Addiction is an intensely personal illness that affects people in different ways. For some, even though they are struggling with substance abuse, they are unable to attend residential rehab for a variety of reasons. Many people gain significant advantages from receiving addiction treatment on an outpatient basis, but how about someone with serious addiction issues?
Intensive outpatient therapy or a partial hospitalization program, are often recommended to people who require higher levels of care than a person with mild addiction. Both these services entail several hours of therapy every day, which contrasts with a standard outpatient program that generally offers short sessions three times each week.
Both IOPs and PHPs include the following components:
- Management of medications
- Individual and group counseling
- One-to-one therapy sessions
- Educational classes
- Complementary or holistic therapies
Individuals who are enrolled in either one of these programs are generally considered to be at low risk of severe or acute withdrawal, with the majority required to attend medically supervised detox beforehand. IOPs and PHPs are also offered as a form of intensive aftercare for people with severe addiction who have completed inpatient rehab and for those with co-existing physical or mental health disorders.
The Differences Between IOP and PHP Outpatient Programs
Intensive Outpatient Addiction Treatment Programs
Individuals in intensive outpatient therapy receive rehab treatment for drug or alcohol abuse on a part-time basis, albeit with an intensive schedule. Although the same level of time commitment as residential rehab is not required, there are still daily sessions lasting several hours which require full attendance at an intensive outpatient rehab center. People who have work or home obligations and responsibilities will still be able to meet them while receiving treatment. Nevertheless, they will have to make certain alterations to their daily schedule in order to commit themselves to treatment. Many people work with their employers to accommodate intensive outpatient programs or other forms of outpatient addiction treatment.
An intensive outpatient program is generally recommended for the following scenarios:
- For people seeking treatment who do not require supervised detox
- Immediately following successful detox
- As a form of aftercare for patients leaving residential rehab
Intensive outpatient therapy generally has a significant focus on group therapy which continues to support individuals in recovery, often for many years. Clients are usually assigned a therapist who will remain a supportive influence in sobriety, touching base at least once a week and couples and family counseling are also offered in intensive outpatient therapy.
The educational aspects of intensive outpatient addiction treatment include the following topics:
- Relapse prevention
- Managing cravings
- Introduction to 12 steps
- Understanding how substances affect the brain
- Awareness of post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)
Partial Hospitalization Outpatient Programs
PHPs were originally designed for people with mental health conditions although it is now widely offered by treatment centers for those with substance use disorder. Nevertheless, the focus of PHPs generally remains on dual-diagnosis patients who are dealing with addiction and a co-occurring mental illness.
An individual will enter a PHP immediately after completing detox or inpatient rehab. The daily schedule is the same as an intensive outpatient program, with several hours of sessions to attend every day of the week at an intensive outpatient rehab center. One of the main differences with a PHP is that clients are generally required to spend much more time under supervision than with other types of outpatient programs. Patients on PHPs have their psychiatric symptoms and use of medications monitored in a supervised environment to provide additional support in their early recovery.
As with IOPs, a PHP includes a significant amount of individual and group therapy, where people can learn how to deal with stressors and triggers for substance abuse. PHPs are sometimes referred to as day treatment as individuals spend most of the day at an intensive outpatient rehab center while being allowed to return home each night.
How Do You Know Which Program is Right for You?
It is unwise to make a choice as to which kind of rehab program is the best fit until your condition has been fully assessed by a physician. There is no “one size fits all” approach to treating substance abuse and each rehab center will have its own version of PHP or IOP on offer. Researching the area of addiction treatment provides the best way of understanding the options available to you when you have taken the significant step of reaching out for help.
A good rehab center always places the individual in central focus of care in order to devise the most effective programs. What works for one person, may not for another and so information gathering is always a good idea before choosing a treatment center and finding out more about the programs on offer. Ultimately, the objective of rehab should be to prepare individuals for long-term recovery and so it’s important to find a treatment program that supports and motivates in the most effective way for their specific needs.