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Information on Partial Hospitalization Program for Substance Use

Last updated on: Tuesday, 17 October 2023
  • What You'll Learn

Whether you or your loved one is struggling with dangerous withdrawal symptoms, medical conditions, or other issues requiring medical support, partial hospitalization rehabs should be considered. It is ok to need that added medical help, especially during detox. Below, you can use the filter and find partial hospitalization programs in your state.

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List of Partial Hospitalization Programs by State

Here is access to our entire partial hospitalization program database. Please select a state. If you need help locating the right treatment for you, do not hesitate to contact one of our treatment specialists at 1-800-304-2219.


Type of Treatment

Partial hospitalization or PHP is a treatment process where a patient usually stays at a hospital no more than 20 hours per week. Typically, this is during the day, and patients do not stay overnight. Partial hospitalization programs provide a mix of outpatient care, individual counseling, and group counseling with medical services. The benefit of being at the hospital is access to nurses and doctors for any clinical care. For example, this could include medical detox or a form of withdrawal management.

Partial hospitalization is also used as a form of aftercare support when someone has completed inpatient drug rehabilitation. PHP would be considered a step-down program or the individual would attend a partial hospitalization program because they relapsed and need the help. There are various therapies offered through partial hospitalization, and the programs are usually tailored to the needs of the patient. PHP is also beneficial for someone who needs medical attention during detox, or they have not successfully completed detox and need medical help.

Partial hospitalization programs are similar to intensive outpatient programs, but there are some differences. For example, the main difference is the amount of time the person spends in the program. Partial hospitalization programs are usually 20 hours of programming per week, while an intensive outpatient program usually provides nine hours per week. Partial hospitalization programs are more likely to provide medical services, whereas intensive outpatient programs are less likely to offer these services.

Additionally, partial hospitalization programs offer at least five days of treatment each week but may even provide up to seven days per week. Overall, the program’s length varies based on individual needs, but the typical amount of time someone spends in a PHP is 14 to 21 days. Some of the service components include individual therapy, group therapy, family meetings, medical services, drug screening, employment, and education assistance.

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The Benefit of Partial Hospitalization and Preventing Overdose

Partial hospitalization programs have many benefits and offer identical resources to most residential treatment. The benefits are in the recovery process and helping people who may fear relapse while preventing overdose. The process of leaving a residential rehabilitation center is not easy for some people if they do not have any aftercare available. Unfortunately, there is still a risk of relapse and an increased risk of overdose. Partial hospitalization offers extra support for someone who may have relapsed or is in fear of relapsing.

Overdose is responsible for countless deaths every year and is responsible for countless emergency room visits because of non-fatal overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control, drug overdose deaths in 2019 rose 4.6% to 70,980, including 50,042 opioid overdoses. Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2018, the data shows that every day 128 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.

The opioid crisis has been responsible for countless deaths across the United States. Per NIDA, roughly 21 to 29% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. Between 8 and 12% develop an opioid use disorder, and an estimated 4 to 6% who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin. Roughly 80% of people who use heroin first4 misused prescription opioids. However, among 38 states with prescription opioid overdose death data, 17 states saw a decline between 2017 and 2018. In 2018, more than 67,300 Americans died from a drug-involved overdose, which includes illicit drugs and prescription opioids.

Additionally, per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug overdose deaths rose from 38,329 in 2010 to 70,237 in 2017. In 2018, it decreased for the first time to over 67,300 deaths and then rose again in 2019. Partial hospitalization programs are excellent options to consider when making a transition back to society. If an addict struggles with chronic relapse before residential rehabilitation, they will benefit from follow-up treatment within a partial hospitalization program.

The Difference Between Inpatient, Partial Hospitalization, and Intensive Outpatient Programs

Inpatient or residential rehabilitation requires that the patient lives in a residential facility during treatment. Inpatient programs provide 24-hour care and support and offer lengthy rehabilitation. Partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs also provide in-depth treatment, but they are outpatient, and the patient does not live at the facility or center. The primary difference is the amount of time the patient spends in treatment.

Intensive outpatient programs are not time-consuming, which is why they are a popular option for someone who is still working. The program allows for a more variable time frame, making it easier for a person to schedule treatment around work and family life. For example, an intensive outpatient program may require the patient to spend two to four hours per day for three to five days per week. Partial hospitalization programs require the patient to spend four to six hours per day for three to five days per week.

Partial hospitalization programs are a step up from intensive outpatient programs and a step down from inpatient or residential treatment. Day programs like a PHP or IOP are effective as a step down from 30-day short-term residential rehabilitation programs. Also, partial hospitalization or even an intensive outpatient program is usually a more affordable option for someone when compared to residential rehabilitation.

According to a Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs Study: Assessing the Evidence, intensive outpatient programs, and even partial hospitalization programs are an important continuum of addiction care. The programs are effective as inpatient treatment for most individuals seeking rehabilitation.

Partial hospitalization programs provide an easy transition from inpatient to outpatient services and are ideal to transition from inpatient rehabilitation. PHP bridges the gap and provides effective aftercare, such as life skills training and sober living skills. Also, the affordability of a partial hospitalization program makes health insurance dollars go further.

Ask a Professional

  • What are partial hospitalization programs?

    A partial hospitalization program is a substance abuse treatment level of care that’s a step above outpatient but a step down from inpatient treatment. The patient sleeps at home in a partial hospitalization program, much like in an outpatient program. But they are there longer, and the schedule is more intensive than outpatient treatment. For example, partial hospitalization programs are scheduled for 5 to 7 days a week, whereas outpatient services are usually only a few days per week.

  • When is partial hospitalization appropriate?

    Partial hospitalization programs are appropriate when the patient doesn’t quite need the level of care provided by an inpatient program but may not find enough support from outpatient care. Partial hospitalization allows access to services that outpatient programs may not offer, such as medical care and detox management. If someone may need these services but doesn’t need 24-hour care to prevent relapse or manage symptoms, they may be a good candidate for partial hospitalization.

  • How does partial hospitalization work?

    A partial hospitalization program typically begins with an assessment, whether a person has completed residential treatment or is attending a PHP as a treatment option. Licensed clinicians do the assessment, and other treatment team members document the medical history and perform a physical. The assessment process helps develop an individualized treatment plan, which outlines goals for the person to meet while in treatment and discharge and relapse prevention. Most partial hospitalization programs operated from Monday to Friday on an outpatient basis.

    Many programs will drug test at the outset of the program and conduct random drug testing during the program. A significant benefit of partial hospitalization programs is medication-assisted treatment for severe withdrawal. Medical detox helps patients that are struggling with opioid addiction, severe alcoholism, and addiction involving prescription drugs. Detox is an essential part of treatment and cannot be avoided. Detoxification prepares the patient for further rehabilitation and counseling by treating the initial drug cravings.

    Partial hospitalization programs also employ several types of therapy, whether individually or as part of a group. The therapy is designed to help people commit to their treatment plan, change patterns of behavior, adjust maladaptive thoughts, build relapse prevention, and other recovery skills. More importantly, it improves the important areas of their lives, such as family relationships, social life, employment, and educational success.

    Some of the common therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps identify self-destructive behaviors and thinking patterns that influence addiction. The individual also learns how to recognize the people, places, and things that lead to them to use drugs and then learn how to better deal with them. Contingency management is also used, which is the process of giving rewards to patients when they complete certain goals, such as a negative drug test. The purpose of reward-based therapy is to help the patient reinforce recovery-oriented behaviors.

    Motivational enhancement therapy or motivational interviewing is also administered, which is used during individual therapy. The process is designed to help patients overcome their resistance to get clean and engage in treatment. The most recognized form of therapy is the 12-step approach, and PHP uses this therapy to introduce patients to 12-step programs. Group therapy is a significant part of treatment and provides patients with the opportunity to share their insights and learn from others’ experiences.

    Individual therapy is also important, and the sessions between patients and counselors provide opportunities for individuals to process their emotions in a healthy way. Family counseling is also offered to help family members and close friends that are affected by substance abuse. Some partial hospitalization programs offer fitness and nutrition therapy, such as recreational activities and nutritional education.

  • What happens after completing a partial hospitalization program?

    After completing partial hospitalization treatment, many patients step down to outpatient care. Often, patients begin treatment at the inpatient level of care and step down to partial hospitalization next, then eventually to outpatient treatment. This progression helps ensure they’re getting support while transitioning to independence in recovery. But in some cases, partial hospitalization may be the only level of care needed.

  • Are there alternatives to partial hospitalization programs?

    Alternatives to partial hospitalization programs are inpatient rehabilitation centers. The purpose of residential treatment is for the addict to live at the facility for a set time while attending daily counseling, therapy, and other aspects of residential treatment for the addiction. Residential rehabilitation is either long-term or short-term, and programs provide everything onsite to help the addict and their family.

    Long-term residential treatment typically lasts three to six months, whereas short-term programs last three to six weeks. Overall, rehabilitation is well-rounded and is helps treat the addiction from a physical, mental, and spiritual approach. Lengthier programs have the ability to provide more resources. Residential treatment centers also offer traditional and non-traditional approaches to treatment. For example, experiential therapy, nutritional therapy, or holistic rehabilitation are common non-traditional approaches.

    The treatment process with an inpatient treatment program is much of the same as a partial hospitalization program. The patient begins with an assessment, followed by detox, counseling or therapy, and aftercare support. Partial hospitalization programs are usually a step down from residential treatment, acting as aftercare support, and further relapse prevention.

  • Want to know more?

    The questions from Addicted.org’s “Learn from our Experts” are answered by Michael Leach, CCMA. If you need further clarification on any of the questions above or have any other questions you can contact him directly at mike@addicted.org.

Common Terminology Surrounding Partial Hospitalization Programs

Partial Hospitalization
PHPs or day programs provide intensive treatment for behavioral health issues without requiring the patient to stay overnight. Partial hospitalization programs tend to provide longer treatment than a standard outpatient center.
Inpatient Hospitalization
inpatient is similar to partial hospitalization, but the patient is staying overnight for the time they spend during treatment. Programs provide the same medical services and treatment methodologies as a partial hospitalization program.
Outpatient Treatment
outpatient help requires the patient to meet at the treatment center at a scheduled time during the week and then return home after therapy. The programs tend to have built-in accountability that requires the patient to report drug use. Also, random drug tests are done to ensure accountability.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment
IOPs are not as time-consuming as a partial hospitalization program and require fewer hours per week. However, intensive outpatient treatment provides more rehabilitation and counseling within a shorter time than a standard outpatient program.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
is a term that refers to someone that is suffering from a mental health disorder and a substance abuse problem at the same time. Partial hospitalization programs commonly treat dual diagnosis.




More Information

Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people. He is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist graduate with Honours of Stratford Career Institute. Marcel has also received a certificate from Harvard for completing a course entitled The Opioid Crisis in America and a certificate from The University of Adelaide for completing a course entitled AddictionX: Managing Addiction: A Framework for Succesful Treatment.



More Information

Michael Leach is a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, who has over 5 years of experience working in the field of addiction. He spent his career working under the board-certified Addictionologist Dr. Rohit Adi. His experience includes working with families during their loved one’s stay in treatment, helping those with substance abuse issues find treatment, and teaching life skills to patients in a recovery atmosphere. Though he has worked in many different areas of rehabilitation, the majority of his time was spent working one on one with patients who were actively withdrawing from drugs. Withdrawal and the fear of going through it is one biggest reason why an addict continues to use and can be the most difficult part of the rehabilitation process. His experience in the withdrawal atmosphere has taught him that regardless of what approach a person takes to get off drugs, there are always mental and emotional obstacles that need to be overcome. He believes having someone there to help a person through these obstacles can make all the difference during the withdrawal process.