The Pros and Cons of PHP Treatment

The Advantages and Disadvantages of PHP

If you’re seeking a way to treat drug and alcohol addiction, you might be considering a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). Before you decide, it’s vital to know the pros and cons of PHP treatment. While these type of treatment programs can be helpful, PHP isn’t right for everyone. Those with very serious addictions might require a higher level of care in residential treatment. They might also need full detox before entering any kind of treatment. Those who have less serious addictions might not need the structure of PHP. They might be better off with something less intensive. By understanding PHP, you’ll be better equipped to choose the right program.

What is PHP?

Partial Hospitalization is a level of care for treating Substance Use Disorder (SUD). In most PHP settings the patients receive care during the day at a facility and then return to a sober living environment in the evening. PHP is even higher in intensity than Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), but not quite as high as the full Rehab or Residential levels where a patient remains at the treatment facility 24 hours a day.

While at the facility they receive various types of treatment to manage their SUD. One of the advantages of the PHP level of care is that it allows patients to get a full day of treatment including individual therapy and groups similar to what they’d have in a residential program. Many patients appreciate the ability to stay in a sober living environment overnight rather than sleeping at the facility itself.

Who is PHP For?

Typically, PHP is used by people who have either completed a residential treatment program or whom don’t require that level of 24 hour medical care. Residential programs are those wherein the patient stays at a facility overnight. This level of care is necessary for some patients, however it can be more costly per day. Many patients find they are able to get a longer overall length of stay in the PHP level of care. Another goal of PHP is to provide support for those who are still at a high risk for relapse. Programs of this type include a great deal of emphasis on relapse prevention. The aim is to help people transition into a sober life.

PHP is often used by those who do not require residential treatment, but want an advanced level of care to treat their addiction. Generally, these are people who don’t need 24/7 medical supervision in residential care, but still want a full day of treatment and the security and structure that sober living homes deliver.

Most people with SUD benefit greatly from following this basic recovery plan:

  1. Detox (and sometimes Residential)
  2. PHP
  3. IOP
  4. OP
  5. Aftercare

People who have been to treatment before and want to make sure they get a longer length of stay often find PHP helpful.

What is Involved in PHP

During partial hospitalization, a person will undergo a variety of treatments to help them. In quality partial hospitalization programs, evidence-based therapies are used. These therapies have shown to have the greatest success with treating SUD. The types of treatments most beneficial in a PHP are:

  • Specialized care for specific addictions, such as:
    • Alcohol dependency.
    • Opioid treatment programs.
    • Heroin specific treatment.
    • Methamphetamine addiction.
    • Crack and cocaine programs.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
  • Behavioral therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Contingency Management Interventions/Motivational Incentives, or others.
  • Group therapy supervised by a qualified therapist.
  • Family therapy.
  • Individual therapy.
  • Support groups.

This is by no means a total list. Every facility will provide different services. However, seeking PHP treatment that includes as many of the above as possible improve the chance of success.

The Pros and Cons of PHP Treatment

Here’s a quick breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of PHP treatment:

PHP Pros

  • Provides a strong structure in order to help a person new to sobriety learn the tools necessary to live sober.
  • Can lead to a longer overall length of stay and the patient getting more help.
  • Reduces the sense of being “institutionalized” because the patient leaves the facility at the end of the day for a home-like environment.
  • Offers a full day of treatment very similar to residential treatment without the need to stay at the facility 24/7.
  • Less expensive than residential care and insurance may cover more time.

PHP Cons

Here are some drawbacks of PHP treatment:

  • May not be enough care for someone with a very serious addiction who also has medical or psychiatric problems that require more observation..
  • Requires more of a time commitment than Intensive Outpatient or Outpatient.
  • May interfere with work, school, family and other responsibilities.
  • Sometimes asks for a commitment from family members who may not be willing to sacrifice their time.

If You’re Ready to Begin PHP

Hopefully this has clarified how PHP treatment can be beneficial, as well as the potential downsides. If you feel that PHP is right for you, or are looking for alternatives, please contact us. Our staff is available to answer any questions you might have. They are also equipped to help begin the intake process if you’re looking to get into treatment as soon as possible. Our programs are built around our patients so that every person receives exactly the type of care they require. Reach out today and let us help you build a treatment program to fit your life. You can do it, and Recovery by the Sea is here to help.

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