PHP vs. Outpatient Rehab: Which One is Right For You?

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When you decide to get help for addiction, you have many difficult decisions to make. You’ll have to choose where you want to go to rehab, how you’re going to pay for it, how you will take care of all of your responsibilities, and more. One factor that you’ll have to look at is which level(s) of care you will participate in.

In general, the level of care you enroll in depends on the severity of your addiction and your treatment needs. However, not everyone can take away time from work, school, or family to go to the program that is suggested for them. Two flexible treatment options you may be able to choose between are partial hospitalization (PHP) and outpatient rehab.

The Different Levels of Care in Addiction Treatment

There are many different types of addiction treatment programs in New Jersey. Some offer intensive treatment on a residential basis while others ask patients to come to the facility only for scheduled therapy sessions. Many rehab centers provide patients with the option to participate in a full continuum of care.

A continuum of care is a treatment approach that recognizes recovery as an ongoing process during which individuals grow and adapt to their sober lifestyle. It is called a “continuum of care” because treatment occurs in different levels of intensity to meet patients where they are at in their recovery.

In the first days of recovery, most patients are best suited for inpatient or residential treatment where they are not able to leave the facility until they are discharged. As individuals make progress in therapy, learn healthy coping skills, and are able to stay sober without around-the-cock care, they transition down to a lower level of care.

In order from most intensive to least, the different levels of care offered during addiction treatment are:

different levels of care in Addiction Treatment

  • Inpatient/residential
  • Partial hospitalization (PHP)
  • Intensive outpatient (IOP)
  • Outpatient (OP)
  • Aftercare and alumni services

If you are someone who does not require inpatient care, you may have to decide between PHP and outpatient rehab. So, how do you know which one is right for you? Let’s examine what both programs are like and the benefits of each.

What are Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs) Like?

Partial hospitalization programs fall between inpatient and outpatient care. During PHP, patients attend group and individual therapy sessions just like they would in an inpatient program. They are expected to stay at the rehab facility for the majority of the day. The only major difference between inpatient and PHP is that you are allowed to return home, or to your sober living home, at the end of the day.

PHP can be compared to a full-time job. Most PHPs require you to be in therapy from 9 A.M to 3 P.M, Monday-Friday. They follow a similar structure like inpatient, but with more freedom. You are also able to spend weekends at home or at your leisure.

Benefits of PHP

PHPs are designed for people whose addictions aren’t completely out of control, but still need an intensive level of support. PHP can help people transition from inpatient to outpatient rehab. This adjustment can be difficult, but PHP is a great middle-ground between the two levels of care. It provides structure, accountability, and support while returning some freedom to patients.

PHP is also a suitable option for people who cannot take time away from their work, school, or kids to go to inpatient rehab. If you work evenings or weekends and are unable to take FMLA for rehab, PHP is the perfect option for you.

What is Outpatient Rehab Like?

Outpatient Rehab

Both intensive outpatient (IOP) and regular outpatient (OP) provide addiction treatment services on an appointment-only basis. Unlike PHP, outpatient rehab programs meet 2-4 times each week for 1-3 hours at a time. Patients attend several group therapy sessions each week and one individual therapy session.

Outpatient rehab is best for people with mild addictions or those who have already completed PHP or inpatient treatment. It is not intended for people who are still battling strong cravings or those who need medical care.

Benefits of Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient rehab is the most flexible level of care. While enrolled in an outpatient rehab program in New Jersey, you’ll be able to go to work, school, care for your family, and take care of any other responsibilities you may have. It is also the most affordable option. If you don’t have health insurance but need rehab, outpatient can provide you with care that doesn’t break the bank.

Speak to an Addiction Specialist to Find Out if PHP or Outpatient Rehab is Right For You

Knowing which level of care in addiction treatment is right for you is not always easy, but that’s why we’re here to help. Our team of trusted addiction specialists at New Jersey Intervention aims to be your reliable resource for everything addiction recovery. We can give you a risk-free, confidential assessment to help determine your treatment needs. We’ll even verify your insurance and connect you with a New Jersey rehab center in your area.

Don’t wait any longer. Call us now to get help.

Medically Reviewed: August 5, 2021

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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