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Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Doctor talks about treatment plan with patient in hallwayPartial hospitalization or day treatment programs (PHPs) play a vital role in drug and alcohol abuse treatment. Within the continuum of care, these programs often fall between inpatient and outpatient treatment. Many people enter a PHP after inpatient, and it is used as a “step down” in the level of services. 3

More severe substance use disorders may necessitate a partial hospitalization program. In a PHP, a person receives a high level of care in a hospital or clinic 4-8 hours a day for at least 5 days a week while they are still living at home. 1,2 This is helpful if they do not want to pay for inpatient treatment, but require regular medical supervision and a great deal of therapy.

You may be a good fit for a PHP if meet the following criteria:

  • Stable enough to sleep at home overnight
  • Safe and not at risk for harming yourself or others
  • Not experiencing any severe mental illness or psychiatric complications

Call us today at 1-888-968-9816 Who Answers? to speak to one of our treatment advisors. We are available 24/7 to help you find the best care possible.


Partial hospitalization drug and alcohol rehabs focus on individual and group counseling. Medical services are included, if necessary. 3 Many programs require you to detox before you begin a PHP, but some may help with tapering or withdrawal if you do not have serious symptoms.

PHP programs are tailored to your specific situation so that you get the most out of your program. You work with a team of providers, including a psychiatrist, nurse, social worker, and therapist.

During your PHP program you may participate in any of the following:

  • Group therapy: This is a form of counseling that is effective in treating substance use disorders. Sessions typically involve a therapist or trained facilitator leading a therapy session with group of people struggling with similar addictions. Topics might include addiction education, anger management, relapse prevention, and coping skills.
  • Individual therapy: Depending on your needs, working with a therapist can be pivotal in helping you overcome an addiction. By spending time with a therapist once or twice a week, you will be able to better identify what your triggers are for using drugs or alcohol. It is often recommended that you see a therapist even after you have completed treatment.
  • Family therapy: Addiction is often thought of as a family disease because it affects the user and their family. If you have loved ones who have been affected by your struggles with drugs or alcohol, family therapy can help them learn how to set healthy boundaries, resolve conflict with you, and communicate more effectively.
  • 12-step programs: Twelve-step programs are free and provide support to anyone who is going through recovery. These programs use a spiritual approach that relies on a higher power. However, members of 12-step programs can define a higher power in whatever way they choose.
  • Non-12-step programs: There are alternatives to the 12-step model available such as Women for Sobriety, SMART Recovery, Secular Organizations for Sobriety, LifeRing Secular Recovery, and Celebrate Recovery. These programs emphasize self-empowerment and evidence-based treatment practices.
  • Medical care and medications: If it is deemed medically necessary, your doctor may prescribe medications during your treatment to help with withdrawal symptoms or cravings. Since PHP treatment takes place in a hospital setting, medical care and medication management are readily available.
  • Alternative therapies (yoga, meditation, art and music therapy): Many people find that yoga and mindfulness-based therapies help them connect with their bodies and manage triggers to use.

People find treatment beneficial because it is a time when you can slow down, safely stop using drugs, and figure out what you want out of your life. Addiction is a chronic condition, and it can harm not only your health, but your family, work, school, and other important aspects of your life. In a partial hospitalization drug and alcohol rehab, you will be provided with a structured environment where you can focus solely on your recovery.

Cost and Paying

A doctor calculates the cost of partial hospitalizationBecause PHPs are a step down in intensity from inpatient treatment, they may be more affordable than residential treatment. But they are usually more expensive than other outpatient programs because of the level of services and care.

When it comes to covering the cost of rehab, there are many ways to make it work. Before you enter a program, you can ask questions about cost, insurance, and payment structure so you can make sure you can afford it.

Some insurance plans will cover the cost of partial hospitalization substance abuse treatment. Check with your insurance company or call us today at 1-888-968-9816 Who Answers? , and we can help you figure out your options.

In addition, here are some questions you can ask before enrolling:

  • What type of insurance do you take?
  • How much do your programs cost?
  • Do you offer payment plans or sliding scale fees?

If you are having trouble covering the cost of treatment, there are other options that you can look into. You might have to get creative, but there are many resources out there that can help you get the care you need. For example, you can:

  • Apply for a scholarship through SAMHSA or a treatment center.
  • Borrow money from family or friends.
  • Take out a health care loan.
  • Crowdfund.

Many people seeking treatment qualify for public insurance such as Medicaid or Medicare, but they do not know they are eligible. These programs may cover PHPs. Plans offered through the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) might also offer coverage.

Partial Hospitalization vs. Intensive Outpatient

The main difference between these programs is the level and frequency of care. Even though both programs provide more robust services than standard outpatient care, a partial hospitalization substance abuse treatment program usually offers care on more days of the week for more hours at a time. Patients who attend day treatment programs are usually recovering from more severe addictions and may have medical conditions that require daily supervision.

Partial hospitalization programs also provide medical services, including detox in some cases, while intensive outpatient programs are less likely to offer these services. Both programs may prescribe and manage medications.

If you are interested in a learning more about day treatment programs, give us a call today at 1-888-968-9816 Who Answers? to speak to a treatment support specialist. They can help you walk through the process of finding and entering a program that will fit your needs.


  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2008). What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide.
  3. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Treatment Settings.