Healing from addiction doesn’t happen overnight. Even after completing a residential treatment program, most people need ongoing support as they continue to work on their sobriety. Transitioning back into daily life comes with new responsibilities, stressors and temptations that could trigger a relapse, but enrolling in day treatment is a way to navigate these challenges without losing sight of your recovery. 

At NorthStar Transitions, we offer day treatment for clients who are transitioning out of a higher level of care or need a quality treatment program that accommodates their needs, budget and schedule. By delivering addiction and mental health treatment in a flexible setting, day treatment is an effective solution that lets you focus on your sobriety and balance your recovery goals with the responsibilities of daily life.


Day treatment, also called a partial hospitalization program (or PHP), is a form of drug and alcohol treatment that is more flexible than residential care and gives clients the freedom to work or go to school and live on their own while in recovery. This provides the opportunity to practice coping skills and strategies for staying sober in everyday life, but with the ongoing safety and support of a structured treatment program that provides guidance when it’s needed most. Early recovery is a challenging time, and transitioning back into daily living can cause feelings of stress, fear and uncertainty — in NorthStar Transitions’ day treatment program, clients can continue to feel supported without sacrificing their independence and explore new challenges, opportunities and interests knowing that we’ve got their back. The purpose of day treatment is to help clients gradually transition out of an intensive residential treatment environment into a less structured level of care, preparing them for sober life in the real world.


Day treatment is less structured than residential treatment but more structured than an intensive outpatient program (or IOP). It can act as a stepping stone between these levels of care and help clients transition slowly back into their daily lives, but it can also be a good starting point for those who have recently relapsed or don’t need to attend an intensive residential program.

PHPs utilize many of the same modalities and therapeutic tools as higher levels of care, but without the cost or inconvenience of living on-site through the duration of the program. While each client is different and the right program will depend on their needs, experiences and history, day treatment is often recommended for those who:

  • Are ready to transition out of residential treatment
  • Don’t meet the diagnostic requirement for inpatient care
  • Have recently relapsed and need a tune-up
  • Want to practice new recovery skills in a structured, supportive environment
  • Are self-motivated and ready to take charge of their sobriety
  • Live in a stable, recovery-oriented home
  • Need a more flexible treatment schedule
  • Don’t require 24/7 monitoring at a live-in facility

At NorthStar Transitions, our experienced team of therapists and addiction specialists can help clients determine whether day treatment, or a different level of care, is right for them. We consider a number of factors, including substance abuse history, treatment goals, mental health needs, risk of relapse, home environment and more, to help clients and their families make an informed, responsible decision. Our goal is to give each client the best chance to achieve long-term sobriety, and that begins with finding a program that works for them.


Just as the name implies, clients in a day treatment program are engaged in therapeutic activities during the day, but are not living onsite. Clients in this level of care are living at home or in another sober living facility.

Day treatment typically lasts for two to four weeks, depending on each client's needs and medical necessity. Standard day treatment hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Programming is offered in-person or virtual, and clients may take a hybrid approach. If they are attending group in-person, programming takes place at the NorthStar Transitions outpatient office in Boulder, Colorado.

In our day treatment program, clients participate in group therapy sessions focusing on psychoeducation, skill development, experiential learning and participation, and processing. They will receive a weekly one-on-one medical consultation to adjust and manage medication as well as individual case management. Other therapeutic activities are also scheduled and include life skills development and mindfulness techniques.

Most group sessions begin with a daily check-in and the introduction of a topic, theme or activity by the group facilitator, followed by a process group that fosters interpersonal relationships and allows participants to share what’s on their mind while providing support or encouragement to other group members. Clients participating both virtually and in-person will share space in one hybrid group.

While engaged in our PHP program, all clients are required to undergo drug and alcohol screening to monitor their continued sobriety. If relapse has occurred, it often signals that either a certain aspect of treatment isn’t working or a particular need hasn’t been addressed, and a treatment plan modification may be necessary to restore sobriety. Clients participating virtually will have access to offsite testing.

  • Two to four-week program
  • Runs Monday through Friday
  • Occurs from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Takes place at our outpatient office in Boulder, Colorado or virtually (or a hybrid combination of both)
  • Lunch provided if client is onsite

Offered Therapy

  • Group therapy
  • Individual case management
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Life Skills
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Mindfulness

Participate in Our Day Treatment Program

At NorthStar Transitions, we know how drug and alcohol use can negatively affect your life. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, we can help. Reach out today to find the support you need to achieve and maintain lifelong sobriety. You can get in touch by calling us at 866-407-2240 or completing our online contact form.

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