What Is PHP?
While most people have heard of partial hospitalization programs, many are confused about what the program actually entails. The best way to explain this type of addiction recovery treatment is to note the differences between PHP and its counterparts—inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. While partial hospitalization programs are a form of intensive addiction treatment, they are less acute than the treatment given in inpatient rehab. PHP programs are short-term and offer a higher level of care than outpatient rehab.
When a person who is fighting an addiction first begins their journey to recovery, an inpatient rehab program is often necessary. Typically, these treatment centers are equipped with the necessary medical staff needed to help addicts cope with severe withdrawals as they work through the detox phase. The addict is checked into the treatment center and they will remain on premises for around 30 to 90 days, although the amount of time can vary from one treatment center to another. Patients have access to medical care around the clock and they aim to build a solid foundation for recovery within this controlled setting. Patients will have scheduled activities around the clock, including 12-step meetings, a multitude of therapy programs, leisure activities, medical examinations, and exercise. As the patient completes this intensive stage, they are equipped with the skills needed to move forward and integrate back into a less controlled setting. Some patients opt for an outpatient program, but PHP tends to be more effective in the early stages of recovery.
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An outpatient program allows those who are in recovery to maintain the routine of their daily lives, unlike an inpatient program which requires the patient to remain in the treatment center for a lengthy period of time. This option is best for addicts who have completed detox and an inpatient program or for those with mild addictions. Typically, these programs will last for several months to more than a year and a patient will need to commit to around 10-12 hours each week to the program. Addicts who prefer this option may undergo treatment for anxiety or mild withdrawal symptoms, but the main focus lies on therapy, building a solid support system, and completing 12-step programs. Outpatient rehab is typically less expensive than an inpatient program and it allows addicts to maintain the support of their family and friends while they receive treatment. Despite this, the success rate is much lower.
Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)
PHP is a middle-of-the-road option that does not offer the restrictions of a full inpatient program but is not quite as lax as an outpatient treatment program. This makes a big difference when it comes to success rates, and PHP is much more effective than a standard outpatient program. They are often chosen as a “step down” for those who have recently completed a full inpatient program but are not quite ready to move on to outpatient programs. Generally, most partial hospitalization treatment programs for substance abuse addiction require patients to attend treatment in a rehab setting for several hours each day, but they are able to return home at night. It is also a good option for those who are struggling with a dual diagnosis that requires treatment of a mental disorder along with an addiction. This enables those on the path to recovery to still receive support from their family and friends without jeopardizing their sobriety in the early stages.
Some of the common offerings found in partial hospitalization programs include:
- Treatment for drug and alcohol addiction
- Focus on dual diagnosis
- Medical services
- Mental health services
- Various types of therapy
- Addiction recovery education
- Nutritional counseling
- Relapse prevention preparation
- A variety of amenities
The specifics behind each PHP program can vary quite a bit so it is important to conduct thorough research to find the right program for your needs. Some treatment centers have patients living off-site and doing at least six daily hours of the program five to seven days each week, or around 25 to 30 hours per week. Other PHP programs have patients living on-site, even if the hours are similar. In either case, patients benefit immensely from the intensive recovery treatment offered.
What Is the Difference Between PHP and IOP Programs?
The terms PHP and IOP (or Intensive Outpatient Therapy) are often used interchangeably, but the two treatment options are different. While a PHP program requires long, daily visits, IOP treatment centers offer programs that take much longer to complete but require less frequent meetings throughout the week. Patients commit to somewhere between 15 to 20 hours per week, which makes the programs more workable for those who have full-time careers or children to care for at home. IOP programs, however, are better for those who have already worked through an inpatient or PHP treatment. Because the sessions are more infrequent, they are recommended for those who are searching for a long-term, maintenance program to focus on their sobriety.
The Partial Hospitalization Process
PHPs play a unique role in the continuum of care for addicts. Positioned as both a supplement for inpatient rehab and a possible substitute to outpatient rehab, PHP has grown in popularity over the last few decades as a result of its effectiveness. When the addict entering a partial hospitalization program is committed to their recovery journey, they can have great success in minimizing their symptoms linked to their mental health issues and addiction.
In most cases, a patient will begin PHP following their stay in a residential rehab or inpatient treatment program. As a result, the patient is able to slowly integrate back into life outside of an immense structure and strict care. PHPs offer a unique balance of intensive treatment services with a bit of autonomy when patients live off-site. Between therapy sessions and recovery activities, patients have their days filled with productive practices that lead to:
- Increased self-confidence.
- Improved communication skills.
- Better decision-making ability.
By pairing therapy with addiction recovery education, patients are armed with the tools that they will need to succeed upon finishing the partial hospitalization program. In addition, with continual assessment from medical professionals and guidance from nutritionists, patients are able to maintain their physical and mental health. Using a partial hospitalization treatment program for drug and alcohol addiction as a transitional step after completing an inpatient program is a great way to ensure long-lasting sobriety.
The Advantages of PHP
There are a number of benefits to entering into a partial hospitalization program for substance abuse addiction. Offering a safe and effective healing environment between inpatient hospitalization and outpatient rehab, PHP is the best option for many addicts. Easing an addict from intense structure to monitored freedom has proven to be instrumental in their drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Some of the most notable PHP advantages include:
- Access to both mental health professionals and medical professionals
- Intensive therapy
- Regular and structured meetings
- Daily routine structure which mimics a normal work schedule
- Organized treatment schedules that facilitate independence and long-term sobriety
Much of the addiction recovery journey involves reprogramming an addict’s brain to see the value in healthy habits and long-term sobriety. Through therapy, education and structure, partial hospitalization programs for substance abuse addiction play an essential role in fostering a lifetime of sober living.
Is PHP Right for Me?
Patients often ask themselves if PHP would be a good fit for them. In general, partial hospitalization programs work well for those who truly seek long-term sobriety. This means actively participating in therapy, in group therapy, and in daily activities. In addition, patients who have successfully completed medical detox are prime candidates for PHP. The transition from residential treatment to the world can be scary. PHP bridges that gap and creates a healthy path for addicts seeking continued care who aren’t quite ready for an outpatient or 12-step program to maintain their sobriety.
Those who are considering a PHP program should be aware of the time commitments required. Although PHP treatment centers do not require full-time residency like an inpatient treatment center, most will require daily visits that last for several hours. Patients who are hoping to remain active in their careers or home-life may find it difficult to keep up with the demanding schedule. Despite this, PHP is worth the time investment, and it is important to prioritize your sobriety. Those who are concerned about this aspect should call or chat with a Cardinal Recovery support agent to get a better idea of the schedule and time requirements.
The most successful candidates for PHP treatment have typically already undergone detox or inpatient treatments. This may not be a requirement in cases of more mild addiction; however, it is crucial to consider any medical care that may be needed throughout the process. Those who experience significant withdrawal symptoms may find that an inpatient treatment program is a better fit for the start of a journey to sobriety. Keep in mind that some forms of withdrawal will require 24-hour care to ensure safety, and this is not provided with a PHP. Likewise, a PHP environment is not as controlled as an inpatient one, which can be difficult for those who have not undergone previous treatments to navigate in the early days of recovery.
A patient who is in recovery will need different structures at different points throughout their journey. In the earliest stages, addicts tend to experience the most long-term success when they enroll in an inpatient treatment center. This removes them from circumstances and surroundings that may fuel their addictions and allows them to focus solely on their recovery. After they have several weeks or months of sobriety under their belts, it can be frightening to leave the controlled environment. Instead of jumping into an outpatient program, a PHP treatment center ensures a gradual transition. This gentle transition can be very comforting for a newly sober individual as they learn to re-enter the world and navigate it using the skills that they have learned.
Many patients who opt to seek treatment through a PHP need dual diagnosis. This means that their mental disorder and their addiction are treated at the same time. In many scenarios, those with undiagnosed or untreated mental disorders turn to substance use as a way of self-medicating and coping with their illness. PHP treatment centers specialize in teaching patients about both concepts. Here, they are evaluated and taught the proper ways to manage their disorders to lessen the need to self-medicate. The PHP medical staff can also prescribe medications to treat these disorders which can greatly improve the mental well-being and increase the odds of a successful recovery.
Are you interested in learning more about our PHP offerings? Cardinal Recovery is here for you when you are ready to begin your journey to recovery. Give us a call today at (855) 928-1987 to discuss your needs.