Partial Hospitalization Program

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    Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) are remedial courses that are designed to help patients who are struggling with mental conditions. They were once referred to as day hospitals during their early conceptual stage in the 1960s. This program was intended to aid the recovery of those who have severe psychological disorders while providing them with a community to support sobriety and ease reintegration to society. The day hospital programs were redesigned and renamed to be PHP in the 1980s following the changes to the Medicaid laws before it became popularized in the 90s.

    Although Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) is still primarily used to treat patients with mental illnesses, there has been a nation-wide effort to push the treatment plan to be included in the rehabilitation of substance abuse. The treatment plan aims to attack the condition both in terms of mental and behavioral issues, which is why it has tremendous potential to be an effective therapeutic option for patients with addictive disorders.


    The process of Partial Hospitalization is similar to that of other psychiatric treatment programs. The difference is that it is often an option for patients who have been hospitalized for substance abuse prior to the treatment. A patient will be assigned to a PHP program after they have been hospitalized to deem whether they are in the state to be discharged from the hospital. It is a stepping stone between being an inpatient and an outpatient program, so it is a crucial addition to the treatment plan.

    Listed below are the criteria for an inpatient to be subjected to a PHP treatment:

    ● There is diagnosis documentation to show the medical and treatment history.
    ● The individual needs consistent medical monitoring but is stable enough to go overnight without monitoring.
    ● The patient is not at risk of self-harm.
    ● The patient requires detox treatments for the substances during the day which may not be possible to perform at home.
    ● The patient is in the physical, psychological, and emotional state to receive and tolerate several hours of continuous therapy, both in a group and individually for several days a week.
    ● The patient may not be deemed ready to be reintegrated into the society and does not have the proper community and familial support to be less at risk of relapse.

    PHP offers the most benefit for those who require medical detox from the substance they are on if they do not pose any threat to society. Additionally, if the patient shows signs of severe withdrawal to the substance, they may not be eligible for PHP treatment. It will be dangerous for the community and family of the patient if they are to leave the hospital while not in the best condition to do so. Therefore, the patient has to go through the 24-hours of medical monitoring, which will determine whether they are in the state to receive PHP treatment.


    The PHP program is a multidisciplinary treatment plan that incorporates the treatment principle from many different medical fields. Listed below are some of the medical staff that will be involved with the PHP treatment plan:

    ● Psychiatrists
    ● Social workers
    ● Nurses
    ● Occupational therapists
    ● Pharmacists
    ● Psychologists
    ● Peer support workers
    ● Recreational therapists

    The treatment plan for the PHPs will vary from patient to patient, as individuals are presented with different conditions at a range of severities that may require the medical staff to approach the case in a different way. Some patients may be required to come in to receive treatment only two days per week for a few hours each session, while others may have to return up to five days per week 4 to 8 hours each. The most hours a patient can legally receive for PHP program is 50 hours per week, while the average is around 20.

    PHP treatments help to prevent patients who would otherwise be hospitalized to have a chance to recover from the addiction at their own pace in a positive environment. Some people have a hard time adjusting to life in a hospital, causing them to be more stressed and anxious, increasing the likelihood of craving and the possibility of a relapse. PHP offers a different approach to addiction treatment, allowing patients to be treated according to their own needs.


    ● People who struggle with substance abuse, but have enough support from the community and home, along with encouragement from their loved ones.
    ● People who are addicted to substances that do not have dangerous withdrawal symptoms such as delirium tremens.
    ● People who require flexibility in their treatment schedule, as some may react better to treatment when they have some control over it.
    ● People who are ambulatory (i.e., physically capable of transporting themselves to and from the program)
    ● People who do not pose any threats to a therapy group or individual treatment sessions.
    ● People who can maintain the habit of taking medications by themselves.