Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) — also known as day treatment — are ideal for individuals who have just completed an inpatient or residential program or are seeking intensive treatment while living at home. Like inpatient treatment, clinical staff are on hand to assist with detox, medication management, and withdrawal symptoms. PHP also involves counseling and therapy as well as specialized services that focus on skill-building, relapse prevention, and employment assistance.

Do I Need PHP Treatment?

While PHP is open to anyone, some may benefit more than others. In general, PHP is best for:

  • Individuals who require close medical supervision.
  • Individuals with acute psychiatric symptoms or long-term addictions.
  • Individuals who require more support than traditional outpatient programs.
  • Individuals who have stable housing and transportation.
  • Individuals who have a support system at home.
  • Individuals who have experienced problems with school or work performance.

Partial Hospitalization Program Duration

PHP typically consists of hospital treatment 5 to 7 days a week for 4 to 8 hours per day. Unlike inpatient treatment that works to a set length of time, PHP varies and will depend on each person’s progress.

However, PHP is primarily intended to be an intense, short-term treatment program. For example, many PHP programs run for ten days in total, at which point the patient will then move onto intensive or general outpatient treatment.

Partial Hospitalization Program Cost

Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) can be cheaper than the average cost of inpatient treatment. In general, this can be around $350 – $400 per day, with an average total of roughly $5,000 for a 10-day treatment.

What to Expect with Partial Hospitalization Programs

doctor and nurse group therapy

PHP, also known as day treatment, involves hospital-level care but without an overnight stay. The purpose of this level of treatment is to provide in-depth behavioral therapy and medical monitoring while a client detoxes. Some inpatient facilities offer PHP as part of their treatment types, while some hospitals provide PHP as a primary form of addiction treatment.

Structured Program

A typical PHP program is run by clinicians, medical staff, and licensed addiction counselors. This highly structured program can consist of individual and group therapy, skill-building curriculums, and periodic evaluations. Individuals receiving treatment may also receive other medical treatments where needed.

While PHP is different from inpatient, the structure and rules can be similar. For example, clients will be expected to follow a strict schedule and “house rules” that include things like giving up your cell phone.

Advantages of PHP Treatment

  • Provides short, intense treatment
  • Provides regular interactions with medical, mental health, and behavioral health professionals
  • Provides personalized behavioral health care
  • Delivers affordable treatment without costly overnight hospital stays
  • Provides an easier transition into everyday life and independence

Partial Hospitalization Program Services

While every PHP program differs, there are some general services that are provided. These include:

Detox

Not all facilities will provide medical detox. However, those that do will have physicians and clinical staff on hand to assist with the process and provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) where needed.

PHP centers that provide detox typically only treat those with mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms. More severe cases will likely require a visit to a proper detox facility before entering PHP treatment.

Medical Services

Medical services are another perk of hospital-based PHP programs. The advantage of these is that there are always nurses and doctors on hand to treat complications and administer medication.

Medication-Assisted Treatment & Management

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can be very useful for individuals who are detoxing from opioids or benzodiazepines. These types of medications can decrease cravings and symptoms associated with substance withdrawal.

PHP programs are well-equipped to provide MAT therapies and monitor any effects. Some of the common medications include:

  • Methadone: helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and relieve cravings.
  • Buprenorphine: controls cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Naltrexone: blocks the effects of opioids and can discourage use.
  • Suboxone: is a combination of buprenorphine and naltrexone commonly used for opioid treatment.
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse): produces uncomfortable effects when someone drinks alcohol. This medication helps discourage future or continued use.
  • Antidepressants: these are sometimes used for patients who experience depression or anxiety following long-term substance abuse.

Aftercare Planning

Many PHP programs also provide aftercare planning. Treatment teams will prepare a patient for discharge and create a comprehensive aftercare plan consisting of support groups, 12-Step programs, sober living homes, relapse prevention techniques, or counseling.

Partial Hospitalization Program Therapy Programs

man receiving individual counseling

PHP programs tend to focus on behavioral therapy as part of its treatment. Some of the programs are similar to inpatient and include:

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are the hallmark treatments for substance abuse and addiction. CBT helps clients change negative or dysfunctional thought patterns into more positive ones. It also helps patients develop new and healthier behaviors while developing a greater sense of confidence and self-understanding. Dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT) is another common treatment that focuses on mindfulness, emotional regulation, and how to develop positive coping skills.

Individual Counseling

One-on-one counseling is a foundational therapy for all levels of treatment. PHP programs often provide this service and work closely with patients to help them learn about the underlying causes of their addiction and how to set positive goals.

Group Therapy

Nearly all addiction programs draw from group therapy as it gives individuals the opportunity to relate to others and to express their feelings in a supportive environment. Groups are typically run by a therapist or mental health professional and this allows the members to offer insight and develop positive relationships.

Family Therapy

While individual and group counseling focuses on a person’s thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, family therapy is designed to focus on relationships. In many cases, addiction and substance abuse become a family problem, affecting multiple relationships and dynamics within the unit. Therefore, the goal of family therapy is to repair these relationships, educate everyone on the nature of addiction, and improve closeness.

Holistic Therapy

Holistic therapy is also commonly provided in PHP programs. Whether it’s music or art therapy, this type of treatment allows patients to express emotions artistically. This is especially helpful for clients who are not comfortable with verbal expression during group therapy or private counseling.

Fitness and Nutrition

Many PHP programs are equipped to provide recreational activities and nutritional education. This is an important element during detox and physical activity and healthy eating can boost a person’s motivation and mental state.

What Happens After PHP Treatment is Completed?

Depending on your needs, you may be guided to continue therapy on an outpatient basis to ease the intensity of treatment. As PHP is often meant to be short term, many clients use it as a stepping stone to then migrate onto intensive or standard outpatient treatment.

How to Find a PHP Center

Finding the best PHP center requires that you do a bit of due diligence, especially as this type of treatment requires more commitment. If you’re unsure about how to start the process, below are a few things to consider while you’re doing your research.

Recommendations

Ask a doctor, counselor, or medical professional for recommendations. They may have a list of trusted centers that you can explore.

Treatment and Care

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that you should be aware of the following when searching for a center:

  • Accessibility: you shouldn’t have to wait a long time to enter treatment.
  • Personalized: care should be personalized and tailored to each individual’s needs. Avoid programs that offer a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Empirically based: treatment should be evidence-based. It’s also good to choose centers that offer a mix of medical treatment and alternative therapies.
  • Social support: centers should provide a strong support system such as recovery groups, peer support, and aftercare.

Dual Diagnosis

If you are struggling with a co-occurring mental health condition like depression or anxiety, its’ a good idea to look for facilities that offer dual diagnosis. These facilities are often staffed with psychiatrists or clinical therapists that can diagnose and treat co-occurring mental health conditions. Dual diagnosis also allows clients to address their underlying conditions alongside withdrawal from substances.

Accreditations and Licenses

While you’re doing your research, it’s good to look out for a facility that’s accredited from the likes of CARF, the Joint Commission, or SAMHSA. An accreditation guarantees that they meet or exceed standards of care.

Staff Credentials and Multi-disciplinarity

Many top-notch facilities are staffed with a mix of medical directors, clinicians, licensed counselors, psychiatrists, nutritionists, and holistic therapists. As addiction is a multi-faceted condition, a multi-disciplinary staff ensures that you’re able to get well-rounded care.

Amenities

While most PHP programs are hospital based, you may want to check out what the environment and facilities are like. The atmosphere and location of a center can greatly affect the overall feel and how well you respond to treatment.

Levels of Care

Centers that offer a continuum of care are also fantastic options. These facilities tend to provide the whole spectrum of detox, inpatient, outpatient, and aftercare.

Insurance and Cost

Most inpatient facilities will allow private insurance coverage. However, it’s a good idea to check their website for this information as they may only take coverage from some types of insurance. In some cases, they also allow Medicaid.

Partial Hospitalization Resources

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, you are not alone. Treatment and support are readily available. Contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment.

You can also find a list of treatment centers near you on our website to help get you on the path to recovery.

Medical Disclaimer

At RehabAid.com, we are dedicated to helping people recover from problematic substance use and associated mental health disorders. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, you are not alone. Information on treatment and support options is readily available through the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 1-800-662-4357. To further assist you along the path to recovery, the treatment center locator on our website allows you to easily find rehabilitation programs and services in your local area.

We provide our readers with factual, evidence-based content concerning the causes and nature of addiction, as well as available treatment options. However, this informative content is intended for educational purposes only. It is by no means a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. With regard to any addiction-related health concerns, you should always seek the guidance of a qualified, registered physician who is licensed to practice medicine in your particular jurisdiction.

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