May 23, 2019 Felicia Durling

How a Partial Hospitalization Program Could Help You Regain Control

More than 20 million Americans over the age of 12 reports suffering from a drug or alcohol substance abuse disorder or addiction. (And that’s not including tobacco.)

So you’re suffering from addiction and you want help, right? But your life is busy and complicated and someone has to be home at night to feed and bathe the kids…

That’s where a partial hospitalization program comes in. It has all the treatment of a rehab program with the flexibility that allows you to be there for the parts of your life that you can’t put on hold.

Read on to discover all you need to know about partial hospitalization programs.

What Is Addiction?

The first thing that’s important to know about addiction is that it’s not always a substance abuse problem. There is shopping addiction, gambling addiction, sex addiction, gaming addiction… You should pretty much know that if it’s out there then there’s probably someone addicted to it.

And addiction has to do with the brain.

Basically, addiction is a brain disease that manifests itself as a need to compulsively use a specific substance or engage in a specific behavior – despite harmful consequences. These consequences can be physical, emotional, mental, or involve damage to your relationships, job, etc.

Addiction negatively impacts the functioning of the brain and, oftentimes, the body.

People with an addiction or substance abuse problem use a certain substance (such as alcohol or drugs) or engage in a certain behavior to the point and with the obsessiveness that it takes over their lives. And despite those problems, they keep using that substance or engaging in that behavior.

Addiction has a variety of symptoms:

  • Severe loss of impulse control
  • Loss of self-control
  • Continued substance use despite serious consequences
  • An obsession with either getting and using the substance; or engaging in the behavior
  • Failed attempts to quit using
  • For substance addiction, an increase in tolerance that requires more of the substance to achieve a “high”
  • And withdrawal when away from the substance or behavior for too long

Through working with a healthcare professional, seeking out rehab facilities, and the support of friends, family, and other loved ones, addiction can be effectively treated. But the most important step in treating addiction is for the addict to make the decision every day to stay clean.

What Is a Partial Hospitalization Program?

A partial hospitalization program (also known as “intensive outpatient treatment”) is a treatment or rehab program that offers the patient more freedom than the traditional inpatient program.

How does it do this?

Well, for starters, patients still get to live at home, giving them the ability to remain engaged in their day-to-day lives while still focusing on recovery. And, secondly, a partial hospitalization program doesn’t take all day. It usually lasts between 6-8 hours per day and happens five or six days per week. Much like the typical work week.

A partial hospitalization program provides more structure than weekly counseling – making it a good balance between full-on inpatient treatment and just seeing a counselor once a week.

However, because patients don’t live in the hospital for the duration of the program they must show dedication and work hard to maintain what they’re learning and to stay clean.

How Do Partial Hospitalization Programs Work?

A partial hospitalization program is tailored to each individual’s needs, much like traditional rehab.

For starters, at the beginning of the program, you can expect a diagnostic interview and physical assessment when getting ready to enter the partial hospitalization program. You will also undergo drug and alcohol screening before you start so that your treatment team can develop a baseline and so that they know what they’re working with.

Then, you will be assigned a team and that team will work with you to develop a treatment and recovery plan based on your individual needs and goals. This will most likely include medication management, access to nursing services (if needed), recreational activities, and individual, group, and family therapy sessions.

Finally, when you’re ready for discharge your team will work with you to develop a discharge plan and relapse prevention plan to help you stay clean after the program.

Who Can Benefit From a Partial Hospitalization Program?

The great thing about a partial hospitalization program is that it addresses not just addiction but can be tailored to address a wide variety of needs. For example, addiction often goes hand-in-hand with mental health issues and your partial hospitalization program can be adjusted to address all of that.

If you are suffering from addiction or if you have a loved one suffering from addiction then a partial hospitalization program may be just the ticket to help you. Again, it takes dedication since you’re not being monitored 24/7 as in a traditional rehab program – but it can certainly work as a valid treatment option.

How to Enter a Partial Hospitalization Program

The first thing you need to do is get an assessment from a mental health professional to make sure that a partial hospitalization program (as opposed to another treatment option) is the right thing for you. This is absolutely not a decision you should make on your own.

You should also reach out to your health insurance provider to figure out what programs they cover. Without insurance, partial hospitalization programs can be expensive. So you’ll want to make sure that you’re working with a program that your insurance supports.

Finally, once you’ve settled all that, you’ll want to go to the treatment center and begin your diagnostic interview and physical exam.

Final Thoughts

Are you one of those 20 million Americans struggling with addiction? Are you looking for help? Or do you know someone struggling who needs help?

Now that you know all there is to know about what a partial hospitalization program is and how it works, are you wondering if it’s the right thing for you? Or are you ready to give it a try?

If either of those is the case then know that we’re here to help! Learn more about us and, once you have, feel free to reach out for help. We’re here for you.


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