Who Should Be in a Partial Hospitalization Program?

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When it comes to addiction recovery, the number of diverse options available can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to know what your needs are, especially if you’re seeking help for the first time or have recently relapsed and are unsure about what comes next. As you explore your options, you might come across partial hospitalization programs, or PHPs, and wonder who should be in this level of care. Keep reading to learn more about PHP and whether it can help you reach your recovery goals.

What is PHP?

In addiction recovery, PHP is a treatment option that provides high-quality, intensive treatment while you continue to live at home or in sober living. At Avalon Malibu, you can also stay in The Bluffs house while enrolled in our PHP. A great alternative to long-term residential treatment, PHP means you don’t have to put your life on hold to begin your recovery. PHP can also be used as an intermediate step between residential care and the real world, giving you the ongoing support and guidance of professionals as you readjust to life after rehab. That means you’ll still have access to clinical services like psychotherapy, symptom management, and relapse prevention throughout the next phase of your recovery.

One of the great things about PHP is that it combines the support and structure of more intensive treatment options with the flexibility and freedom of independent living. This can help you build confidence in your recovery skills as you apply them to real-life situations, preparing you for obstacles like cravings, triggers, and stressors that may threaten your sobriety. You’ll also learn how to manage your time and develop the life skills you need to achieve sustainable recovery. Since PHP provides top-quality care at a lower cost, it’s also a more affordable and accessible treatment option that lets you take advantage of many of the same techniques and therapeutic activities available in residential programs.

If you’re thinking about beginning treatment in a PHP, we use the mnemonic IMPROVES to help patients decide if this level of care is right for them. This trick also highlights the qualities that are most likely to help you succeed in a PHP, so you can be sure that you’ll achieve your recovery goals in a more flexible recovery environment.


Compared to other levels of care, PHP allows for more freedom and independence. If you have a busy lifestyle and have to work, go to school or fulfill family obligations, a more flexible PHP schedule will allow you to do these things while still receiving high-quality treatment for drug or alcohol use.


In PHP, you should be motivated in your recovery and independent enough to stay on track after you return home for the evening. Healing from addiction isn’t easy, and someone who isn’t really committed to staying sober may relapse or drop out of treatment.


Group therapy is a big part of PHP treatment, and you should be ready to participate in group discussions for the benefit of yourself and others. This experience can forge strong bonds between patients and allow you to learn new communication skills, gain new insights, and grow in your recovery.


You should feel ready and willing to change when enrolling in a PHP. If you still need to detox, have a significant substance abuse problem, or aren’t sure what your recovery goals are yet, a higher level of care might be a better place to start. PHP is also a great option if you’re transitioning back to daily life after a residential program, but still want the structure and support as you continue to heal.


Since PHP allows you more freedom than other treatment levels, you should be organized enough to manage your daily life and still make it to your appointments and therapy sessions on time. You should also be present enough to benefit from psychotherapy and chemical dependency education so you can get the most out of each therapeutic experience.


If you’ve been to treatment before and need to get back on track after a relapse, PHP can help you reclaim a foothold in recovery without a long-term stay. The support of a recovery team can help you determine what went wrong and reinforce the skills you’ve learned for managing triggers, cravings, and setbacks.


Since you’ll be living off-site for PHP, it’s important to have a safe, supportive, and stable home environment while enrolled in treatment. This could be at home, in a sober living, or at a facility-operated residence like The Bluffs house at Avalon. Having a stable and recovery-oriented environment will help eliminate distractions, potential triggers, and negative influences so you can stay sober and focused on the goal of long-term recovery.

Of course, there are many other reasons why PHP may be the right choice for your recovery, but this is a good place to start. At Avalon Malibu, our experienced addiction specialists can help you learn more about this level of care and evaluate your substance abuse history, mental health, recovery goals, and more to determine if a PHP can help you achieve lasting sobriety.

To learn more about our treatment options, call us today at (844) 857-5992.

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