Addiction, the commonly used term for a substance use disorder, is a complex disease. In the early stages of addiction, it’s possible for a person to attempt recovery on their own, quitting the substance cold turkey and overcoming the behavioral patterns that led to addiction in the first place.
But in more entrenched cases of addiction, with more extreme substance use patterns, more extreme actions may be necessary – such as a partial hospitalization program (PHP).
But what is a PHP and when is it the right move to treat addiction?
What Is a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)?
A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is an intense, temporary therapeutic exercise for patients who need help with an addiction – but who don’t need 24-hour care. Generally, a patient in a PHP will stay in a hospital during the day, without staying overnight, and won’t be in the hospital for more than 20 hours in a given week.
During the PHP, nurses, physicians, and other clinical staff are available for medical supervision and a number of different treatment options. For example, they may oversee a medical detox or provide medication.
Toward the end of a PHP, nurses and other clinical staff members will work to assess the patient’s needs and put together a treatment plan.
When Is Partial Hospitalization the Right Move for Addiction?
Partial hospitalization is a more intensive approach to addiction recovery than simply quitting on your own, but it’s not as intense as an inpatient addiction recovery program, where patients are typically monitored throughout each day, seven days a week.
In many cases, a PHP is used as a form of treatment after inpatient addiction recovery as a kind of step down; the patient can still be periodically monitored in a clinical environment but doesn’t require constant monitoring or care.
A PHP may be recommended based on the following variables:
- Type of substance abuse problem. Some substances are more dangerous than others, because they’re more addictive, because withdrawal symptoms are more severe, or both. For example, in the most extreme cases, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be fatal. Opioid withdrawal symptoms, while not fatal, can be extreme, and the risk of relapse is incredibly high.
- Severity of substance abuse problem. You’ll also need to consider the severity of the substance abuse problem. If a person is detached from reality and unable to go more than a few hours without a substance, an inpatient treatment program may be the better option. If they’ve just started a new habit and they’re starting to show signs of physical tolerance, regular therapy sessions may be preferred.
- Addiction history. Clinicians will often consider the patient’s personal addiction history when deciding whether a PHP is the right move. Patients who have struggled with addiction and relapsed in the past may be more likely to be recommended for a PHP.
- Previous treatment approaches. It’s also important to consider previous treatment approaches and how they’ve worked in the past. People in an inpatient addiction recovery program are likely to be moved to a PHP as a second step in recovery.
- Mental health. The mental health and ongoing behavior patterns of the patient must also be considered. If a person seems to be a danger to themselves and others, a PHP may not be enough to provide them with adequate treatment. However, if they seem perfectly stable and in total control of their own behaviors, a PHP may not be necessary.
What Happens After a PHP?
A partial hospitalization program isn’t designed to completely eradicate addiction, nor is it the go-to treatment option for addiction. Instead, it’s meant to be one step on the journey to addiction recovery. During the PHP, you’ll work with clinical staff to put together a more robust, long-term treatment plan that includes:
- Classes. In classes, you’ll learn more about the nature of drug tolerance and addiction. You’ll learn how these substances function in your body and learn about the dangers of relapse. The more informed you are, the better decisions you’ll make in the future – and the greater your chances of recovery will be.
- Therapy sessions. Though not always the case, substance abuse and mental illness frequently co-occur. A person suffering from mental health afflictions will be more likely to seek out drugs they can use to cope with these afflictions, and the use of drugs themselves can lead to mental health problems. Accordingly, one of your best tools for long-term success will be engaging in regular therapy sessions.
- Group meetings. It’s also effective to attend regular group therapy sessions and other group meetings. Talking to people in a group gives you a chance to become a part of a community and disclose your feelings and struggles in a safe environment. It’s also a great opportunity to meet new friends who can help you stay accountable to your addiction recovery goals.
- New habits and behaviors. Clinical staff may also recommend new habits or behaviors as part of your ongoing addiction recovery. For example, they may recommend developing a new routine or finding new hobbies to stay active and engaged.
Additionally, after getting treatment in a PHP, it’s important to seek support. You can attend group therapy sessions to meet new people and lean on each other for help during recovery, but it’s also a good idea to reach out to friends, family members, and other loved ones for further support. Chances are, these people will be happy to step in and support you on your path to addiction recovery. They can help you find new activities and distractions to focus on, talk to you about your feelings throughout the process, and ultimately guide you to a better mental place.
Do you believe that you or a loved one is in need of a PHP? Or are you looking for another path to addiction recovery? Just Believe Recovery Center can provide you with all the help you need to make a safe, supported recovery. Contact us today for more information!