Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) Los Angeles

What is a Partial Hospitalization Program?

Partial hospitalization programs, or PHPs, are a type of outpatient program for alcoholics and addicts in recovery. Of the different levels of care available among outpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs offer the most intensive care. For addicts who would prefer to avoid attending an inpatient or residential program, PHPs offer a degree of flexibility that allows an addict to follow a treatment plan in a structured environment while still living at home. PHPs generally take place in a hospital, clinic, or community mental health center. While many PHP patients go home to their own apartments or their families at the end of the day, others choose instead to enroll in a sober living home. Doing so can provide an additional degree of stability.

Because PHPs take place during the day without requiring patients to uproot themselves, it is an effective way for recovering addicts to generate stability in their lives while developing the tools they need to recover from addiction. PHPs can be a useful stopgap for recovering addicts who are transitioning from an intense residential program to a less structured outpatient program. Partial hospitalization is sometimes also recommended by medical professionals who believe a patient is in need of hospitalization but want to avoid full hospitalization because they think the patient would benefit from a consistent home life.

Levels of Care

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) are a great option for individuals who want the intensity and structure of an inpatient treatment program with the flexibility of an outpatient program. 

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) provide individuals with a thorough, daily regimen of group and individual therapy that newly sober individuals need in the first few months of recovery.

Outpatient treatment programs are an effective and very flexible kind of treatment program for individuals struggling with addiction, mental health and impulse control disorders.

Aftercare treatment programs are services that people who graduate from inpatient and outpatient programs are advised to make use of to facilitate long term sobriety after leaving treatment.

How Does a PHP Work?

Patients enrolled in a partial hospitalization program generally participate in treatment for most of the day – sometimes up to 8 hours a daily. In some ways, enrolling in a PHP can be like enrolling in college or getting a new full-time job. The difference is that your job is recovering from a substance use disorder.

 

The treatment modalities used depend on several factors, including the philosophy of the treatment program and the nature of the patient’s addiction and overall mental health. However, most treatment plans include some combination of the following:

During the initial assessment, a case manager will determine the unique needs of the patient. Patients with pressing physical ailments or experiencing acute withdrawal symptoms will be provided with proper medical treatment. The case manager will determine what substances the individual has issues with and to what extent they are dependent. The patient’s mental health will also be assessed. At this point, the case manager will develop a short term and long-term treatment plan for the patient.

Many patients enter partial hospitalization programs with untreated mental health disorders. After an initial assessment, a psychiatrist can prescribe medications to alleviate some of the symptoms. For many individuals, this might be the first time they’ve had any relief from depression or anxiety, which can come as quite a shock. Continued monitoring of the patient’s reactions to medications and overall mental health ensures the best possible outcome.

Individual therapy is a common fundamental aspect of most treatment plans. The most common kind is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT an evidence-based and goal-oriented therapy that counselors use to address and change patterns of thought and behavior. As such, it is uniquely beneficial to recovery from substance addiction and the development of coping skills. Individuals will learn to recognize common triggers and negative thought spirals so that they are free to choose healthier ways of responding.

Group therapy is a way for recovering individuals to work together to develop additional coping skills. Groups can be used for life skills training, learning meditation and mindfulness techniques, and learning specific relapse-prevention strategies. This is also a great opportunity for patients to begin building a sober support network that will continue to grow in the years to come.

Addiction and mental illness isn’t an individual problem. When it comes to addressing the underlying issues behind someone’s mental health or substance use disorder, it is often important to examine the structure of the family. Abusive or codependent dynamics can drive people to use. Increasing the levels of family support can also aid recovery. For many addicts, a healthy family life is one of the casualties of addiction, and seeing relationships with parents, siblings, and children improve can be one of recovery’s first and most encouraging victories.

In partial hospitalization programs, recovering addicts also work on developing life skills that may have been neglected during years or sometimes decades of active addiction. Financial planning workshops can help patients set a budget or create a plan to deal with burdensome debt. Interview training and resume building workshops can level the playing field somewhat when it comes to looking for a job. These skills are crucial, considering that one reason many recovering addicts relapse is the sense that they’ve already permanently damaged their chances of succeeding.

Even though the word “hospitalization” sounds serious, partial hospitalization programs are actually about learning to enjoy life. PHPs organize group outings so that addicts can see that it is possible to have fun and experience joy in sobriety. During active addiction, activities such as bowling, jumping on a trampoline, or going to a museum probably seemed unthinkably boring. This is because the endorphins that flood the brain when an addict uses drugs overpower any of the mood-boosting effects of normal activities, causing addicts to prioritize drug-seeking behavior above anything else. One of the greatest pleasures of being sober is rediscovering the small and more nuanced pleasures life has to offer.

As a patient progresses through the course of their partial hospitalization program, counselors and caseworkers help them develop a plan for continuing recovery once the PHP ends. For some, this might involve enrolling in an outpatient program with a less intensive level of care. For others, it could mean enrolling in a sober living home. Many recovering addicts use support groups and 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. These programs are available all over the world and offer a program of recovery and sober fellowship to help people remain sober decades after leaving their PHP.

The Benefits of a Partial Hospitalization Program

It Allows for a Flexible Schedule

One of the most important benefits of a PHP is that recovering individuals can still receive the level of care they need without abandoning other priorities and commitments. Patients with children and families can find it difficult to justify enrolling in a full-time residential program. Others would rather not give up their jobs to get sober. Every recovering individual has different needs. A program that respects these different needs is the one that is most likely to help the individual find lasting sobriety.

It's Great for Transitioning from a Residential Program

Research suggests that the longer a recovering addict follows a treatment plan, the lower their chances of relapse down the line. After completing a full-time residential program, however, many are at a loss about what to do next. For most addicts, an outpatient care plan is too unstructured a level of care this early on in their recovery. Finding a middle ground that allows the patient to receive intensive group therapy while also beginning to learn again how to live at home is very beneficial both to mental health and to behavioral health.

It's Affordable

Residential treatment programs tend to be somewhat more expensive, given that the programs give residents a place to sleep at night and offer more intensive services. Partial hospitalization programs offer highly individualized care with a slightly lower price tag. Whether the patient is paying out of pocket or using insurance, enrolling in a PHP is far less likely to break the bank.

PHP for Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders

Enrolling in a partial hospitalization program is a particularly good idea for those who have a mental health disorder in addition to a substance abuse problem. While it is indeed possible to recover from drug and alcohol addiction alone without enrolling in an intensive outpatient program, people with anxiety, depression, or other mood disturbances can benefit from the in-depth attention and treatment options that a PHP provides. 

When someone suffers from co-occurring mental health disorders, they are referred to as “dual diagnosis” or “co-morbid.” The term co-morbid implies not just that the disorders exist simultaneously in the same patient, but that they affect each other. Co-morbid individuals are notoriously difficult to treat. Part of this is due to the way mental health disorders and addiction reinforce each other. For many people with depression, for example, substance abuse can start off as a way of self-medicating. Meanwhile, substance abuse tends to worsen the effects of depression, which only further perpetuates the cycle. For this reason, it is rare for co-morbid patients to successfully treat their drug and alcohol problems without simultaneously addressing their mental and behavioral health issues. A PHP is uniquely useful to this population because it has the resources to tackle both problems.

Are You a Good Candidate for a Partial Hospitalization Program?

Partial hospitalization programs are an excellent level of care for recovering individuals who want the intensity and structure of a residential treatment program with the flexibility of an outpatient program. Some populations who might find a PHP appropriate include:

  • Those with work or school commitments
  • Individuals whose addictions have resisted treatment in other outpatient programs
  • Those who are at risk of harming themselves and need long term supervision
  • Those seeking intensive treatment on a budget
  • Patients transitioning from inpatient treatment to outpatient programs
  • Those who prefer to live at home for family reasons

How Do I Find and Make Financial Arrangements for a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)?

Of the different levels of care available among outpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs offer the most intensive care. For individuals who would prefer to avoid attending an inpatient or residential program, PHPs offer a degree of flexibility that allows patients to follow a treatment plan in a structured environment while still living at home.

  • Use the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator offered through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website.
  • Reach out to someone you know who has already had success recovering in a PHP or similar outpatient program.
  • Get a referral from your psychotherapist, a trusted counselor, religious leader, or even your insurance representative.
  • For individuals located in Los Angeles, CA, contact Create Recovery Center for more information about our partial hospitalization program.

Because treatment at a partial hospitalization program occurs only during the day and doesn’t require an overnight stay, costs tend to be lower than at residential treatment programs. Factors that affect the bill include the number of days in treatment and the extent to which your health insurance is willing to pay. If your payment plan is unable to cover the entirety of your PHP, it is often a good idea to talk to your case manager about other payment options. There are multiple alternatives to financing your recovery, such as: 

  • A negotiated payment plan. Some programs may offer sliding scale treatment for patients in unique financial circumstances.
  • Chances are, family and close friends are likely to see your recovery from substance addiction as a sound investment.
  • Taking out a personal loan. You’ll probably earn far more when you’re sober, so choosing to take out a loan to finance your recovery makes solid financial sense.

Health insurance plans vary widely, so it is difficult to say with any certainty whether your PHP is covered or not. The best approach is to reach out and contact your insurance agent. However, it should be noted that, ever since the Affordable Care Act was passed, addiction treatment is now legally considered an essential health benefit. That means that health insurance companies are legally obligated to pay for treatment programs. Even Medicare and Medicaid provide insurance coverage for some partial hospitalization programs. Not all PHPs, however, accept Medicare and Medicaid — and some don’t even accept insurance. Ultimately, this question is best answered by reaching out both to your insurance company and to treatment center directly.

Partial Hospitalization Programs at Create Recovery Center

Create Recovery Center offers multiple levels of care for individuals seeking recovery. It is crucial to remember that recovery from substance addiction requires more than just abstinence. This process requires a complete change in most areas of everyday life. This is especially true for co-morbid individuals who suffer from one or more additional mental health disorders. Services that Create Recovery Center offers as part of our partial hospitalization program include but are not limited to:

  • Medication Monitoring
  • Career & Educational Planning
  • Life Skills Coaching
  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Group Outings
  • Spiritual Guidance
  • 12-Step Introduction
  • Peer Mentoring Groups
  • Nutrition & Fitness Counseling

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about Create Recovery Center’s partial hospitalization program in Los Angeles, California. A representative will be happy to discuss your unique medical and financial circumstances to ensure you are placed in the program most likely to enrich your life.