Partial Hospitalization Program

Obtaining treatment for a substance use disorder is difficult enough, but an underlying mental health condition can complicate the matter even further. On top of that, your loved one may be hesitant to go to a residential treatment program, but there is another option that will be just as beneficial for him. A partial hospitalization program may be the right place for a loved one struggling with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder.

It is very common for a person diagnosed with a mental health disorder to also be diagnosed with a substance use disorder. Also, people diagnosed with mental health disorders often receive diagnoses of substance use disorders at a later date. Research determined that this occurs because both conditions have several risk factors in common. It may also be the case that people with undiagnosed mental health conditions tend to medicate their symptoms with substances. It may also be that substance use causes changes in the brain that lead to mental health disorders.

Partial Hospitalization Program

Research has shown that it is superior to treat a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder at the same time to ensure that both receive adequate treatment. If your loved one is in a residential program for co-occurring disorders, the best option may be for him to enter into a partial hospitalization program after it is over so that he can continue to receive a high level of treatment for both conditions.

What Is a Partial Hospitalization Program?

Partial hospitalization is an outpatient program, so your loved one will be able to live wherever he wants to live while he is in the program. Although it isn’t a residential program, it still qualifies as a very intensive option. It is an excellent choice for your loved one if he is experiencing a severe addiction to substances.

Because PHP is so intense, your loved one will be required to go to the facility for long periods of time each day. In general, these programs last for six hours a day, and clients must attend these sessions five days a week.

Who Is Right for Partial Hospitalization?

Partial hospitalization would be an excellent choice for a very specific population. For example, if your loved one doesn’t require 24-hour monitoring by medical staff at a facility, partial hospitalization is an option for him. The program still allows him to receive intense surveillance and a maximum amount of help, but it will be less restrictive.

If your loved one is in the middle of a mild to moderate substance addiction, partial hospitalization is a possibility for him. He must not be required to have constant care during the withdrawal process. If this is not the case, the best place for him is in an inpatient treatment center.

Your loved one must also have stable living conditions. This means that the home environment must not have any triggers that encourage your loved one to indulge in his substance of choice. If he is able to continue working, the work environment must be as stable as the home environment. The support systems at his home and at work must be equally supportive.

Your loved one may have completed an inpatient program and needs to continue with his treatment for substance use. If he is concerned about going home, the partial hospitalization program is a great option for him as well. In addition to that, partial hospitalization is good for your loved one if he has received treatment for a co-occurring mental health disorder. Because he will be in a stable place after spending time in a residential treatment center, the physicians will be able to treat both conditions as needed.

Who Isn’t Right for Partial Hospitalization?

Partial hospitalization may not be for your loved one. For example, although your loved one may have a moderate substance use disorder, he may live in an environment that has several triggers that cause him to use his substance of choice. If your loved one lives in an area such as this, partial hospitalization isn’t a good option for him. The other residents at this home may not be doing anything to get help for their addictions, so this wouldn’t be a good place for your loved one to be. Therefore, a residential program would be better for him.

What Happens in a Partial Hospitalization Program?

The PHP will be instrumental in treating your loved one’s mental health disorder and substance use disorder. When your loved one first arrives at the facility, the staff will take an assessment that will help them determine the issues that are bothering your loved one. They will be able to diagnose the mental health condition, prescribe medications for his conditions, and schedule sessions that he will be required to attend.

Behavioral therapy has been shown to be highly effective for treating substance use disorders and mental health disorders. In the program, your loved one may be required to participate in several types of behavioral therapies. For example, your loved one’s therapist may use behavioral therapy to identify negative thoughts that lead your loved one to use substances. He will also learn how to change his negative emotions by using new coping strategies.

Individual Counseling

Therapists in partial hospitalization programs use individual counseling to treat their clients’ substance use disorders. This is also the point in time when therapists help your loved one identify goals so that he can feel as if he is making plans for where he would like to be in the future. This is highly important because goals are the reason that people with substance use disorders begin to overcome their cravings for their substances of choice.

Relapse Prevention

Relapse prevention is also a highly important part of partial hospitalization treatment. In general, most people find the first year after rehabilitation for substance use to be the most difficult to endure. Approximately 50% of people diagnosed with substance use disorders will return to substance use, so rehabilitation programs must teach these people mechanisms that prevent future substance use.

Group Therapy

Allowing people to meet in a group gives the staff the chance to observe each person’s behavior. Group meetings are also beneficial to each client because they have the benefit from the experience of each member. Group sessions allow members to let each other know that no one is alone in this struggle with substances. Your loved one will be comfortable knowing that everyone around him knows what he is facing, and this prevents depression.


Partial hospitalization helps clients build the skills they need to leave substances behind forever. For example, your loved one will learn how to leave a situation that led to substance use in the past. In some cases, clients have difficulties remaining free of their substance use when they spend large amounts of time by themselves. At these times, it is very common for them to think about using the substance again. Partial hospitalization addresses this issue by treating these patients for any mental health issues that they may have.

Occasional Evaluations

Partial hospitalization requires that your loved one submits to occasional evaluations. Your loved one may see these evaluations as an invasion of privacy, but they are necessary because they help the staff determine whether or not your loved one is in danger of relapsing. The evaluation will give your loved one the opportunity to inform the therapist that he feels as if he needs to take his drug of choice again. Then, the therapist can take this time to discourage the return to substance use.

After Partial Hospitalization

Your loved one may have started treatment for substance use in a residential program, but he must understand that his treatment doesn’t end after he completes that program. It will not even end after he completes a partial hospitalization program. He will need to continue with treatment in an aftercare program, and this will last for the rest of his life. After partial hospitalization, clients still need to make changes in their behavior, so they need to continue to pursue help for their addictions.

After partial hospitalization, your loved one will be welcome to choose a support group. He may decide that individual therapy or group therapy is something that he finds to be beneficial and would like to continue to attend these sessions. This will all be very positive for your loved one.

Sober Living

It wouldn’t be unusual if your loved one doesn’t feel comfortable with only attending support groups and individual counseling sessions. Your loved one may see his home environment as a scary place, so he may be resistant to remaining thereafter partial hospitalization. Sober living homes give your loved one a safe place to stay after he is finished with formal treatment at Long Island Interventions. There isn’t nearly as much of a stigma associated with sober living homes as there used to be, so they are becoming very popular. These homes give people the safe place they need to continue with their recovery, and they can provide that safe place for the long term.

Contact us at Long Island Interventions if you or your loved one want to continue your treatment in partial hospitalization today.

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