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Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)

If you or a loved one is seeking an outpatient treatment program to handle mild to moderate drug addiction, you may want to consider partial hospitalization. Sometimes called “day treatment,” Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) offer the same structure, care, and resources as a residential rehab program without the overnight stay.

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What Does a Partial Hospitalization Program Involve?

Partial Hospitalization Programs are a type of outpatient rehab option for those struggling with drug addiction and substance use disorder. PHP provides short-term stabilization and health services to help individuals recover from previous substance abuse.

Partial hospitalization programs can take place at hospitals or standalone medical centers. However, unlike a standard hospital stay, the patient can leave the facility after each day’s treatment.

The level of care offered at a PHP is considered a step down from inpatient treatment but provides more structure than other outpatient care options, such as intensive outpatient programs (IOP).

In a PHP, patients have access to the same healthcare treatment team as those in inpatient care without a lengthy time commitment. In some ways, partial hospitalization can offer the best of both worlds.

What Is Included With Partial Hospitalization Care?

In many ways, partial hospitalization programs mirror many of the offerings of inpatient or residential rehab:

  • Mental health treatment
  • Detoxification services
  • Health monitoring
  • Daily structure
  • Individual therapy sessions
  • Group therapy sessions
  • Life skills education
  • Aftercare resources and support

Psychotherapy (or “talk therapy”) is an evidence-based type of psychiatry approach used in most addiction rehab programs. Psychotherapy helps many patients learn better ways of coping and dealing with stress outside of substance abuse.

Some of the most common therapy offerings in a partial hospitalization program include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): Helps the patient identify destructive or harmful thought patterns to establish positive coping skills and habits over time.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT): Aimed at helping the patient come to terms with their circumstances, DBT also supports the patient in establishing better habits and thought patterns by directly challenging negative thought patterns and beliefs
  • Group therapy: Group therapy sessions usually occur in groups of 8-15 and are led by a psychiatrist or other mental health professional. During group therapy, participants are encouraged to share their experiences and progress, creating a powerful support system and helping patients feel less isolated during their recovery.
  • Family counseling: Sometimes, meetings with family members are part of the therapeutic approach of a PHP. Family sessions may come in the form of family education (teaching them about the disease of addiction) or as family therapy sessions led by a therapist to help repair the family dynamic.

In addition to these therapies, a partial hospitalization program will offer medication management when applicable.

A PHP will also offer snacks and meals when applicable for patients with treatment plans that require lengthier daily visits.

PHP Admissions and Exclusions

Admission to a PHP is possible for recovering addicts with less severe addictions or those unable to make the full commitment to inpatient rehab.

A PHP will also admit patients who have completed a residential or inpatient program and are looking for the next transitional step in their recovery journey.

Patients who require serious or intensive care, particularly during withdrawals, are sometimes not eligible for a partial hospitalization program at first. Patients who require 24-hour medical treatment and access to life support are better served through inpatient hospitalization.

Sometimes, patients transfer from acute care in an inpatient setting to partial hospitalization, sometimes called a “step down.”

Is Partial Hospitalization Right for Me Or My Loved One?

When looking at the different rehab options for yourself or a loved one, there are many to choose from—so what makes PHP ideal for some recovering addicts?

Here are some points to consider when deciding whether a partial hospitalization program is the right choice for you:

  1. Medical support: In many cases, PHP is recommended for recovering addicts with co-occurring disorders or mental health concerns (such as mood disorders) that can impact their addiction recovery. With access to clinicians and other medical staff, you can receive the supportive care and treatment needed to manage mental illness alongside addiction recovery.
  2. Time commitment: Inpatient programs offer the most structure but are only sometimes feasible due to their time requirements. Constraints around daily life, such as employment, childcare, or finances, could make inpatient care impossible. However, a PHP can provide much of the same treatment you’d find in an inpatient rehab program without the same level of commitment.
  3. Addiction severity: A PHP might be a good step for an individual without any previous history of substance abuse or someone with a mild to moderate addiction. However, someone with a more severe addiction or recurring relapse may need the additional structure and more intensive treatment of an inpatient setting.
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How Long Does a PHP Last?

A partial hospitalization program requires roughly 20 hours weekly for up to 7 days per week, depending on your treatment goals and overall recovery plan. Treatment through a PHP will usually last between 2 to 4 weeks.

The extent of your stay will depend on advice from your physician or the addiction professional overseeing your recovery treatment plan. Length of stay can also be impacted by insurance coverage.

However, a PHP is not always the final step in drug rehab. Many individuals move onward to Intensive Outpatient Programs as the next step in recovering from their addiction.

Find the Right PHP for Yourself or a Loved One

If it sounds like a partial hospitalization program is the right type of rehab for yourself or a loved one, you can find one near you using the SAMHSA online treatment locator. You can also speak with someone confidentially via SAMHSA’s 24-hour helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

Additionally, many people don’t realize they can also ask their doctor for a referral to any addiction recovery service. Your doctor can also help you assess your level of addiction and any other pre-existing health conditions to determine what kind of treatment option would be right for you.

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Partial Hospitalization Program FAQs

How much does PHP rehab cost?

The cost of a partial hospitalization program will vary between rehab facilities. However, there are some additional factors that will also impact the overall price.

Factors that can increase the price of a PHP can include:

  • Amenities and additional offerings, such as spa treatments, horseback riding, etc.
  • Sought-after location, such as beachfront property or mountainous scenery
  • Longer stays will naturally incur a larger cost

However, health insurance can sometimes lower overall pricing depending on what your individual provider will cover.

Will insurance cover the cost of a partial hospitalization program?

In many cases, insurance plans (including Medicare) offer some type of coverage for addiction recovery, including PHP. Speak with your individual insurance provider to confirm what type of coverage they offer for addiction recovery outpatient services.

How can I avoid a relapse after a PHP?

After PHP, many people keep attending 12-step meetings, individual therapy sessions, and/or support groups in the recovery community.

While sometimes relapse is part of overall recovery, it doesn’t mean the treatment has failed.

However, investing in aftercare strategies—like finding community support or practicing positive behavioral health habits (e.g., mindfulness)—can go a long way in helping you stay sober long after your PHP ends.

How long does a PHP last?

Depending on your individual treatment plan, an average PHP lasts 8 hours a day with a range of 3-12 hours, depending on your unique needs. A PHP can take place up to 7 days a week.

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. is a founder of Addiction HelpReviewed by:Kent S. Hoffman, D.O.

Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. has been an expert in addiction medicine for more than 15 years. In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM). Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction. Dr. Hoffman is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of and ensures the website’s medical content and messaging quality.

Jessica Miller is the Content Manager of Addiction HelpWritten by:

Editorial Director

Jessica Miller is the Editorial Director of Addiction Help. Jessica graduated from the University of South Florida (USF) with an English degree and combines her writing expertise and passion for helping others to deliver reliable information to those impacted by addiction. Informed by her personal journey to recovery and support of loved ones in sobriety, Jessica's empathetic and authentic approach resonates deeply with the Addiction Help community.

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  5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2014, January). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). National Institutes of Health.

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