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Understanding
Partial Hospitalization

If you are struggling with addiction and considering addiction treatment, you will likely find a wide range of treatment options. Addiction treatment programs range from residential programs to outpatient addiction treatment with various options in between. It can quickly become overwhelming when one begins the process of narrowing down all of the treatment options to find the best one that suits their needs. While inpatient residential care may be beneficial for some, it may not be necessary for everyone. In some cases, a partial hospitalization program (sometimes called day programs) may provide effective addiction treatment in a setting that does not require patients to remain at the addiction treatment facility. 

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What Exactly is Partial Hospitalization?

Partial hospitalization programs (also referred to as PHPs) provide those who are seeking addiction treatment the opportunity to receive intensive therapy without requiring an overnight stay. Many partial hospitalization programs offer addiction therapy options similar to those provided in the inpatient residential setting. Some of the most common include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Both of these therapy models are used to help someone struggling with addiction a safe space to address and examine the negative thought patterns that led to addiction while learning healthy ways to regulate emotion and develop new coping strategies to manage triggers. Like inpatient residential programs, some partial hospitalization programs provide individual, group, and family counseling along with alternative therapy options like music therapy or yoga. 

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What Are the Benefits of Partial Hospitalization?

Partial hospitalization programs provide intensive treatment similar to that found in a residential setting; however, patients can remain at home with family and loved ones throughout their treatment program. Partial hospitalization programs are often more demanding than traditional outpatient programs, generally requiring more sessions per week (again, similar to the expectations of residential treatment). Depending on your unique treatment needs, a partial hospitalization program may require an average of five, three-to-five-hour sessions each week. Partial hospitalization programs are excellent step-down options for someone who has recently completed addiction treatment in an inpatient setting yet does not feel “stable” without continued therapeutic support. Partial hospitalization programs provide an excellent bridge to transition from an inpatient care setting back to your day-to-day routine. 

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What to Expect at a Partial Hospitalization Program?

Before entering most partial hospitalization programs, it is essential that you complete detox. Some programs may also require you to complete treatment at a residential program. Still, prior treatment is not necessary for others, and a medical referral will suffice for admission. Because each partial hospitalization program is different, let the team at My Recovery help you determine if the program you are considering requires any of these additional steps. 

The first stage of a partial hospitalization program is often an intake process, which consists of an interview performed by one of the team members. Another part of the intake process is discussing your medical and mental health history with another member of the team. These components help the staff at the treatment center understand your treatment history and gain knowledge about any preexisting medical or emotional conditions that may need to be addressed or monitored during treatment. The information collected during the intake interview will help the treatment team develop a unique treatment plan which outlines goals for you to meet during treatment and defines the best treatment models to help you meet your treatment goals. 

Most partial hospitalization programs meet on weekdays (Monday-Friday) during the day. Some programs offer evening sessions to better accommodate the schedules of those with daytime employment or childcare responsibilities. Most programs utilize individual therapy sessions integrated into a plan of several group meetings. You should also expect drug and alcohol testing to be part of the procedure at a partial hospitalization program. At a residential program, the opportunities to stray from the treatment program are minimized by requiring patients to stay on-site during their treatment. At a partial hospitalization program, patients live at home and remain active members of their community during treatment. In some cases, this increases the chance of relapse. Most partial hospitalization programs also provide assistance with treatment medications such as methadone or buprenorphine. 

 

Partial hospitalization programs utilize several different therapies, both in individual and group settings. The goals of therapy are to help participants address and change maladaptive behaviors and thought patterns that led to addiction and ongoing substance use. Therapy also helps build relapse prevention and recovery skills, improve social functioning, heal damaged family relationships, and improve employment and education outcomes. Some common therapy models include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management, motivational interviewing, and the use of 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. 

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When searching for the best partial hospitalization program, there are several things you may want to look for or research before making a decision. First, consider the staff-to-patient ratio. A higher ratio means that addiction treatment staff will be able to provide increased levels of personalized attention and care. It is also a good idea to ensure the program is accredited and take a moment to read any online reviews. These reviews may provide insight into the program from those who have participated. One other important consideration is the type or types of treatment provided at the partial hospitalization program. Each program will offer a different approach to treatment, and all of the options may not be suitable for your unique treatment needs or goals. Some programs are heavily centered on the ideals of 12-step programs, whereas others may not have a more secular focus geared towards evidence-based treatment models. It is essential to choose a program that meets your needs as you are likely to be more comfortable with the treatment model and, therefore, more successful during treatment.

There are many different partial hospitalization programs across the United States, and there may be several in or close to your community. It can become challenging to research and learn about the differences and similarities of each program. The team at My Recovery has already done this research for you. Our working relationships with partial hospitalization programs throughout the United States can help ease the stress and challenges of selecting the best partial hospitalization program.  

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