There are different levels of care to choose from for drug or alcohol addiction treatment. One that’s a hybrid of inpatient and outpatient services is called a partial hospitalization program or PHP. PHP is a flexible and effective treatment option with several benefits.What Are the Different Levels of Addiction Care?The American Society of Addiction Medicine outlines five levels of addiction care:1

  • Level 0.5: Early Intervention
  • Level 1: Outpatient Treatment
  • Level 2: Intensive Outpatient (IOP)/Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
  • Level 3: Residential Inpatient Treatment
  • Level 4: Medically Managed Intensive Inpatient Treatment

Partial hospitalization services sit in the middle of the spectrum. With a PHP level of treatment, clients continue to live at home or in a home-like setting at the facility’s site but visit the substance abuse treatment center to receive services during the day.

What Is a Partial Hospitalization Program?

PHPs have a moderate level of structure where clients attend treatment services part of the day, but have a flexible schedule other parts of the time. The daily schedule varies from center to center. Generally, individuals attend services two, three or five times a week. Many facilities offer living quarters as an option, so clients can reside onsite while participating in their PHP.

What Are the Benefits of a PHP?

1. Eases the Transition from Inpatient to Outpatient Services

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A PHP is an ideal way to transition from inpatient treatment, which is the highest level of care where clients are monitored around the clock, to outpatient care where there’s less structure and total independent living.2 PHP bridges the gap between the two.

Aftercare services are given during this phase of treatment. Life skills training and sober living skills are typically part of aftercare services in a PHP. This helps participants manage the transition from a PHP to full-time independent living.

2. More Affordable Option

PHPs generally cost less than a residential treatment program, making drug or alcohol addiction rehab open to a wider range of private pay clients.

3. Makes the Health Insurance Dollars Go Further

While the Affordable Care Act made all forms of addiction treatment more widely available to people in the U.S., insurance companies would prefer to cover a PHP, rather than an inpatient program, simply based on cost. Inpatient treatment usually involves a more expensive 28-day stay. PHP is typically more of a long-term treatment service covering several months. A partial hospitalization program gives you a longer treatment time at less expense.

4. Flexible Schedules to Meet Outside Commitments

A PHP is a good choice for people who have other obligations that must be met regarding home, family or work. The flexibility of the limited hours a PHP requires leaves room in the schedule for other commitments. PHPs also give participants the opportunity to build support networks outside of the rehab facility.

Finding the Best Level of Care

When you’re unsure what level of care is most appropriate for drug or alcohol addiction treatment, you should consult with professionals to get an accurate assessment of your needs. All factors will be taken into account, including medical conditions, mental health and the severity and types of substance abuse. You’ll then be able to make an informed choice to decide if a PHP is right for you.



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