and your needs can help you put an end to your active addiction so that recovery can become a reality.

This article will focus on a level of care known as a partial hospitalization program (PHP), or a high-intensity outpatient program. Keep reading to find out more about PHPs, who can benefit most from them, how they differ from other levels of care, and how you can find PHP services near you.

What is a Partial Hospitalization Program?

A partial hospitalization program (also known as “day treatment”) is a structured, high-intensity outpatient treatment program for individuals with substance use disorders.1,2 PHPs are a step-down from inpatient or residential treatment and provide a higher level of support than standard outpatient programs.3

When considering addiction treatment options, it can be helpful to understand exactly where a PHP falls in terms of intensity of care provided. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), levels of care for addiction treatment are as follows, beginning with programs that offer the most intensive approach to treatment first:1

It is important to note that in the latest update of the ASAM criteria, “partial hospitalization” has been changed to “high-intensity outpatient treatment” because the level of care is rarely provided in a hospital setting.4 PHPs can provide a great deal of support for someone ready to begin recovery from a substance use disorder, and can even serve as part of a larger treatment plan, where a patient participates in more than one of the above listed levels of care.

Partial Hospitalization vs. Intensive Outpatient

PHPs (now called “high-intensity outpatient” programs) and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) both treat people with substance use disorders or co-occurring mental and substance use disorders who do not require 24-hour supervision or, generally, acute withdrawal management. They are both alternatives to inpatient and residential treatment, and are designed to establish psychosocial supports and facilitate relapse management and coping strategies.5

The therapeutic modalities (i.e., the types of behavioral therapies offered) in both PHPs and IOPs are the same, however, the key difference is in that PHPs require at least 20 hours patient participation in clinical services, usually requiring patients to attend the program 5-7 days a week compared to IOPs, which require anywhere from 9 to 19 hours (across 2-4 days) per week.

Both PHPs and IOPs may be good  options for individuals to consider when they have a safe living environment to reside in, a good support system made up of friends and family, and who can get to and from their programming independently.2 Additionally, both programs tend to be a more affordable option in comparison to residential or inpatient treatment.6

Therapies Offered at PHPs

Like in other levels of care, PHPs offer several therapies that have been proven effective in treating addiction. Based on the patient’s personal treatment needs, they may engage in one or more of the following therapies:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT is a common therapy approach that research has shown to be effective for various conditions, including addiction.8 It focuses on changing unhelpful thoughts and learning coping strategies in order to experience more positive emotions and cope with stressors in healthier ways.7
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) – The focus of REBT is to help the client realize that it is not difficult situations themselves that cause distress, but rather how they think about and respond to them.8
  • Contingency Management (CM) – Involves giving rewards when a person reaches established, concrete goals like maintaining abstinence or reducing use.9 Research has found CM to be significantly effective in treating addiction as well as leading to healthier outcomes after treatment completion.9
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI) – MI works to awaken the inner motivation that a person inherently has within them.10 In essence, MI helps the person weigh the costs versus benefits of substance use to resolve their ambivalence about their use.10
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – DBT Incorporates skills training, such as emotional regulation, interpersonal communication, distress tolerance, and mindfulness.11 Building and strengthening these skills can help a person face stressors in healthier ways and use substances less.11

PHP Treatment Centers

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is proud to offer various levels of care at many of our locations nationwide. Some of our facilities offer PHPs, or high-intensity outpatient programs, including at the following locations:

Click on any of the links above to learn more details about each facility’s PHP program and what you can expect.

Finding Services Near You

If you or a loved one has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you can locate a PHP or other levels of addiction treatment care near your area. Please call AAC at to speak with one of our rehab admissions navigators, who can answer questions and connect you with a facility.

It is never too late to seek help. Please call us today at . We are here 24/7 and happy to assist.

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