Understanding Partial Hospitalization (PHP) Addiction Treatment

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Participation in residential treatment or inpatient care is frequently the first phase of a person’s recovery journey. However, given the complex nature of addiction, individuals who are working to sustain sobriety must commit to their recovery for the long-term. One way in which people can do this is by receiving step-down levels of care as they transition out of more intensive treatment.

After completing a higher level of care, an individual may receive a recommendation to engage in partial hospitalization programming. Also commonly referred to as PHP, this treatment option can serve as an invaluable transition between residential treatment or inpatient care and intensive outpatient or traditional outpatient services. Additionally, PHP may be an appropriate recommendation for someone who does not necessarily need a higher level of care, but can benefit from more intensive services than lower levels of care are able to offer.

Within PHP, a person receives the services he or she needs to reach and set new, more advanced treatment goals. Among the types of services and interventions an individual can expect to receive, the following are those most often incorporated into PHP:

  • Experiential therapies
  • Family therapy sessions
  • Individual therapy with an addiction specialist, counselor, therapist, or social worker
  • Medication management services with a psychiatrist

In addition to the above services and interventions, an individual is likely to participate in a variety of group therapy opportunities. Group therapy is often the benchmark of partial hospitalization programming, as group therapy sessions enable participants to do the following:

  • Develop new strategies for maintaining recovery
  • Learn from the experiences of others
  • Offer support and encouragement to other group members
  • Practice newly learned skills for communicating
  • Receive guidance and backing from others in the group

Presently, there are a number of different types of groups that may be offered within PHP, though the following are those that are most often included in individuals’ treatment plans:

12-Step groups: The 12-Steps are widely used throughout addiction treatment centers and have helped numerous individuals defeat addictions to substances. Groups based on this philosophy are often included in partial hospitalization programs, allowing individuals to navigate the steps of recovery, while also helping them advance to the next phase of their journeys towards sobriety.

Gender-specific groups: Males and females often grapple with different types of concerns when in the throes of addiction and when they are working on their recovery as well. For this reason, PHPs frequently incorporate gender-specific groups so that the needs of each gender can be met.

Relapse prevention groups: The overarching goal of addiction treatment is to prevent relapse once sobriety has been achieved. As a means of upholding this goal, PHPs often supply relapse prevention groups so that individuals have the support they need to resist urges to begin using again, and so that they can develop the skills needed to abstain from substance use in the future.

Process groups: As stated, addictions are complex in nature. Given this fact, PHPs frequently feature process groups so that individuals receiving this type of treatment can discuss and work through their experiences and feelings in a supportive environment that is conducive to healing. These groups can help people persevere beyond troubling experiences and emotions that have otherwise prevented them from progressing in their recovery.

Stress management groups: Many individuals turn to the abuse of substances because they are unable to manage the stressors in their lives effectively. As a means of ensuring that individuals are armed with the skills needed to remain substance-free, PHPs frequently supply stress management groups so that the twists and turns of life can be handled without the use of drugs and/or alcohol.

Anger management groups: The process of withdrawal, stress, unresolved interpersonal relationships, and other such concerns can elicit feelings of anger and could compromise an individual’s efforts to refrain from substance use. Because of this, groups that focus on helping men, women, and young people manage their anger in healthier ways are often available through partial hospitalization programming.

Goal-setting groups: In an effort to make a person’s PHP experience forward-moving, goal-setting groups are often included in programming. These groups allow participants to examine where they are at in their recovery journeys, set goals for the present, and determine recovery goals for the future.

The above groups are a large part of what makes partial hospitalization programming such a beneficial option for care for those who are working towards living sober lives.

If you or someone you care about would like to learn more about PHP, how this level of care can assist you or your loved one in becoming sober once again, or how to be assessed for this type of treatment, please do not hesitate to reach out to a treatment center of your choosing that offers PHP to have your questions answered. Remember that it is important not to discount the benefits of step-down programming and to consider all treatment options available when looking to overcome a chemical dependency problem.

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