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What Is the Difference Between PHP and IOP Treatment?

What Is the Difference Between PHP and IOP Treatment?

Have you ever heard of a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or intensive outpatient program (IOP) and thought they were the same thing? While they are similar, they are two different options that offer different courses of treatment. They can each be beneficial based on the time commitment you have available and the level of intensity of treatment that you need to help you accomplish your goals. 

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

PHP is a treatment option that is more intensive than IOP but less than a full inpatient facility. It usually requires more visits and sessions than IOP treatment. The nice thing is that you can go home at the end of the day and reside where you please. Typically, PHP includes five visits, normally during the week, and lasts anywhere from six to eight hours a day. This treatment is perfect for anyone who has just left a rehab or residential treatment facility. 

This type of treatment can help clients receive lots of support to transition to everyday life. Going from an inpatient facility to an outpatient program can cause a greater risk of falling into old, unproductive habits. PHP is ideal for residential treatment clients who do not require full-time inpatient treatment but need enough support to avoid falling back into old ways. 

PHP is not just for those facing drug addiction and rehab residents. Such a program can also be useful for those who struggle with anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. PHP can help create a support system to practice healthy coping mechanisms before facing them in daily life. 

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

IOP is less intense than PHP but still provides adequate support for those who need it as they transition to living everyday life. This treatment allows you to return to many daily activities like school or work while also receiving life-saving treatment. Usually, this type of treatment is three to four days a week for a few hours a day and about 10 to 15 hours a week. 

Since this type of treatment is fewer days, it can take longer to complete the program. That doesn’t mean that it is less effective. In this program, the treatment changes as the client progress and improves. 

This treatment is excellent for people who have gone through initial detox and withdrawal and do not need around-the-clock monitoring. It is geared more toward mild to moderate addiction. This is also perfect for people with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This approach to care will allow you to continue to live in your own home and have more hours in the day to do the things that you want or need to do. 

Which Treatment Option Is Best?

Both of these treatment options create a healthy support system for the client as they navigate through this very daunting time of addiction and mental health recovery. Seeking a professional will help decide which treatment option is best. Here are some things to consider as you discuss your treatment options:

  • Time commitment: Both types of treatment take an adequate amount of time and effort to progress toward the goals you want to achieve. However, PHP is like a full-time job that you will attend every day of the week, while IOP is something that you could fit into your normal schedule as you return to normal work and social life. 
  • Affordability: Insurance might cover both options, so this may not be a factor for some people. However, if insurance does not cover the treatment that you need, this might be something you need to consider. PHP will be slightly more expensive as you are spending more time receiving treatment, while IOP will be a little less expensive since you will be spending less time at the facility.
  • Your lifestyle: While both of these treatments let you reside at home or pursue housing options, they offer different types of lifestyles. Due to the time commitment of PHP, you might not be able to work or attend certain functions because you have to be at the facility. IOP gives you more time to have a job and a social life outside treatment. You have to decide what kind of lifestyle you want while still making time to attend to your mental health and recovery needs. 

Although PHP and IOP are similar, they offer different services that can significantly impact your odds of recovery. Making this decision can be tough, but with the help of a therapist, you can make the best decision for yourself and your recovery. 

Reaching out for help can be the hardest part of treatment; however, it will be the best decision you make, and knowing your options is crucial. While choosing the right treatment can be daunting, there is support for you. At Acera Health, we work with you and your family to establish a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Whether you require PHP or IOP, you can create the life you want while still accomplishing your treatment goals. PHP can offer you lots of support without being at an inpatient facility, or you can participate in an IOP and maintain your everyday schedule while getting the support you need. Our services are not limited to conventional methods; they also incorporate holistic methods, so you will have multiple approaches to suit your needs. To learn more about our programs, reach out to us today by calling  (949) 647-4090.

LMFT, Program Director at Acera Health | Edited & Medically Reviewed

Melody is a highly skilled proactive clinical administrator, with more than 17 years of experience serving the community in the behavioral health field.

Her clinical management career started in 2011 as a compliance manager and program director. In 2018, she became an executive as chief clinical officer (CCO). She is a seasoned licensed marriage & family therapist.


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