A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is a short-term outpatient program that provides treatment and support to adults who have substance abuse disorders. Addicts reside at home, but they commute to a treatment center up to seven days a week. Unlike outpatient or day treatment programs which may be profit or non-profit organizations, partial hospitalization programs are affiliated with a hospital.
Who Should Consider Partial Hospitalization for Addiction Recovery?
A PHP offers a “step-down” program from inpatient treatment. It provides an intensive structured treatment experience of 20 hours per week which can include ancillary medical and psychiatric services. Candidates for this type of program possess some of the following characteristics:
- Need more structure at this phase in their recovery
- Are at risk for relapse
- Suffer frequent cravings or urges to use
- Have poor social support
- Live in an environment that has substances readily available
- Have co-occurring conditions
- Have attempted outpatient treatment without success
Services Provided at a Partial Hospitalization Program
The goal of a PHP is to stabilize recovering users, and this is achieved through the following methods:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Vocational and educational counseling
- Family meetings
- Medically supervised use of adjunctive medications
- Random urine screening
- Treatment for any co-occurring psychiatric disorders
- Programs that prepare patients to transition to less intensive outpatient services and increased self-reliance
- Experiences allow a person to practice relapse-prevention skills and self-help skills
Participants return to their homes in the evenings, thereby maintaining links to their families and communities, and practicing new skills that promote confidence and independence.
Most PHPs operate 5 days per week for a select time of day (9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m), and they are usually staffed by board-certified psychiatrists, licensed master’s level therapists, and a case manager. The specific level of an individual’s treatment is determined by a team that includes the physician, therapist, and case management.
How to Get into Partial Hospitalization for Addiction Recovery
Most PHPs exclusively treat adults 18 years or older who meet these criteria:
- Are experiencing acute symptoms of substance abuse
- Have family and/or community resources for at-home support
- Do not require 24-hour care
- Do not require more intensive service
- Would be able to participate in a daily group program
- Are comfortable in group settings and not prone to aggressiveness, verbal abuse or exploitive behaviors
- Can remain drug-free for the duration of the program