What is the Difference Between PHP and IOP?

difference between php iop

There are several levels of care available to people who are seeking treatment for substance abuse, mental health issues and addiction. These include full-time residential services, inpatient dual diagnosis treatment, and outpatient programs for those who live outside of a treatment facility.

Here we’ll explore two popular modes of outpatient carePartial Hospitalization Program (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).

Both programs offer some degree of flexibility and the highest level of care.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) are carried out during the day while living outside of an inpatient treatment facility.

These differ from residential programs where clients must remain in the facility for the duration of their treatment. Here is a brief overview of the key differences between PHP and IOP:

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

  • Full-time
  • 5 days per week
  • 6 to 8 hours per day

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

  • Part-time (day or evening)
  • 3+ days per week
  • 10 to 15 hours per week

iop programs vs php programs


What is a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)?

Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) are outpatient programs for patients suffering from addiction or dual diagnosis mental health issues. These programs are designed for patients who wish to maintain a functional level of life, while benefiting from full-time care.

Patients in Partial hospitalization programs are not institutionalized and are free to go home or to a sober living facility at the end of the day.

A PHP program is often used as a viable option to prevent relapse or full hospitalization, meaning residing at a residential treatment center.

PHP treatment can also be used to transition from inpatient to outpatient care. For example a PHP program is an ideal solution for an individual who has completed a residential treatment program for drug or alcohol addiction.

While patients may have come a long way, they understand that they have more work to do. PHP could be an option for patients that don’t present an imminent risk of harm to themselves or others.

The decision as to whether a patient should be placed in a PHP program is at the discretion of their doctor and treatment staff, who must consider the severity of the patient’s illness, history, environment, and support system.

What Happens in a Partial Hospitalization Program?

A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is a full-time day treatment, usually for 6 to 8 hours per day, where the client lives off-campus.

It’s a full-time treatment option that allows patients to live on their own when they are not taking part in therapy sessions, and qualified professionals monitor their progress and stability during the day. However at night, suitable support networks must be in place to ensure the patient’s safety.

A partial hospitalization program will involve a wide range of therapies, ranging from one-on-one sessions to group sessions and family counseling.

Group sessions may also include recreational activities such as hiking, vocational skills groups or equine therapy. The exact modes of care are always unique depending on the individual needs of each client.

How Can I Detox From Drugs or Alcohol At Home?

Drug and alcohol detox requires a professional inpatient detox treatment program. Detoxing alone at home without supervised support or follow-up treatment can be dangerous and is usually not recommended.

The symptoms of withdrawal must be managed alongside allowing the body to cleanse itself of the addictive substances.

Once detox treatment is complete the follow-up can be done in an outpatient setting. Detoxification is always the first step in a drug treatment program and may be followed up by regular programming like IOP or PHP.

Find Out More About The Alo House Treatment Program

partial hospitalization program


What is an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program (IOP)?

IOP is the medical abbreviation for Intensive Outpatient Program, and while similar, they offer more flexibility than PHP programs. An IOP offers a structured mode of care that works towards overcoming substance abuse concerns. The level of care required for each patient is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

IOP treatment takes into consideration the person’s home and work life while providing a high level of outpatient care.

There are a variety of ways IOP programs can be managed, and at Alo House, we have structured our IOP treatment schedules so that individuals can continue work and attend therapy sessions in the evening and on one weekend day.

We’ve found that a lot of the deeper work gets done in IOP once patients have been sober for a few months and are ready to tackle the deeper-rooted issues that led to their addiction.

How Many Hours is an IOP Program?

An IOP program takes place on days and times that best suit the patient. Treatment times vary but can usually fit around other commitments.

An IOP program is generally around 10 to 15 hours per week. That could be made up of several evening sessions along with additional time on the weekend.

The length of duration of an IOP program also varies from person to person depending on the individual requirements of each client.

IOP and PHP Similarities

Both IOP and PHP are focused on preventing relapse and clients making a full recovery. IOP and PHP are more cost effective than full-time residential programs.

Outpatient programs are excellent ways to keep patients sober, prevent relapses and ensure a successful recovery.

While PHP is a full time program, IOP is part time and ideally suited for professionals or those who require a minimal amount of maintenance. Both offer custom care packages to suit the individual.

Individualized Treatment Model

At Alo House, we believe in full goal oriented recovery that doesn’t end with residential care. We provide long-term treatment plans that offer a bridge back to reality for our clients.

For that reason the modes of treatment are tailor-made and individualized for each client. We provide a wide array of tools and programs that best fit the needs of our clients in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Some treatment centers only offer residential services, but we continue to support and work with our clients after they complete the inpatient phase of recovery and transition to a PHP or IOP Program.

By using more natural and integrative models of balancing the mind, body and spirit, our clients are restored to full physical and emotional health.


Oro House Recovery Centers
Oro House Recovery Centers

We believe trust, meaningful connections, and kindness are the essentials to beginning a journey in recovery. Our Treatment Center is dedicated to providing an honest, authentic, and genuine treatment environment that gives our clients a unique opportunity for healing.