Partial Hospitalization Program vs. IOP: Understand the Difference

July 20, 2022

When choosing between a partial hospitalization program vs. IOP, it’s critical to fully understand the key differences to make the best choices for your or your loved one’s health. Both options provide flexibility that will allow you to return to your everyday life while supporting your recovery hands-on. Both options are less expensive than inpatient care and allow the patient to return to their housing. Essentially, IOP and PHP strive to integrate practical life with rehab treatment. So, what makes them different?

What Is IOP?

IOP stands for Intensive Outpatient Program and is one of many different outpatient treatments typically offered to patients who have successfully completed inpatient treatment. Since IOP involves returning to your own housing accommodations, some patients do choose to enroll into a sober living environment for additional accountability and support, IOP is not recommended for someone who doesn’t have a safe and supportive environment to return to. You will also need access to transportation to go back and forth between home and your treatment facility, however if you choose to enroll into sober living our facility can provide transportation to and from your sober living to our facility.  

Every individual requires personalized care for addiction. IOP is recommended for people who have gone through the withdrawal stage and don’t need regular monitoring. It can also be a good fit for patients who struggle with mild addiction or can be gone for a long period of treatment. If you work full-time, IOP might be a good fit for you. 

How Does IOP Work?

IOP works by continuing to build on the recovery fundamentals you learned in rehab while allowing you to ease back into your practical life at whatever pace feels best for you.

IOP usually involves around 9 hours a week spent at a facility. These visits are short and don’t occur every day. Most patients in IOP typically receive treatment 3 hours a day, 3 – 5 days out of the week. Treatment can include individual and family therapy, peer support, and workshops. 

What Is PHP?

PHP stands for Partial Hospitalization Program and is also a type of outpatient treatment. Like IOP, partial is less intensive than a full inpatient program, like rehab. Again, every person is different, but the typical good candidate for PHP would be someone who just recently finished residential treatment but still needs some extra support. 

PHP can be a good option if: 

  • You start presenting signs of a relapse.
  • You live in an environment that puts you at risk of relapse.
  • You need high-level support outside of a rehab program.
  • IOP hasn’t worked well for you in the past.
  • You suffer from serious mental health issues, like severe anxiety or depression.
  • You feel you need medical supervision.
  • You don’t feel confident in your ability to cope with triggers on your own for the majority of the week.

How Does PHP Work?

Patients typically visit around 25 – 30 hours per week with partial hospitalization. Usually, treatment is done 5 – 6 hours a day, depending greatly on your specific needs. You will be at the center almost every day, if not every day. Daily treatment may include individual or group counseling, family meetings, medical services, medication management, drug screenings, etc. 

What Are the Major Differences to Know?

The major differences between PHP and IOP are intensity and flexibility. PHP has a much higher time commitment, making it difficult for someone who needs to get back to a full-time job. IOP, on the other hand, offers much more flexibility. PHP is also more intensive and features a lot more supervision and management. 

It’s important to note that neither treatment option is better than the other. Both PHP and IOP have proven effective and helpful in supporting patients through recovery. If you’re trying to decide which one is best for you, consult a treatment center for an expert opinion. 

Get Support from Buena Vista Recovery

Not sure where to go for help? Buena Vista Recovery is here to support you through your recovery journey in any way possible. Whether you’re looking to join a Partial Hospitalization Program, an Intensive Outpatient Program, or a different treatment plan, we can help. Contact us today to discuss the right course of action for you or your loved one.