The Freedom Center

What are the Differences Between PHP and IOP Treatment?

How Do I Know Which Program Is Best?

Looking for the right kind of treatment as you get help might seem like hard work at first, as it is quite an important decision. Some people might not even be too sure of when or how to get help. There are a few things to keep in mind and that you can do when searching for the right program: how much time you have, your current needs, your financial condition, and your limitations. 

There are short length program options as well as longer alternatives. The shortest length programs you can find will last at least 30 days and are considered short-term residential treatments – these would be the ones including therapy and/or counseling, not just the detoxification process since that would not be actual treatment. The long-term options can go from 90 to even 200 days, depending on the service setting and the severity of the addiction of the patient. 

Another thing to consider is your financial condition. There are many ways to pay for treatment. Insurance is required to cover mental and behavioral health services since those are classified as essential health benefits. You can also find out if you qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, which covers specific services. If you can’t count on any of those choices, however, this does not mean you’re out of options. Most programs offer payment plans or allow for credit card payment. Additionally, there are grants and loans offered by institutions, as well as crowdfunding. 

This brings us to our next, most important point: service setting. This aspect of the program tends to be influenced by the patient’s lifestyle and limitations, such as diagnosis, the step of the process they are in, day-to-day factors, lifestyle, need to work, study, or take care of family members, etc. Usually, the options fall under two categories: inpatient and outpatient. These define whether or not the patient would have to stay in the facilities intermittently or continuously. 

People who are going through an intense addiction or that are too much of a risk to others or themselves are often recommended residential treatment. Once that is complete, some might not feel ready to go back out there and start their lives from scratch yet, feeling they need to gradually transition into it. Some, however, might not even qualify for or need inpatient treatment. Whichever might be the case, there are other options for outpatient treatment for them, such as IOP and PHP.

What is IOP?

IOP stands for Intensive Outpatient Program, and it is one kind of outpatient treatment available for recovering addicts. This means that the program works by giving patients medical and psychological help while not making them stay in the facility overnight or all day. In this program, patients only need to go to rehab or a hospital of their choice for treatment sessions, such as counseling, therapy, relapse prevention skills, and any additional services provided that the patient might be recommended to or choose to be a part of. 

IOP treatment is recommended for people that have gone through the acute stage of withdrawal and do not require round-the-clock monitoring. It is also recommended for those that do not meet the diagnostic criteria for inpatient treatment, and that only suffer from moderate to mild addiction. Unlike inpatient treatment, it requires only a few, short visits a week – the least amount of visits and hours possible, at least in the beginning, are usually nine hours a week, divided into three sessions. 

The number of sessions and hours are adaptable, as they are decided based on the diagnosis of the patient, and will change as the patient improves and progresses. However, because the treatment is not continuous like it is in the inpatient program, IOP tends to take longer than inpatient treatment to be completed. Nonetheless, this in no way alters the effectiveness of the program, and there have been multiple studies proving that they are equally successful when correctly prescribed and followed.

This program is the preferred choice among many who want to start getting back to their usual routine since patients can stay in their own homes and would have more free hours in their day. However, in order to pick this option, it is important, to be honest with yourself about what you need medically and psychologically, and just how much you can handle

 If by any chance, the environment you are in would trigger cravings or expose you to situations where you might turn to substance abuse, IOP is not the best outpatient option for you. If arranging transportation to go back to the facilities for your sessions is also a problem, that can make recovery very difficult to be successful.

Apart from individual therapy and counseling, IOP treatment is also comprised of other methods to ensure full recovery from addiction. Group activities such as group sessions can be of great help as a former addict gets support from people going through the same changes as them. This would help prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation, and can also help a patient better understand themselves and their process through other people’s advice, experiences, and insights. 

What is PHP? 

PHP is an abbreviation for Partial Hospitalization Program. While it might seem similar to IOP treatment, there are key differences that make this treatment program not only distinctive from what IOP is but more fitting for some. The PHP treatment is a bit more demanding than the IOP treatment, requiring more visits and sessions a week, making its intensity almost similar to that of residential recovery programs.

PHP might require an average of 5 visits a week, and sessions might go from 4 to as long as 8 hours on average, depending on the needs of the patient. Essentially, PHP could be described as the perfect next step for anyone who has just left rehab or residential treatment but doesn’t feel “stable” yet.

The reason why some select the PHP over IOP is that it can make them feel safer in their transition to their routine again. As expected, going into this stage of treatment can expose a recovering addict to opportunities to fall back into their old habits. This way, while the process might take longer, the patient can feel more up to their usual tasks with time and make a safer transition, avoiding relapse. 

A PHP is also more recommended for people who might still need some detoxification services, especially if they still must take medication to do so, which often requires a more hands-on approach by the staff. While you can go through detox on IOP, PHP allows for better tracking of progress and control over any changes. However, if the withdrawal symptoms are too extreme for routine activities or for a patient to be safe to stay on their own, the PHP treatment is not the best choice, and they might qualify for residential treatment.

Going for PHP instead of IOP should not be seen as a sign of weakness or that you are going “too slow”. Each body processes substance abuse in different ways, and many factors dictate which kind of treatment is best, such as level of addiction, family history, other psychiatric conditions, lifestyle, and much more.

Rushing through it won’t make it more effective, either. PHP is the ideal choice for those who have a higher chance of relapsing, people who had severe episodes of addiction and/or overdose, those who are still unsure about their cravings, and more importantly, anyone who wants feels that PHP is safer and is more comfortable with it.

Like IOP treatment, PHP can also be paired with other activities besides medical and psychiatric attention so as to better guarantee that the program will be successful, which is in fact highly recommended. As patients seem to be at a vulnerable stage of their transition, every option available to help improve mental and even physical health should be considered, and that goes beyond therapy sessions. 

Why Do More Than Therapy?

The bare minimum that is required for true recovery is detox, medical treatment, therapy, and counseling. We understand now that detoxification alone won’t be enough to prevent relapse. If 40-60% of drug addicts that have gone through this amount of treatment tend to relapse on some level, not getting the minimal treatment post-detox can make those chances even higher. So if there was more that you could do to increase your chances of never going back to addiction again, wouldn’t you want to at least know what you can be done? Additional care can be seen as tools or methods for better recovery.

One of the most popular activities for treatment is group therapy, or versions of it (AA meetings, 12-step programs, etc). These activities are a great way to better understand your own process as you hear people’s experiences and insights – people that are going through the same thing, but that might show you a new point of view.

This also gives you the opportunity to get advice, give advice, and to rebuild a social circle that includes people who need to stay sober. More importantly, group activities can cease feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, or that you are the only person who understands you, all of which can make recovery harder.

There are improvements one can make to also feel better physically, which in turn, can improve the metabolism, the nervous system, chemical imbalances, and other aspects of physical health that affect mental quality. Exercising, healthy nutrition plans, meditation, yoga – these are just examples of ways you can align the mind and the body in order to feel good and to want to keep on getting better.

And finally, an additional point to recovery and to get better is to set goals for yourself and go after them, and not just addiction-wise. Lessons on vocational skills and coaching can help you better organize your objectives, understand what needs to be done to get to where you want, and see the improvements you want for yourself in your personal and professional lives as well. Feelings of progress generate personal satisfaction and help you get your life back on track.

We Offer Both At The Freedom Center

Different cases require different approaches and treatments, and it is with that in mind that we at The Freedom Center prepared programs suited for a number of needs. Even though each service setting has its own plan and steps to be followed, we made them in such a way that they will work with all the necessary tools not just for detoxing, but for quitting altogether.

IOP treatment and PHP treatment are both meant to help anyone who needs to adapt to a new lifestyle after quitting, and while that can be hard, doing it with the proper support will be much better than doing it alone. 

It is important to understand that getting treatment is not just going through the detox phase. To fully recover, one must get both psychological as well as medical support and attention to lessen their chances of relapse. As mentioned, cognitive therapy, group sessions, and proper counseling are all needed parts of the whole process and should be thought of as a minimum requirement for addiction treatment.

In addition to the needed medical and psychiatric support, The Freedom Center also offers services to help treat the mind and the soul. Professionals can help with nutrition and exercise programs that also include group activities, holistic treatments such as experiential therapy, and even legal support for case management or any other trouble are some of the services we can provide at our facilities along with both the IOP or the PHP recovery program.

Get the help you need and deserve to leave addiction behind for good. Visit our website or call (888) 530-5023 to find out more about all our options. We can answer all the questions you might have. Our team is more than prepared to help you and welcome you to our facilities, and into the new phase of your drug-free life. 


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