What types of rehab are there? Understanding levels of care

women hugging eachother in rehab

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and fact-checked by an addiction expert.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and fact-checked by an addiction expert.

Table of Contents

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and needing rehab, you might ask yourself, what kind of rehabs are there? 

The reality is that there are different types of rehab to suit every individual situation. In this resource, we dive into the specifics. 

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Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment is the most intensive level of care, with around-the-clock monitoring and support from medical staff.
This is recommended for people who have been abusing drugs or alcohol for a long time or have attempted to quit but relapsed multiple times.
Inpatient treatment usually lasts 30 days but can be longer or shorter depending on the individual’s needs.

Inpatient Treatment: What to Expect

You can expect a structured and supportive environment when you enter inpatient rehab.
You will be working with a team of professionals who will help you through the recovery process.
The first step in treatment is usually detoxification, which involves getting rid of all the drugs and alcohol in your system.
This can be a difficult and uncomfortable process, but it is necessary in order to start the road to recovery.
After detox, you will begin therapy, which will help you understand your addiction and how to overcome it.
You will also learn coping mechanisms and life skills that will help you once you leave rehab.
Inpatient rehab can be challenging, but it is also an important step in recovering from addiction.

Residential Treatment Program

Residential treatment programs are short-term residential facilities that provide 24-hour care and support for people abusing drugs or alcohol.
These programs usually focus on helping the individual to develop lifestyle changes and coping skills, as well as providing medical supervision and other therapeutic techniques to help them stay sober.
Depending on the individual’s needs, residential treatment programs can last from a few days to a few months.

Residential treatment Program: What to Expect

When you enter a residential treatment program, you will typically have an initial assessment with a trained professional to determine your individual needs. During this assessment, the staff may conduct physical and psychological tests and discuss any past or current substance abuse problems. Once enrolled in a residential treatment program, you can expect to participate in group and individual therapy sessions, activities, and education classes. You will also have access to medical professionals 24/7 who can help you manage any physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms. A residential treatment program aims to provide a safe and supportive environment where the individual can work on developing healthy habits that will enable them to stay sober for the long term. Aftercare is often available to ensure that the individual has continued support after they leave treatment.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Partial hospitalization is a step down from inpatient treatment and is typically recommended for people who no longer need 24-hour supervision but still require a high level of care.
Partial hospitalization usually involves 5-7 hours of treatment per day and may be held several times per week.
Clients who attend PHP still reside in the drug and alcohol rehab facility.

Partial Hospitalization Programs: What to Expect

A PHP treatment program provides more intensive care than what is typically offered in an outpatient setting. PHP allows people to receive treatment while still living at home and attending school or work. PHP programs typically offer group therapy, individual therapy, medication management, and case management.

Intensive Outpatient Program

Intensive Outpatient Program Intensive outpatient treatment is a step down from partial hospitalization and typically involves 3-5 hours of treatment per week. This level of care is typically recommended for people who have completed an inpatient or partial hospitalization program and need continued support to stay sober.

Intensive Outpatient Program: What to Expect

An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is a treatment program that provides more intensive care than what is typically offered in an outpatient setting. IOP allows people to receive treatment while still living at home and attending school or work. IOP programs typically offer group therapy, individual therapy, medication management, and case management. IOP usually involves attending group sessions three or four times a day for 6-8 hours. During these groups, individuals can expect to receive individualized treatment and participate in activities designed to help them overcome their substance use disorder. IOP can also involve medication management and referrals to other treatments, such as 12-step programs. IOP can be effective for those who cannot commit to an inpatient or residential treatment but still need more intensive care than what is offered in outpatient programs.

Standard Outpatient Programs

After IOP, many clients move over to a standard OP. This means they are still participating in an outpatient but less intensive outpatient program. For example, they may go from participating in treatment for five days a week, to only coming in 3 days a week and for shorter intervals. Some outpatient programs are done in the evening so patients can attend work, school, or care for their families.

Standard Outpatient Programs: What to Expect 

Outpatient rehab is a type of drug and alcohol treatment that allows people to live at home while they receive therapy and counseling. It is usually less expensive than inpatient rehab and can be just as effective. During outpatient rehab, people usually meet with a therapist or counselor several times a week. They may also attend group meetings and participate in other activities to help them recover from addiction. Outpatient rehab can be a good option for people with a strong support system at home and who are motivated to stay sober. It can also be a good choice for people who have already been through inpatient rehab and need additional support to maintain sobriety.

What kind of rehab do I need?

If you’re asking yourself, what kind of rehab do I need? That’s a fair question. We want to make one thing clear. A person struggling with addiction may have their mind set on one type of rehab, but it’s important to understand that sometimes, what’s wanted isn’t always needed. The level of care you need depends on so many factors. For example, if you’ve been struggling with addiction for 20 years and expect to get into a standard outpatient program that meets thrice weekly, that will not be optimal. And the reverse is true; sometimes, you need a lower level of care because of different factors. So when discussing your options with a treatment center, make sure that you keep an open mind.

Get Help for Addiction At Cornerstone Healing Center

Cornerstone is a drug and alcohol rehab facility in Scottsdale, Arizona. We offer many different levels of care and addiction treatment programs. We can help you figure out what your insurance will cover and get you into treatment, sometimes same day. Give us a call at (800) 643-2108 to learn more about our programs and how we can help you. Published: 12/28/2022

Let us help you start your journey to recovery.

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Susana is a recovery, mental health, and addiction education enthusiast with 8 years of experience in addiction recovery herself. Susana holds a Bachelor of Arts from the GCU College of Theology. She is anti-addiction stigma and believes accurate and factual information is essential to beginning the recovery process.
lionel estrada lisac clinical director



Lionel, a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC) with over 4 years at Cornerstone. Passionate about helping those with addiction, he has trained as an EMDR therapist  adopting a trauma-informed approach to treat the underlying issues of addiction, providing an empathetic approach to addiction.

Articles written prior to August 2023 were also clinically reviewed by Karen Williams, LPC 

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