Day Treatment (PHP) for Addiction Explained

Day treatment—or partial hospitalization program (PHP)—is designed for those that don’t need the care of an inpatient program, but need more structure and supervision than an outpatient program. PHPs typically offer services including individual therapy, group counseling sessions, access to medical care, and more. Patients usually go to the treatment center several days each week for a few hours each day. Because it is only partial hospitalization, patients commonly stay at home when not receiving treatment.Knowing what these programs entail, who they’re best for, and what they can offer you on your recovery journey can help you make a decision for you or a loved one battling addiction.

Who Is a PHP Best Suited For?

Day treatment is best for individuals who have already completed an inpatient program for their drug or alcohol abuse. The program is designed for those that do not need 24-hour medical supervision but do need more structure and support than what an outpatient program could offer. In general, individuals that fit these criteria would benefit from a PHP:

  • Need more support than what they would receive from an outpatient program
  • Have solid housing and transportation
  • Have problems within their school or workplace
  • Have a strong support system of family and friends
  • Need close medical supervision

How Long Does PHP Treatment Take?

Every person is different when it comes to their addiction and their recovery needs. You will find that each day treatment program approaches addiction recovery in a different manner, so doing research and finding the program that is right for you is critical. This means that your stay at a PHP may differ from the experiences of other people.Patients generally go to the treatment facility five days a week for four to six hours a day. After the treatment, they go home. The amount of time a patient does this depends entirely on the severity of their addiction and their needs in recovery.

What Services Does a PHP Offer?

A PHP can have a multitude of different services. To determine if the overall program and specific services can benefit the patient, the patient goes through an evaluation process. This helps the staff at the treatment center know what the individual needs to focus on during recovery and what services would be of use to them. From there, a recovery plan is designed to help the patient move forward.Services generally offered by PHPs include the following:


Some programs have specialized staff to supervise a medical detox for individuals suffering from mild to moderate addiction. This gives the patient a safe place to detox with the appropriate resources and medical care.

Individual Therapy

PHPs offer therapy sessions to help patients work one-on-one with a professional therapist or counselor that specializes in addiction. These meetings will help patients recognize the roots of their addiction, identify unhealthy habits and behaviors, and learn coping strategies and mechanisms for maintaining sobriety.

Group Counseling

Group sessions focus on one specific subject for the group to discuss. The session is facilitated by a trained and certified mental health professional. Sessions include a variety of topics that are beneficial to the group, allowing people to build off of each other and share their own personal stories. Subjects typically used in group therapy sessions include:

  • Life skills
  • Stress management
  • Recreational activities
  • Family education and therapy
  • Relapse prevention
  • Coping skills
  • Team building
Access to Medical Services

While the patient is at the treatment facility, both certified nurses and doctors are available to give the proper medication and physical care required. This makes the environment safe and stress-reducing for the patients there.

Medication Administration

Oftentimes, medication is used to treat the underlying causes of addiction or co-occurring disorders. These can include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and more. Medications can help individuals manage their cravings, cope with triggers, block the rewarding aspects of drugs or alcohol, and decreasing withdrawal symptoms. The medical staff at the premises are in charge of prescribing dosage and administering the medication.

Holistic Treatments

A number of treatment centers today are using holistic therapy methods, also known as experiential therapy, to treat addiction. These look at the whole person and seek to connect the mind and body. Examples of these treatment methods include nutrition, fitness classes, meditation, yoga, art therapy, music therapy, and more.

Aftercare Planning

When the patient is nearing their discharge from a PHP program, an aftercare plan is made to help them stay on track in their recovery. The plan has an array of coping methods, relapse prevention strategies, and lists of support groups, sober living homes, and counselors in the area. The goal of this service is to help clients maintain their recovery and sobriety after they complete the program itself.

Day treatment centers, also known as partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), are a type of outpatient care that offers more structure and supervision than a general outpatient program. The program is best suited for those that have already completed an inpatient program and have a stable home life full of support for their recovery. The length of treatment differs depending on the individual, but typically patients go three to five times a week for a few hours. Generally, many services are available, such as detox, individual and group therapy, medical care, medication administration, holistic treatments, and aftercare planning. If you think a PHP is right for you, call Northstar Transitions at (303) 558-6400 for more information about their services. Your journey to recovery begins at Northstar.

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