ASAM Levels of Care


In the world of addiction treatment, there’s several key levels of care one might receive in their recovery journey.  Rather than dive into all of them, we’re going to focus on level 2 treatment. This level of care includes partial hospitalization programs (PHP) and intensive outpatient programs (IOP). You may find yourself wondering how to compare PHP vs. IOP options for care.We’re going to use this article to focus on these two treatment approaches since they’re the most frequent forms of treatment people tend to encounter. 


What’s PHP?


Partial hospitalization programs are intensive outpatient programs. They are designed to provide you with the highest form of addiction support while still being able to live at home. Most clinical teams will recommend this treatment after you’ve successfully completed residential treatment, or detox programs. Occasionally, they might recommend it as a step up from IOP. The standard program will provide you with 5 hours of group therapy, 5 days per week and typically lasts anywhere from 2-4 weeks. All programs include individual therapy, and random drug and alcohol screening. They’ll also have a clinical curriculum that focuses on various types of therapy and recovery-based skills.


The standard PHP will offer all of the services described above. However, some programs differ in their “amenities.” Most programs will offer access to medical services in case you need medication management, a recovery coach or case manager. Some programs may even offer access to gym equipment, nutritional programs or animal assisted therapy. However, this is above the industry standard. Lastly, most programs are covered by insurance but it depends on if you’re in or out of network. If it’s a viable option for you, programs have a cash rate option that typically costs between $5,000-$15,000 per month. 


What’s IOP?


The other type of level 2 care is intensive outpatient programming and it’s considered the main level of treatment for substance use disorders. This level is a step down from PHP because it offers 3 hours of group therapy for 3 days per week. It’s the preferred treatment approach for people who have a full time job and can’t take off work. Similar to PHP, group therapy focuses on the program’s clinical curriculum but it can last from 90-180 days. IOP also includes individual therapy and 1-2 drug/alcohol screenings per week.


Some programs also provide medical services, case management and access to amenities for the IOP level. Moreover, some IOP’s are covered through insurance but it completely depends on what your policy is and whether or not the facility is in-network with your provider. Click this link to learn more about our admissions process. 


You may still be wondering which of these options would best suit you or someone you care about. Ultimately the best way to determine which of these programs is most useful would be to talk with a professional who can answer your questions and make helpful recommendations for care. Some things may be easy to compare, but there are often more subtle considerations which weigh in on the best plan for treatment and sustained recovery.


If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder, you might be a candidate for outpatient treatment. Contact us today to discuss how PHP vs. IOP factors might apply in your situation.