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Inpatient Rehab vs Partial Hospitalization: Making the Right Choice for You

- 7 sections

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Choosing to get help for addiction is a major step toward regaining control over your life. When it comes to choosing a treatment program, you’ll have many options to choose from. Two of the highest levels of care are inpatient rehab and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs). Each program is unique regarding the structure and services offered, so it’s essential to evaluate your needs and understand each type of program so you can choose the right one for you.

What is Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient rehab, or residential treatment, provides clients with around-the-clock care and support. Clients are required to live at the facility in supervised, structured housing throughout their treatment program. Most people spend less than 30 days in residential treatment before transitioning to a lower level of care, such as PHP or IOP. However, some long-term residential programs last six months or longer.

The structured setting is designed to minimize distractions and triggers that could potentially hinder recovery. It provides a safe and supportive space where individuals can focus entirely on their recovery journey.

One of the key advantages of inpatient rehab is the continuous support and care available around the clock. Trained professionals, including medical staff, counselors, and support personnel, are present to address the needs of individuals at any time. This immediate availability of support can be crucial, especially during the initial stages of recovery.

Inpatient rehab programs typically offer a wide range of therapeutic interventions. These can include individual therapy, group counseling, behavioral therapies, holistic approaches (such as yoga or meditation), and sometimes specialized treatments based on specific needs (like dual diagnosis for co-occurring mental health disorders).

What is a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)?

A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is a structured outpatient program where individuals attend all-day treatment 5-7 days a week. During PHP clients receive the same services they do during inpatient rehab, but they can return home or to their sober living program at the end of the day.

PHP offers a balance between intensive treatment and the flexibility of returning home or to a sober living environment at the end of each day. This structure allows individuals to receive comprehensive care while still being involved in their daily lives, which can include family responsibilities, work, or community engagements.

Similar to inpatient rehab, PHPs provide a comprehensive array of services, including therapy sessions, counseling, psychiatric care, medication management, and various evidence-based treatments. These services are often tailored to the specific needs of each participant and may cover addiction education, coping skills development, and relapse prevention strategies.

What is the Difference Between Inpatient Rehab and PHP?

The main difference between inpatient rehab and a partial hospitalization program is that inpatient programs involve hospitalization, while PHPs do not require admission to a residential setting.

In most cases, partial hospitalization programs are cheaper than inpatient programs because you live at home or in a sober living and aren’t responsible for costs associated with room and board. Some PHPs offer on-site housing with some level of supervision, however, they are still cheaper than residential programs that are far more structured.

When it comes to the therapy and services provided, both inpatient rehab and PHP offer comprehensive, all-day care for individuals struggling with addiction and/or mental health conditions.

Who Needs Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient rehab programs provide intensive, structured care with 24-hour support. This type of treatment is best for those with severe substance use disorders because they typically require a higher level of care than an outpatient setting can provide.

Inpatient rehab is also ideal for those with co-occurring disorders as well as those who don’t have a safe, supportive living environment. With intensive therapy and residential care, inpatient rehab programs can help individuals overcome these obstacles and develop the coping skills they need to stay sober.

After finishing inpatient rehab, most people step down to a PHP or IOP so they can transition back to daily life while having ongoing support.

Who Needs PHP?

Partial hospitalization programs are ideal for those who require more intensive care than an IOP or OP can offer but who do not need 24-hour supervision. PHPs still offer a highly structured environment but without the commitment of living at the facility. PHPs can provide comprehensive, individualized treatment for those struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions.

PHPs often serve as a transitional phase for individuals who have completed inpatient rehab or those who require more structured support than what outpatient programs offer. They provide a middle ground between the intensive, 24/7 care of residential treatment and the more flexible scheduling of outpatient programs, ensuring a smoother transition toward greater independence.

How to Tell if PHP or Inpatient Rehab is Right for You

For those with severe substance abuse issues or a long history of addiction, inpatient rehab provides round-the-clock support and a controlled environment crucial for initial stabilization. Additionally, individuals requiring specialized medical care, detoxification, or dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders often find inpatient rehab more suitable due to the constant supervision and available medical support.

For individuals with a moderate level of addiction who are medically stable and do not require constant supervision, a PHP can offer intensive treatment while allowing for the flexibility of returning home. If someone has a stable and supportive home environment or access to a sober living program where they can continue their recovery outside of treatment hours, PHP can be an effective choice.

In the end, it’s important to consult with an addiction specialist before choosing an addiction treatment program. They can conduct an initial assessment, evaluating your situation and recommending the right level of care for you.

Find Help Today

If you or a loved one are ready to begin your recovery, our team at Carolina Center for Recovery is here to help. Our admissions line is open 24 hours a day, and a team member is available to help you choose between inpatient rehab, PHP, and other levels of care to make the right decision for you. Please contact us today to get started.