iop vs php

IOP vs. PHP: What’s the Difference?

Garrett Stanford
October 16, 2020

Addiction treatment can be a very overwhelming process. One of the hardest aspects of the journey is choosing the right kind of treatment. There are many different treatment types and it can be difficult to choose the ‘right’ one. This is especially the case because everyone has preferences and individuals suffer from different types of addiction.

When choosing the right treatment it’s important to keep certain things in mind like your financial situation, your limitations, and current needs. There are longer treatment options that can last a few years while others last only a couple of months. Intensive outpatient programs (IOP treatment) and partial hospitalization programs (PHP) are two of the most common forms of treatment.

It’s important to be informed about the different treatment types so you can choose the best option for you or a loved one. At Create Recovery we offer a number of effective treatment types with you in mind. If you or a loved one is struggling with a mental illness or a drug addiction, let us be your guide to a better, happier life.

Choosing the Program That’s Best for You

There are a few things to keep in mind when you are choosing a treatment option. Keeping these ideas in mind can help you better understand what treatment option will work best. While there is no right or wrong option when it comes to recovery, it’s best to choose something that fits your lifestyle and your preferences. Let’s take a look at a few factors to keep in mind during your journey.

Financial Situation

One of the most important aspects of treatment is your financial situation. Fortunately, there are several ways to pay for addiction treatment. Insurance can also cover behavioral health and mental services because they qualify as essential health benefits. Find out if you qualify for Medicare or Medicaid to see if your treatment can be covered.

If you don’t qualify for any of these options, don’t worry, there are still other things to consider. Many rehab centers have payment programs that can help a person seek needed treatment. Additionally, there are many grants and loans available to you and your loved ones, if needed. No matter the cost, it’s important to seek treatment and not let addiction take over your life.

Lifestyle and Preferences

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a treatment option is your lifestyle choices and limitations. It’s important to take into account the obligations in your life and how they may affect your treatment. This includes family, children to look after, school, and work.

If you have heavy responsibilities in your life and your addiction is only minor, an outpatient treatment might be better. On the other hand, if you have a more severe case of addiction or mental health, full residential treatment may be the recommended route to go. Whatever choice you feel is best, it’s important to get help regardless of the form it comes in.

A Closer look at Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP Treatment)

Intensive outpatient treatment (also called IOP) is a common treatment option for recovering addicts. All outpatient treatment allows people to live their lives without requiring them to stay in residential rehab (day and night). The recovering addict is able to work with trusted psychiatrists and therapists on a weekly basis while fulfilling their responsibilities back home.

IOP treatment is best for those who have already gone through the acute stage of withdrawal and no longer require monitoring. As mentioned earlier, intensive outpatient treatment is usually better for mild to moderate levels of addiction. It typically consists of short, weekly visits. The person should expect around 8 to 9 hours a week depending on the level of severity. IOP treatment implements a variety of individual and group therapy options.

The number of hours per week can be adjusted and will change as the person gets better over time. It is important to keep in mind that since the person only meets on a weekly basis, IOP treatment may take longer. Since the person is not being treated in an inpatient program, it will be a longer journey.

IOP Treatment May Not be for Everyone

IOP treatment is preferred for those who want to get back to their daily routines while having more free time on their hands. While it is convenient and has many benefits, IOP treatment is not for everyone. It’s important for you to be completely honest about your medical and psychological needs.

With any addiction or mental illness, there are certain environments or situations that can trigger cravings or symptoms. If you are constantly in an environment that might trigger these cravings, then IOP treatment may not be the best option for you. Be honest about your recovery process and find out what works best for you.

A Closer Look at Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

A partial hospitalization program (also referred to as PHP) is a treatment option that might seem similar to IOP but has its major differences. Partial hospitalization is more intensive and requires more visits and sessions than intensive outpatient treatment. Due to the number of visits, some people may compare PHPs more to residential programs than outpatient programs.

One of the biggest differences is the increased number of weekly visits and session times. A person in a PHP will be required to make 5 visits every week. Each of these sessions can last anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. Partial hospitalization programs are often best for those who have completed treatment but aren’t fully ready to return back to their lives yet.

Some people prefer PHPs over IOPs because it eases their transition into their routine. Partial hospitalization programs can make a person feel safer and more comfortable with daily sessions. There are many different triggers that can devolve into a relapse and using again. However, with a PHP, individuals can feel more obliged to use their time wisely and safely.

Other Reasons PHP May Be Preferable

PHPs are also better for those who still need more detoxification help, which requires medication. This alone typically requires staff and a more hands-on approach than an IOP. Some of the withdrawal symptoms can also be difficult to handle for some and a PHP may be able to help with the process.

Going for a PHP treatment plan instead of an IOP is not a sign of weakness and shouldn’t be seen as such. Drug addiction affects everyone differently and at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what type of treatment you prefer. Just as long as you get the treatment needed. Many factors may contribute to what you find more effective or what you may prefer overall.

Overall, partial hospitalization is best for those that have a high chance of relapsing after treatment is done. Also for those who are unsure about their cravings and those who’ve had severe addiction. It is also worth noting that a PHP is not something you can simply rush through, this won’t make it effective in the short and long term.

Treatment and Therapy Options Offered for IOP vs PHP

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between IOP vs PHP. Both are very effective options for recovery and will help you live a better life down the line. Both PHP and IOP utilize the same treatment methods and offer a wide variety of therapy options. The only difference between the two is the intensity of weekly visits and session time.

Typically, after detox (a process that purges the body of substance and drugs), a person moves on to therapy. What many people overlook is the mental aspect of addiction. While drug addiction affects the body it also affects the mind as well. Therapy seeks to change how a person thinks and the behaviors associated with their addiction. Let’s take a look at some of the more common types of therapy:

Group Therapy

One of the most common forms of therapy in both PHP and IOP is group therapy. It’s extremely beneficial to hear other people’s stories and talking with those in the same situation. Forming this bond and reinforcing a safe and supportive environment can make a big difference down the line.

There are also other forms of group therapy like 12-step programs or AA meetings. Everyone in these meetings knows what you may be feeling and understand the struggles of addiction. Opening up and telling your own story can be therapeutic and helpful to others.

Individual Therapy

The other common type of therapy is individual therapy. Typically consisting of a one-on-one session with a professional therapist. During this time the person may discuss their past, present, and future. There are different kinds of therapy like cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) that are commonly used.

CBT focuses on changing a person’s behavior and thought processes towards addiction. DBT helps a person understand the world around them and embrace change. These are just two of the more common types of therapy (among a handful of others). Some therapy types may work better than others, depending on the situation.

Let Us Help You Today

Now that you know more about PHP treatment and IOP services, it’s time to get the help you deserve. At Create Recovery we understand how impactful quality service and treatment can have on addiction. Let us help you and your loved ones towards a better life. Contact us today to learn about our treatment options and addiction/mental health resources.

Garrett Stanford
Garrett Stanford brings years of experience working with individuals and families struggling with substance abuse and behavioral health issues. He began working in the nonprofit treatment sector for 2 years before transitioning into the private sector. Garrett has been involved in treatment since 2010, with 10+ years of experience ranging from operations, administration, admissions and addiction research.
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