Fifth Step: PHP or IOP

Our centers focus on the continued care of our clients, including what happens after residential rehab or in place of it. This helps you make the most of your treatment with us and can lead to improved outcomes.

Our staff always aims to make sure you get the best possible care during your stay at one of our centers. This includes helping you stay as long as you need to stay and making sure that you feel ready to face life outside the rehab center.

It is important to note, though, that many factors influence insurance companies’ decision-making. What they believe you need to make an effective recovery will shape how long you can stay in residential treatment or if you go right from detox into intensive outpatient care.

When you go for residential treatment, you’ll start with intake, assessment, detox, and then live at one of our rehabs for 30, 60, 90, or more days. From there, you might transition into an outpatient program like intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization. (Some patients might not need detox, either. In such cases, they might go from assessment to outpatient care.)

Some of our centers, like Willow Springs, have options for clients transitioning out of residential care. Once a patient reaches the partial hospitalization stage, they might live off the grounds but undergo several hours of treatment each week. Insurance won’t cover this arrangement, but the cost tends to be less prohibitive, and some patients benefit from that transitional stage. Consider it a soft launch for a return to independent living.

The best-case scenario for treatment usually means you’ll progress from detox to residential treatment, then to a partial hospitalization program where you live off the grounds as you continue intensive outpatient treatment. Some of our centers, like Willow Springs, have housing options for people transitioning out of residential care. That keeps you actively involved in treatment with the same team of specialists who will help you navigate life outside of rehab.

Residential vs. Intensive Outpatient Treatment

A lot of the time, our clients will transition from detox over to residential treatment. For someone with a long-term or severe addiction, this can be a solid way to distance yourself from triggers and potential temptations since you’ll reside on-site in a supportive and substance-free setting.

This can give you a sense of safety and security as you work on building skills for a drug- and alcohol-free life.

Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) and intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are more flexible and help clients transition out of residential treatment. PHP and IOP can also work for people whose addictions aren’t severe enough to demand residential treatment.

Both IOP and PHP offer a lot of individual and group therapies — several hours or more each week — as well as skills-building coursework.

What is PHP?

When our clients enter a partial hospitalization program (PHP), they aren’t always sure what to expect. In a PHP, clients live off-campus but return to the center for daily treatments. Some people call it “day rehab.”

PHP can be highly effective, and it shares some common DNA with residential treatment, including:

  • Time: PHP is more time-intensive than outpatient care, usually lasting six hours a day, five days a week.
  • Intensity: Clients take part in nearly a full day of therapy, support groups, and skills-building classes.
  • Treatment programs: Patients continue to attend individual and group therapies.

PHPs are a solid option for many people. It can serve as a transitional stage for someone who wants or needs additional reinforcement following residential rehab. It can also help people who are at risk of relapse due to withdrawal symptoms or cravings.

What is IOP?

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) can be a great option for people who have less severe addictions or for those who don’t need medically supervised detox. IOP can be time-consuming, but not nearly as much as PHP or residential treatment. Clients might attend IOP treatment for three-hour sessions five days a week. That keeps them focused on recovery but also provides more flexibility to begin rebuilding their lives.

At this stage, clients might work on:

  • Rebuilding relationships
  • Developing strong support systems closer to home
  • Getting small or part-time jobs or doing volunteer work

The therapy will still be intensive. It usually is a blend of group and individual sessions, plus other courses and programming to help clients ease into a sober lifestyle.

To be placed into an IOP, a clinical assessment will be done to determine if the patient will benefit. It tends to be recommended for clients who have gone through acute withdrawal and no longer need daylong monitoring. IOP can also work for people who don’t meet the criteria for inpatient addiction treatment or for those with a mild or moderate substance use disorder.

People who are trying to start getting their lives back on track or who have to juggle responsibilities like children, pets, or jobs tend to prefer IOP programs. If a patient can manage their time, handle both at-home or work duties, and stick to their recovery obligations, these kinds of clients can fare well in IOP. People who struggle with cravings or triggers, who don’t have reliable transportation to their rehab center, or who still are in contact with people who encourage or practice substance use disorder, they might do better in residential rehab.

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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