What is a Partial Hospitalization Program?
A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is an all-day intense rehab program that allows you to go home at night. Because people know that PHPs provide treatment all day long, people also call PHPs day treatments.
Anyone attending partial hospitalization programs should clear their daytime schedule to receive treatment. This means that you can’t have a daytime job while attending a partial hospitalization program. If your home is not conducive to staying sober while staying there at night, you can live in a sober house while participating in a PHP.
When participating in PHPs, patients attend treatment for around six hours a day, five to seven days a week. The reason why patients in partial hospitalization programs must attend treatment for so long is that PHPs are just one step down from inpatient residential treatment.
This means that partial hospitalization is the most intense level of outpatient treatment. Essentially, a partial hospitalization program is just like residential treatment, except patients get to go home afterward.
The reason why partial hospitalization programs contain the word “hospitalization” is that PHPs offer medical and hospital services for patients. These are for people who still need to detox and/or get rid of their withdrawal symptoms. Other services that you will receive while in a partial hospitalization program include different forms of therapy and biofeedback.
What Treatment Methods Are Used in a Partial Hospitalization Program?
Like all outpatient programs, the main focus of a partial hospitalization program is psychotherapy. There are many different forms of psychotherapy treatment methods used within PHPs. There are also detox and medical treatment services within partial hospitalization programs.
The treatment methods within a partial hospitalization program include:
Partial hospitalization programs include detox treatments. You should beware, though, as not all PHP detox treatments are supervised by medical professionals. Detox services within a partial hospitalization program are for people with milder substance abuse issues and withdrawal symptoms. If your withdrawal symptoms require 24/7 monitoring, you should attend inpatient treatment.
Medical services within a partial hospitalization program include a staff of nurses and doctors.
Behavior therapy is any form of psychotherapy that aims to identify and change destructive behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of this that identifies and changes destructive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors into positive ones.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a staple treatment method used within all addiction treatment programs. PHPs use CBT to change the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors addicts have that lead them to exhibit destructive behaviors.
Another form of behavioral therapy that partial hospitalization programs use is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). This helps people discover positive coping skills that they can use to help keep negative emotions at bay.
Individual therapy is talk therapy that is one-on-one between you and a therapist. When in a partial hospitalization program, individual therapy helps you work through any inner issues that you have that made you turn to alcohol and drugs.
Group therapy involves sessions with you, a therapist, and multiple other people that have similar issues to you. Within a PHP, group therapy helps you learn from the past actions of your fellow group therapy members. It also helps you build a loving community of people that understand and support you.
Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that allows the family of an addict to simultaneously talk with both the addict and a therapist. These family talks are about issues that addiction has caused in their lives. Family therapy helps addicts build home lives that are more conducive to sobriety.
Art therapy is any creative alternative form of therapy. For example, some people suffering from addiction like to paint or listen to music to help them cope while in recovery.
Medication-assisted therapy uses specific medications to help relieve people of their addiction withdrawals.
Support groups are meetings with you and other people who are suffering from addiction. During these meetings, you’ll all talk about any addiction issues that you’re going through.
People often attend outpatient support groups after their treatment program is over. Doing so helps people in recovery stay sober. Examples of outpatient support groups include 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
While attending a partial hospitalization program, you will receive help planning your life once treatment is over. Planning for your next steps after addiction treatment is called aftercare planning. Most aftercare plans include attending support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotic Anonymous.
What Should You Expect in a Partial Hospitalization Program?
A partial hospitalization program often begins with a diagnostic interview. Licensed clinicians conduct these interviews. During these interviews, you will have to answer questions about your medical history, physical health, and mental health. You will also attend an alcohol and drug screening.
Through the answers to this interview, your individualized treatment plan will be created. Most days in a partial hospitalization program include several group meetings and some one-on-one therapy. Be ready for random drug tests.
Partial Hospitalization Program vs. Residential Program
A residential program is an inpatient addiction treatment program that operates like a housing community. Patients receive treatment in both residential treatment programs and partial hospitalization programs all day long. Still, only residential programs have their patients spend the night at their facilities.
Patients with more severe substance abuse issues must spend the night at residential program facilities. This shows that residential program members technically still need 24/7 monitoring. Partial hospitalization program patients, on the other hand, do not.
Another difference between PHPs and residential programs is the amount of time patients must spend in them. Patients spend anywhere from three months to one year in a residential program. On the other hand, patients only have to spend two to four weeks in a partial hospitalization program. This large time difference only proves further that residential treatment patients are not as far along in their recovery journey as PHP patients.
One thing that residential programs and PHPs have in common is their use of different forms of therapy. For example, most residential programs and PHPs offer holistic therapy treatments like art therapy. Both residential programs and PHPs also use CBT, individual therapy, and group therapy.
Partial hospitalization programs are just one step down from residential programs in the severity of its patients’ addiction.
Partial Hospitalization Program vs. Inpatient Program
Inpatient programs are intense, structured treatment programs that require their patients to spend the night at their facilities. The difference between inpatient programs and residential programs is that residential programs are less structured. In fact, residential programs operate more like a housing community.
Inpatient programs, on the other hand, are far more structured. Patients of inpatient programs spend time receiving treatment in both the hospital and the treatment facility itself. These differ from partial hospitalization programs in that inpatient programs require their patients to spend the night at their facilities. Partial hospitalization programs, on the other hand, do not.
They also require 24/7 monitoring of their patients. Partial hospitalization does not require 24/7 patient monitoring. This is because patients of PHPs are stable enough to maintain their sobriety when they go home during the evenings.
Overall, inpatient treatment is the most intense addiction treatment a person can receive. Partial hospitalization treatment is just the most intense outpatient treatment a person can receive.
Partial Hospitalization Program vs. Intensive Outpatient Program
Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) make people receive addiction treatment for a few hours in the evening, three to five days a week. IOPs are shorter in time than PHPs. This is because intensive outpatient programs are made for people with day jobs and responsibilities. Intensive outpatient programs also take less time than PHPs because the addictions of its patients are one step less severe than those of partial hospitalization programs.
Partial Hospitalization Program vs. Outpatient Program
Outpatient programs are any addiction treatment programs that allow their patients to spend the night in the comfort of their own homes. Partial hospitalization programs are one form of outpatient programs.
In comparison to a partial hospitalization program, a basic outpatient program is far less structured. Also, the addiction levels of regular outpatient program patients are less severe than those of PHPs.
Who Should Attend a Partial Hospitalization Program?
It can be hard deciding which inpatient or outpatient treatment program is best for you. Therefore, we are telling you some key character traits of a partial hospitalization program patient.
Character traits of a partial hospitalization program patient include:
- Needing a high level of care, but can remain sober when not in treatment
- Having already completed a residential or another type of inpatient treatment but still is at risk of relapsing
- Suffering from both addiction and mental illness
- Not making optimal recovery time while in intensive outpatient treatment
Who Should Not Attend a Partial Hospitalization Program?
As beneficial as partial hospitalization programs are, they are not for everyone. Below are some key character traits of someone who should not go to a partial hospitalization program.
Character traits of someone that shouldn’t be a part of a partial hospitalization program include:
- Having experienced severe forms of trauma
- Having family members that abuse substances
- Experiencing co-occurring disorders
- A history of relapse
- Lack of a strong immune system
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