A Guide to Treatment Programs: Which Option is Best For You?

Sufferers of addiction need a guide to treatment programs.  When someone seeks an addiction treatment program, they’re mentally and physically exhausted. The last thing they want to consider is how they will get better and overcome their substance use, especially when taking those first steps feels insurmountable. This frustration may intensify when they see the complexity of some treatment programs, appearing as more of a chore than a valuable and life-changing decision. But fear not – GateHouse Treatment is here to ease your worry and simplify this often trivial endeavor.

At GateHouse Treatment, we make choosing an addiction treatment program a breeze, with all the resources you need to make a safe and sound decision for your recovery process. We offer partial hospitalization programs (PHP), intensive outpatient programs (IOP), and outpatient programs (OP), all of which have different approaches toward a healthy and sustainable recovery. If you require treatment and are unsure which route to take, this treatment program overview will help clarify what may work best for you and why.

PHP vs. IOP vs. OP: Why Do Treatment Programs Differ?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating substance use disorders (SUDs), as each individual on their recovery journey progresses at their own pace. Since no two cases are identical, it’s important to offer patients a tailored experience with a level of control that accounts for their specific needs. This way, individuals can receive treatment that caters to the degree of severity and type of substance of their SUD, as well as to personal and work obligations that may complicate their ability to commit to a treatment schedule.

Besides their flexibility, these programs also differ in the methods, services, and treatment intensity. Programs such as partial hospitalization offer more support and monitoring, while outpatient programs require less supervision and necessary sessions. However, the goal of any treatment program is to provide the best level of care imaginable, so you should always address your priorities and unique situation before selecting.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

As the name suggests, a partial hospitalization program combines outpatient and residential care, providing some flexibility but much more structure than other programs. PHP is a fantastic choice for those who have achieved a degree of stability in their recovery after completing a medical detox but are not yet ready for outpatient treatment. The program is often a stepping-stone before clients transition into a more accommodating schedule. Unlike an inpatient program which requires full-time residential care, a PHP allows clients to live in their homes or a communal residence while attending treatment and therapy sessions.

When clients begin a partial hospitalization program with GateHouse Treatment, they can expect to spend six hours per day, six days a week, in a mixture of group and individual counseling sessions. Following each completed day of therapy, they can return to a sober living residence with 24-hour supervision. Some specific focuses and opportunities provided by our partial hospitalization programs include the following:

  • Developing communication skills through participation in social interactions
  • Continued structure and discipline during clinical programs
  • Ability to find employment and learn time management skills between recovery and employment searches
  • Immersion into 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), with encouragement to meet with sponsors and fellowships
  • Addressing family relationships and helping to mend and rebuild connections

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

The primary focus of an intensive outpatient program is to help transition clients from PHP treatment back into the community. It is not as time-intensive as PHP, but IOP typically requires up to 30 hours per week of clinical and group sessions and can last several months. Because IOP is less stringent than PHP, clients can enjoy structure more freely and continue jobs, familial obligations, and other commitments while in treatment. Due to this increased freedom, a significant aspect of IOP is learning relapse prevention methods.

GateHouse Treatment’s IOP features various components for clients, such as individual, group, and family therapy sessions, medication management, community housing, and more. Some of our top priorities for clients in an IOP include:

  • Educating clients on how to manage their recovery and work schedules
  • Reinforcing structure and discipline in a recovery treatment plan
  • Offering peer support in group sessions
  • Advancing individual recovery and healthy living
  • Providing new information, life skills, and guidance on practicing new behaviors from group leaders

Outpatient Program (OP)

The outpatient program is the most flexible and accommodating to a client’s schedule and is best for those with mild substance use disorders. It also benefits those who have already completed more rigorous programs and are ready to integrate further into society. In an OP, clients can live independently and freely schedule treatment to accommodate their family, work, and social lives. It allows clients to apply the skills gained in treatment to real-life situations while still receiving appropriate care.

Clients in an outpatient program with GateHouse Treatment should have steady employment, attend meetings, and work in a 12-step program with a sponsor. They will continue to attend one-on-one sessions with a therapist or case manager and two group sessions per week. In an OP, we address and prioritize specific components of treatment, such as:

  • Reinforcing accountability to maintain long-term recovery
  • Providing case management services regarding managing finances and legal/medical issues
  • Offering individual and group therapy, as well as relapse prevention education
  • Scheduling regular appointments with our medical team to address medication and healthcare issues
  • Supporting clients with managing employment finances and friend/family-related matters

Is it Necessary to Complete Each Treatment Program?

No, clients are not required to complete all treatment programs during their recovery process. Some people start later in the process than others, and some may choose a more intensive program even if they don’t require one. However, the natural progression of such programs allows clients to reach specific milestones and learn valuable skills in a beneficial succession. Clients who require a partial hospitalization program but instead begin their process in an intensive outpatient program may miss essential steps toward a sustainable recovery. No one should ever believe they can skip steps or speed through recovery for convenience, as the process takes time and commitment.

Start the Treatment Program You Require at GateHouse Treatment

GateHouse Treatment understands that the best way to provide comprehensive addiction recovery services is to meet the unique needs of our clients. Ideally, our clients will transition from PHP to IOP to OP, gaining valuable skills as they transition back into their regular lives. However, we are more than aware of the varying nature of recovery, so our clients can start any treatment program anytime.

If you believe an addiction treatment program is the right choice, don’t hesitate to call us at (855) 448-3588. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can help answer any questions regarding PHP vs. IOP vs. OP. Please visit our website to learn more about our other treatment services and client resources.

Corey Rando

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