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What is Part Hospitalization Rehab?

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What is part hospitalization rehab?

Drug and alcohol addiction can take many forms and depending on the individual and their needs, the treatment might differ from one person to the other. Addition can be quite complex and requires in-depth analysis and a unique, customized treatment plan for each patient.

From inpatient treatment, outpatient rehab, alternative therapies, to partial hospitalization programs, there are several unique options for successfully treating drug abuse or alcohol addiction.

After a careful assessment, your doctor and primary therapist will recommend you to the best option that will ensure a long term, smooth, and safe recovery, with little risk of relapsing. Your doctor may also recommend you to a partial hospitalization program for addiction treatment, and while it may sound daunting, it is a necessary step towards a sober lifestyle.

What is a partial hospitalization program (PHP)?

Treating substance use disorder is a multi-layered process and may even require a PHP or partial hospitalization program. Its idea and concept has been exercised since the 60s, and it has continued to prove successful and widely effective in addiction treatment.

Once known as ‘day hospitals’, PHPs were meant as treatment centers for people struggling with mental health disorders. Patients would receive heightened psychiatric care while also returning to their families once treatment was completed.

Nowadays, PHPs or partial hospitalization programs are especially beneficial for those struggling with substance use, mental health issues, etc. Under care and thorough monitoring, patients receive treatment during the day in the form of counseling and addiction medicine.

Doctors may recommend different types of PHP treatment programs depending on your needs and severity of addiction. Some are more flexible, while others may have a strict regimen, rigid and intensive full-day counseling.

How is the partial hospitalization program (PHP) different from other addiction treatment?

At its core, PHPs are outpatient treatments that prioritize patients who show symptoms of mild addiction and mental illnesses. This makes it far less intensive and rigorous than an inpatient treatment program. You can learn more about the differences between inpatient and outpatient treatment program.

However, not many people with severe addiction can afford or travel to inpatient facilities, which is where PHPs make a significant difference. It provides similar levels of care and treatment for drug or alcohol addiction that you may find in dedicated inpatient programs.

In other words, a PHP is a somewhat more intensive outpatient treatment program that is fit for those who cannot afford inpatient services or stay at a treatment center for more than a given amount of time. Types of outpatient treatment programs also cost differently so make sure you check whether your insurance provider can cover for you.

If you have dependents, work responsibilities that cannot be ignored, etc., that may keep you from attending inpatient rehab, then a PHP will suit your needs. It includes services such as in-depth monitoring during the day, drug testing, and more.

However, you cannot stay at the treatment center.

What are the components of a standard PHP outpatient program?

Similar to a standard outpatient programs or day treatment programs, PHP includes one-to-one therapy sessions, group counseling, educational seminars on substance abuse, mental health counseling, support groups, etc.

Patients also have access to a team of medical doctors, mental health counselors, nurses, clinical staff, nutritionists, and coaches. A typical treatment plan will require you to attend a PHP for 4 to 5 days a week. Each session may be 3 to 4 hours long.

While standard outpatient treatment centers require you to attend at least 10 to 12 hours a week of therapy, PHPs may demand up to 30 hours a week to ensure successful progress.

You can immediately start attending a PHP as the first step to recovery, but PHPs are often a natural progression to the completion of an inpatient treatment program.

Usually, patients start with an intensive detoxification, followed by enrolling in an inpatient rehab, which is then followed by transitioning into a PHP or a standard outpatient treatment. However, this is not set in stone. The steps needed to reach a lifestyle of sobriety differ from patient to patient.

A single treatment pan cannot work for all, which is why it is important to have a customized treatment that can combat different levels of addiction and severe withdrawal symptoms.

Who can join a PHP?

Individuals suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, mental illnesses, and addictive behaviors can join and benefit from PHP. It is different from an outpatient program in the sense that it provides more supervision but has less intensive protocols than inpatient programs.

People who require intensive care but who cannot afford to stay at an inpatient treatment center can join PHP and reap the same benefits without paying as much or leaving their friends and family behind.

Patients who need more supervision than can be provided in an outpatient program, but who require less intensive treatment protocols than inpatient treatment offers are good candidates for PHPs. Sometimes, patients who need more intense supervision, but can’t live at an onsite rehab center will make ideal candidates for PHP programs.

Research has shown that women face many barriers when enrolling into inpatient rehab as they have children dependent on them, and sometimes even disabled family members. Therefore, women who suffer from drug abuse or severe alcohol addiction can benefit from PHPs significantly. They will be able to attend their sessions when their children are at school or their elderly parents is safe home with a part-time care provider.

Other patients who would benefit from PHPs are those with mild or moderate substance abuse disorder and who do not require intensive inpatient rehab. Those who have a stable job away from the inpatient rehab center can also join local PHPs instead. Additionally, individuals who require close supervision that is otherwise not provided outpatient therapy can join PHPs for intensive care procedures.

How long do PHPs last?

As in case for any type of mental health or addiction treatment, there is no set duration for these. It depends entirely on the patient’s care, progress, and doctor’s recommendations. Patients can attend PHP anywhere between 3 days a week, or up to 5 days a week as well.

Sessions can often last anywhere between 4-6 hours and the overall program can last for weeks, if not a few months before a patient is recommended to opt for a standard outpatient treatment instead.

At the very beginning of PHPs, patients must undergo a full and intense detox that will purge their systems from all traces of alcohol and drugs and help lessen cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Detox is different from outpatient rehab; it is part of it and must be cleared prior to the beginning of the treatment. The duration for this also varies between different patients and it depends on several factors including age, history of drug abuse, mental health condition, age, physical health, etc.

Once this process is completed, patients are referred to therapists and physicians who can help begin the treatment by alleviating lingering depression, anxiety, withdrawal, and other concerns. This phase is entirely dedicated to the patients’ well being and emotional health. It is important to build a relationship of trust and good will between the individual and the therapist to ensure a speedy recovery.

A partial hospitalization program also provides a team of physicians and healthcare professionals such as therapists, nutritionists, nurses, and other clinical staff, as in case of a standard inpatient rehab. The purpose is to spend adequate time understanding the mental and physical pull of addiction and how you can manage to overcome it through guidance, detoxification, education, support groups, etc.

After the successful completion of the PHP, patients are often transferred to outpatient treatment centers that are less intensive and will help you maintain your sobriety for longer, eliminating any chances of relapsing.

In some cases, you may not have to join an outpatient treatment afterwards if your progress is positive and your healthcare provider does not predict any chances of relapse. However, aftercare services may still be recommended where your therapist may keep in touch even after the successful completion of the PHP.



Warren Phillips

Warren is a Licensed Master Social Worker, who specializes in substance abuse and mental health treatment. Clinically, Warren has developed a therapeutic skillset that utilizes a strengths-based perspective, Twelve Step philosophies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.