Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) offer the highest level of care available among outpatient programs. These drug treatment programs are designed to provide highly structured acute care for people suffering from debilitating substance use disorders. While offering comprehensive care, partial hospitalization programs allow people the flexibility of continuing to reside in their own homes.
As outpatient programs, PHPs are more affordable than inpatient treatment programs, and they also allow people to continue to benefit from their pre-existing social support systems and practice their new skills in the outside world. For individuals who are suffering from severe substance use disorders, mental illness, and especially both conditions, PHPs provide a means for not only reducing symptoms, but treating the underlying causes.
These programs are generally recommended for individuals who are struggling to function due to their substance abuse, those who have recently completed a medical detox or inpatient treatment program, and people who chronically relapse.
What is a Partial Hospitalization Program?
Partial hospitalization programs, which are generally known simply as PHPs, are a type of drug and alcohol treatment program that is commonly offered at addiction resource centers and treatment centers. The vast majority of PHPs are held on the sites of medical clinics or hospitals. They offer a great variety of addiction recovery resources so that individuals struggling with any symptom can get their needs met.
PHPs are highly structured programs that require clients to commit to their program every day of the week for most of the day. While these programs are demanding, the intense structure they offer allows people who are struggling to make rapid strides toward functionality.
However, because PHPs are outpatient programs, they also allow clients to return home to their own beds every night. This connection to the outside world enables clients to put their newfound sober tools into practice. For individuals who have safe housing and strong social support systems, partial hospitalization programs allow them to experience both the benefits of an intensive addiction treatment program and the benefits of their pre-existing support system.
Partial hospitalization programs provide the most acute level of care among outpatient addiction treatment programs. For this reason, they are often recommended to people who have recently graduated from residential treatment programs.
Partial hospitalization programs allow these individuals to continue to receive the highest level of care while gradually expanding their involvement in the outside world. While PHPs are widely recognized as essential transitional programs for recent graduates of more acute treatment programs, they also function as effective first line treatment programs for individuals who have never attended any form of addiction treatment program whatsoever.
The partial hospitalization program cost depends on many factors like location and the required treatment.
How do Partial Hospitalization Programs Work?
Most people enroll in PHPs after being hospitalized on an inpatient basis or graduating from a residential treatment program. Partial hospitalization programs are designed to smooth the transition from these more intensive programs to life in the outside world. They generally require that clients attend 6-7 days a week for multiple hours.
They are held inside of addiction treatment centers, hospitals, and medical clinics. These highly structured programs are designed to meet the needs of people with severe addictions and mental health conditions.
Clients at PHPs generally engage in a wide variety of activities. These include:
- Mental health counseling
- Medical treatment and support
- Relapse prevention planning
- A variety of therapies
- Education about substance abuse and mental health conditions
- Support groups
Partial hospitalization programs are all distinct in their methods, treatment philosophies, and the specific resources that they provide. However, they all share a common goal of helping people become more functional and addressing the underlying causes of their mental health disorders and substance abuse problems. When you are first admitted to a PHP, the first event that generally occurs is an evaluation.
This initial assessment is designed to provide your case worker and treatment team with a better idea of your needs. Common questions that are asked during initial evaluations include questions about your family’s history of substance abuse, your current living situation, what drugs you used, how often you used them, and your general health.
It is also normal for PHPs to ask questions about your relationships, lifestyle, and your friend group. The answers you give help your treatment team design an individualized treatment plan that meets your unique needs.
Individuals who are arriving at their partial hospitalization program following an experience in a residential program or a hospital stay have generally begun the process of withdrawing from drugs and alcohol, and many have already achieved a basic level of stability. However, many people begin their initial days at their PHP with a detoxification period.
Helping clients withdraw from drugs and alcohol and achieving physical abstinence is not the only goal of a partial hospitalization program. Rather, physical abstinence provides the fundamentals — it is a prerequisite for the growth and self-development that comes afterwards.
Partial hospitalization programs recognize that mere physical abstinence is rarely sufficient to ensure long term sobriety. To help people stay sober, trained staff at a PHP work to help clients develop a wide range of new tools, coping strategies, and support resources.
Clients learn to recognize their own personal triggers and create plans for handling them. Clients also work to address underlying issues, such as depression or anxiety, that may have driven them to abuse drugs and alcohol in the first place.
Above all, clients in PHP programs work to rebuild their lives, rather than simply quitting drugs and continuing to live in the wreckage. Most clients continue to pursue outpatient treatment even after their PHP ends, but a PHP can provide the fundamentals and support people as they take their first steps toward living lives that are joyous, fulfilling, and free.
Partial hospitalization programs provide a diverse array of services and addiction treatment methods. These treatment methods, which are evidence-based and back by research, are geared toward providing clients with new sober tools, a strong sober social support system, and a meaningful life.
By taking part in the intensive ad structured program of a PHP, clients can decrease their chances of relapse and begin feeling better. Most PHPs offer comprehensive addiction programs that utilize some or all of the following addiction treatment methods:
Partial Hospitalization Programs and Group Therapy
Group therapy forms the backbone of most PHPs. Research shows that group therapy has a similar efficacy rate to individual therapy, and it also possesses its own unique benefits. People who engage in group therapy have a chance to improve their communication skills and develop strong relationships with other people in recovery.
It thereby reinforces healthy ways of interacting while also helping people see their own problems from multiple new perspectives. Group therapy sessions are held in safe and supportive environments so that participants are able to maximally benefit from the experiences and feedback of others.
Partial hospitalization programs tend to offer distinct forms of group therapy. Each one is run slightly differently and has a different purpose.
The types of group therapy offered by PHPs include:
Psychoeducational Group Therapy
The most common form of group therapy, psychoeducational group therapy is generally run by a trained clinician with a graduate degree. The clinician leads the group with the aim of helping them come to a better understanding of the condition they suffer from. Participants learn about the nature of addiction, physical dependence, and the underlying causes.
The clinician will also often teach participants evidence-based strategies for dealing with triggers and recovering from addiction. To that end, participants learn to rethink unhealthy beliefs, such as the misconception that addiction is caused by having weak willpower.
Family Group Therapy
Family group therapy sessions are ideal opportunities to PHP clients to heal relationships with family members. Often, these important relationships are damaged during the course of a client’s active addiction. Getting the opportunity to heal or develop relationships with family members is one of the rewards of sobriety, but perhaps more importantly, it actually helps people stay sober.
After all, dysfunctional family relationships are often a driving force behind substance abuse. Having strong social support systems is also associated with a decreased likelihood of relapsing down the line.
Relapse Prevention Groups
Partial hospitalization programs offer relapse prevention groups so that clients can begin to recognize their own unique triggers for substance abuse. Identifying these triggers allows clients to develop alternative ways of coping with their triggers. Instead of immediately and automatically reaching for drugs and alcohol, they can simply carry out a plan they’ve made in advance for dealing with the trigger.
It is inevitable that people will experience triggers and strong cravings, especially during the early days of addiction recovery. Recognizing these high-risk situations and formulating a plan for dealing with them is essential.
Skills Training Groups
Partial hospitalization programs often hold skills training groups so that clients can practice their new coping strategies and tools in a trigger-free, safe, and supportive environment. Many skills training groups also cover skills that are pragmatic and not directly related to recovery. These include writing a resume, getting through a job interview, and even basic self-care practices like exercise and grooming skills.
Partial Hospitalization Programs and Individual Therapy
Clients at partial hospitalization programs can generally expect to attend individual therapy sessions in addition to group therapy. Individual therapy gives clients the chance to reflect more deeply on the underlying issues behind their substance use disorders. These issues are often unique to each individual.
It is common, for instance, for people to turn to drugs and alcohol because they suffer from untreated and even undiagnosed mental health conditions, including ADHD, depression, and anxiety disorder.
Therapists can help people learn to cope with their mental distress, and it thereby relieves patients of the need to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. For many people, it comes as a revelation that it is possible to treat these conditions without getting intoxicated.
Individual therapy is also used as a tool for managing substance use disorders directly. A variety of treatment modalities are used, though cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT) are the most utilized. These treatment modalities are based on the theory that a person’s thinking patterns have a direct affect on their emotions and behavior.
As such, clinicians work with patients to develop new ways of thinking about problems — and about themselves. The emotional support that individual therapists provide is essential to early recovery, helping clients meet the inevitable difficulties and challenges of the first few months.
12-Step Programs and Support Groups
Research shows that individuals who develop strong support systems have a significantly decreased likelihood of relapse. As such, partial hospitalization programs help clients cultivate sober networks by encouraging or even requiring them to attend support group meetings.
While PHPs are not officially affiliated, they often specifically recommend 12-step meetings because they have high success rates and are so widely available throughout the world. 12-step programs include Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Marijuana Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and countless others.
Meetings of AA or other 12-step programs provide people with opportunities to connect to the larger recovery community, beyond their PHP. Attendees learn new sober skills, benefiting from the experience, strength, and hope of AA members who have been sober longer. 12-step meetings are free to attend and they are available at almost all times of day throughout every major city, making them an invaluable resource even after a person has graduated from their PHP.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Many clients enter PHPs with addiction-related medical conditions that require treatment; others begin their PHPs while suffering from debilitating withdrawal symptoms. Because PHPs are staffed by medical professionals, partial hospitalization programs can help people get relief from any mental or physical condition they suffer from.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) therapy is a specific addiction treatment modality that helps people detox from drugs and alcohol safely and effectively. Individuals who are facing severe withdrawal symptoms, such as those that commonly occur during alcohol, opioid, or benzodiazepine withdrawal, often benefit from medication-assisted treatment.
MAT therapy utilizes a combination of behavioral therapies alongside prescription medication. While the behavioral therapies provide the bulk of the benefits, medication can mitigate the severity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings, allowing clients to benefit from behavioral therapy more.
Medications often utilized during medication-assisted treatment include buprenorphine, suboxone, and methadone (for opioid withdrawal), naltrexone and acamprosate (for alcohol withdrawal), and a wide variety of other prescription drugs. These medications not only make the detox process less physically and emotionally painful, they often reduce cravings and thereby reduce the likelihood of relapse.
Once a person has developed a strong foundation of sober tools, a physician can supervise the client’s withdrawal from these medications. This process, known as “tapering,” involves gradual dosage reductions so that the withdrawal process is almost unnoticeable.
Goals and Benefits of Partial Hospitalization Programs
The purpose of a partial hospitalization program is to help people with debilitating substance use disorders get sober and become more functional in their lives. Attending a partial hospitalization program means working daily to develop the life skills and tools necessary to maintain sobriety in the long term. PHPs utilize a wide variety of therapeutic modalities, support groups, and complementary treatment methods to achieve this goal.
Clients also improve their functionality in the outside world. As outpatient programs, PHPs allow clients to return each day to their own homes. Since clients continue to live in the outside world, they have plenty of opportunities to put their newfound sober skills into practice and develop their lives.
Benefits of partial hospitalization programs include:
- Flexible treatment schedules. PHPs provide highly rigorous and structured treatment programs, but nevertheless clients continue to live their lives in the outside world. While PHPs are demanding, clients can remain committed to their families, work, and even school duties if necessary.
- Medical assistance. PHPs employ medical professionals to help people deal with any physical or mental health issues that occur during the initial days of recovery. Clients who need medication management or require a prescription to deal with an underlying condition will have their needs met. Furthermore, clients experiencing difficult withdrawal symptoms can receive medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which can help mitigate withdrawal symptoms.
- Mental health services. PHPs understand that addictions and mental health disorders often go hand in hand. PHPs make it a priority to ensure that clients have their mental health needs addressed. When people quit drugs and alcohol, they often experience strong emotions that they cannot numb using substances. Mental health clinicians working at PHPs help clients deal with their emotional distress in healthy ways.
- Easier transitions. PHPs often function as a transitional program between residential treatment programs and less acute treatment programs. Rather than finishing an inpatient program and then just jumping into life in the outside world, most people benefit from continued care and support as they rebuild their lives. In fact, research demonstrates that people who engage in treatment programs for longer periods of time have lower chances of relapse down the line.
When people are close to graduating from PHPs, their treatment team will work with them to develop an aftercare plan, which might entail a less acute treatment program, such as an intensive outpatient program (IOP) or outpatient program (OP).
Partial Hospitalization Programs for Substance Abuse
Individuals who suffer from substance use disorders alongside one or more mental health disorders are said to be “dual diagnosis.” This clinical term refers to people with comorbid conditions that mutually affect each other. Common comorbid conditions that go hand in hand with addiction include major depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Individuals with comorbid conditions often face difficulties during recovery.
The chief issue is that mental health conditions, if left untreated, drive people to engage in substance abuse as a form of self-medication. Additionally, continued substance abuse can worsen the symptoms of mental health disorders. As such, it is essential for both conditions to be treated in order for a person to get relief from any of them.
Failing to treat an underlying mental health condition, no matter how rigorous the addiction treatment is, will fail to break the vicious cycle.
Partial hospitalization programs are well-prepared to address the needs of dual diagnosis patients. PHPs employ medical professionals, psychiatrists, and mental health counselors so that people can get the treatment they need for their underlying mental health issues.
During a client’s initial evaluation, their treatment team will work to identify untreated or undiagnosed mental health disorders. Individualized treatment plans will then address these conditions using a combination of medication, behavioral therapy, and support groups.
PHPs tackle addiction and mental illness simultaneously and comprehensively, using a research-backed approach known as integrated treatment.
Partial Hospitalization Program Requirements
Partial hospitalization programs are designed specifically to meet the needs of people experiencing the most acute symptoms of addiction. These intense, structured programs are suitable for individuals whose addictions have made it difficult for them to function normally in everyday life.
Partial hospitalization programs are excellent first line treatments for individuals who have never been in any form of addiction rehab, but they are also often recommended for those who have completed a more acute treatment program, such as an inpatient treatment program, and want continued support as they transition into the outside world and rebuild their lives.
PHPs offer rigorous but flexible treatment programs that are suitable for people in the following categories:
- People who have just completed an inpatient hospital stay or a residential treatment program
- People who have demanding careers that make it difficult for them to pursue inpatient treatment
- People with commitments to family members, such as parents of young children
- People who struggle to take care of themselves or complete basic tasks due to their addiction
- People who have safe homes and decent social support systems
- People who want addiction treatment that is affordable and covered by most major health insurance companies
- People who learn best when they have opportunities to put their skills into practice in the outside world
- People with comorbid mental health conditions or other medical complications
Partial Hospitalization Programs in Los Angeles
NuView Treatment Center is an outpatient treatment facility located in Los Angeles. At NuView Treatment Center, we are committed to offering addiction treatment at all levels of care. Our partial hospitalization program has helped countless people get sober and heal their broken lives.
Moreover, our other addiction treatment programs allow people to seamlessly transition from one level of care to another as their needs change during the course of recovery.
Many go on to participate in NuView Treatment Center’s intensive outpatient program (IOP), outpatient program (OP), and our aftercare plans. Addiction recovery is a long term process that involves self-reflection, learning new behaviors and skills, and building a new life.
Our partial hospitalization program and our other outpatient programs allow clients to develop autonomy, confidence, and independence while continuing to receive invaluable support.
Our partial hospitalization programs are rooted in the philosophy that recovering from substance use disorders requires more than mere physical abstinence for alcohol and drugs.
NuView Treatment Center uses evidence-based treatment methods that are proven to help people manage triggers, treat comorbid mental health conditions, build new social support systems, and deal with obstacles in their lives, including legal and financial difficulties.
Our staff is composed of dedicated and highly trained addiction professionals who work with clients on an one-on-one basis to develop individualized treatment plans that are holistic, evidence-based, comprehensive, and above all compassionate.
No matter where you are now, whether you’re a chronic relapser, graduating from another treatment program, or pursuing addiction treatment for the first time, NuView Treatment Center is here to support you.
Understand that you do not have to suffer from addiction alone. With outside help, it is possible to build a new life that is joyful and fulfilling — without drugs and alcohol. Contact NuView Treatment Center today.