If you or a loved one has made the decision to seek help for a substance use disorder, congratulations — this is the first step to a new and better life. But as you research treatment options, you may encounter some confusing terms. Detox, inpatient, partial hospitalization program (PHP), IOP, outpatient, aftercare — what do they mean? Is one better than the other? Which one should you do?
This article explains those options. Let’s look at the levels of care available to addicts and alcoholics who want help.
People who use alcohol and certain drugs regularly over a length of time become physically addicted to them. When they try to stop, they will suffer mild discomfort to severe pain — and in some cases, stopping abruptly is dangerous, even deadly.
Detox is the process of safely separating the patient from those substances. It can happen in two ways:
In inpatient (or “residential”) treatment, the client enters a facility for what’s usually a 28-day program (but longer programs exist). They live there for the duration of the program. When someone talks about going “away” to rehab, this is the type of treatment they’re talking about.
In inpatient treatment, you’ll participate in:
Most facilities will offer some type of recreation therapy, such as yoga or art therapy. Family counseling and participation in 12-step groups are usually part of inpatient treatment as well.
Good to know:
A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is the most intense level of non-inpatient treatment. Patients either live at home and commute to the facility or attend the program in tandem with a sober living home. Treatment is full-time; in Cornerstone Healing Center’s PHP program, male clients participate in intensive addiction treatment 5 days a week, 7 hours a day. PHP lasts 45 to 60 days and in some cases, up to 90 days.
There are two prominent features of a PHP that make it a good choice for those seeking addiction treatment:
Intensive outpatient treatment (usually shortened to “IOP” and also known as “partial hospitalization”) is similar to inpatient treatment, except you don’t live at the treatment facility. You live at home and commute to treatment several days a week. You’ll do most if not all of the same things (classes, therapies, etc.) you’d do in residential treatment.
Good to know:
Not everyone with a substance use disorder is in a position to enter inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment. In those cases, standard outpatient treatment may be the answer.
Standard outpatient treatment is set up to accommodate work and parenting responsibilities. It usually involves 1-3 counseling sessions per week, which may be a combination of one-on-one and group therapy.
Good to know:
This is just what it sounds like — additional support after you’ve completed treatment, designed to help you maintain your sobriety. Aftercare often consists of alumni meetings, recovery coaching, and ongoing individual or EMDR sessions as needed. This gives you the opportunity to “check in” with counselors and your sober peers and continue to build on the work you’ve done so far. All inpatient and IOP programs should offer aftercare.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, contact Cornerstone Healing Center to learn how we can help. We offer a variety of treatment programs to meet your needs and get you on the path to a healthy and happy life. Reach out today: 800-480-1781. A beautiful new life awaits you, and we can help.