Oftentimes when we think of addiction, we get a mental picture of what we might call the ‘quintessential addict’, which is essentially someone who appears disheveled and unkempt, gaunt and sallow, and generally unhealthy or even emaciated. But the disease of addiction causes more than just deterioration to one’s physical or bodily health. Those who suffer from alcohol and drug dependency also suffer mentally, emotionally, socially, and even spiritually. Due to the comprehensive destruction wrought by addiction on one’s life, it’s a disease that requires comprehensive treatment before an individual can recover from chemical dependency. Since a person suffering from addiction can have many unique needs, there are several different types of addiction treatment programs that can address the varied needs of those with substance abuse problems; however, one program that can appeal to a variety of needs is a partial hospitalization program.

What exactly is a partial hospitalization program?

All treatment and recovery programs for alcohol and drug addiction tend to fall on a spectrum that ranges from residential inpatient to outpatient treatment. In the former, individuals take residency in one of our facilities for the duration while the latter allows patients to continue to live at home while receiving a somewhat less intensive treatment regimen, which is incorporated into patients’ existing schedules. However, somewhere in between residential and our intensive outpatient treatments is the partial hospitalization treatment program. In a partial hospitalization program (PHP), patients can continue to live at home on an outpatient basis while still benefitting from the structure of a daily treatment program. In short, partial hospitalization treatment for alcohol and drug addiction offers individuals much the same level of treatment as the residential inpatient program, but without requiring that patient live on-site for the duration of the program.

What to expect from partial hospitalization treatment

A partial hospitalization program for substance abuse and addiction affords patients an intensive level of high-quality, evidence-based psychotherapy and counseling, helping to correct destructive patterns of thought that tend to lead to the development of addictive behaviors. The basis of a PHP program includes individual and group skills-building sessions, individual and group psychoeducation, addiction education, relapse prevention sessions, private and group family therapy, support and treatment for dual-diagnosis patients with co-occurring conditions, and other forms of counseling recognized for their efficacy in addiction recovery.

Those individuals in partial hospitalization programs typically have a wide variety of holistic and supplemental treatments with which they can personalize the program, which ensures optimal benefit by addressing each of an individual’s specific recovery needs. For instance, there are often holistic therapies that can be offered as part of partial hospitalization treatment, including yoga, guided meditation and well-being sessions, chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, nutrition and physical education, and more. Between the counseling, group sessions, and holistic treatments, the ultimate goal of a partial hospitalization treatment program is to address the physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual effects of addiction so that patients are able to achieve comprehensive and long-lasting sobriety.

How partial hospitalization helps patients find sobriety

When entering the partial hospitalization program for addiction, each patient works with an experienced and knowledgeable addiction counselor to create a personalized treatment curriculum. The purpose of this individualization is, again, to ensure that every patient’s specific recovery needs are addressed by the PHP program, which in turn maximizes one’s chance of success in achieving lasting sobriety. As well, incoming patients usually receive a psychiatric evaluation and assessment in order to determine which psychotherapeutic treatments would be most beneficial and to identify any co-occurring conditions that require dual-diagnosis support. In short, a partial hospitalization program combines the best of both residential inpatient and intensive outpatient treatment, allowing individuals to benefit from the structure of daily addiction treatments while living at home and readjusting to living as a productive, sober member of the community.

Incorporating partial hospitalization treatment into your schedule

While partial hospitalization treatment may not be the ideal solution for everyone, there are a number of individuals who benefit greatly from the flexibility that this type of program offers. Individuals who have an inflexible work schedule, are responsible for dependents like children or elderly parents, or must account for some other responsibility or obligation would oftentimes be unable to receive treatment in an inpatient program. Moreover, in many instances individuals are hesitant to commit to inpatient treatment because it would force them to explain their extended absences to friends, loved ones, or employers.

Partial hospitalization programs are notable for being much more flexible than many other forms of treatment. Individuals can schedule the variety of specific treatments—counseling and psychotherapy, group sessions, twelve-step meetings, skills-building and psychoeducational sessions, and so on—during the times when they’re free from their other obligations that would otherwise make recovery impossible. Alcohol and drug rehabs that offer partial day programs tend to offer other programs as well, which requires them to offer many individual treatments and therapies multiple times throughout the day; this allows individuals to attend the treatments they need at the times that work best for them.

What happens after a partial hospitalization program?

Since there are many different types of addiction treatment programs available to those who suffer from substance abuse problems, it follows that the journey from addiction to sobriety can take many different forms. One of the great things about having a selection of programs from which to choose is that the programs can be mixed and matched in different ways to enhance the rehabilitation process and give a patient even higher potential for lasting sobriety.

While many addiction treatment programs can be combined with other types of programs to great effect, partial hospitalization programs are one of the best for this specific purpose. The reason that partial hospitalization programs are so frequently used alongside other programs is because it offers some of the best features of both inpatient and outpatient programs. For those who use partial hospitalization as the main rehabilitative program, it’s become quite common—and highly recommended—to follow-up a PHP with a program that’s slightly less intensive, which prolongs the period of active recovery and helps to reinforce many of the principles and strategies that are learned during the partial hospitalization program.

Partial hospitalization treatment may not be the most intensive form of treatment, but its benefits are well-suited to those who have responsibilities and obligations that prohibit them from completing inpatient treatment. With a partial hospitalization program, these individuals are able to get inpatient-like treatment in an outpatient format, which ensures that they’re able to continue fulfilling their responsibilities. However, following a PHP with something like intensive outpatient or a regular outpatient program gives a person an even higher chance of remaining sober because the follow-up program will reinforce the partial hospitalization treatment completed previously.

Is a partial hospitalization program right for you?

As we’ve learned, there’s no one-size-fits-all program or form of treatment that’s perfect for everyone. Instead, the ideal program depends on a person’s unique needs a preferences. However, if you’re someone with an inflexible work schedule, dependents (i.e., children or elderly parents), or some other prohibitive responsibilities, a partial hospitalization program may afford enough flexibility alongside an inpatient-like level of treatment intensity to be an ideal program for you.