Ambulatory Detox, Partial Hospital Program, Intensive Outpatient, Routine Outpatient care,
Specialty addiction services including methadone and buprenorphine programs, Primary care offices

  • Outpatient Primary Care/General Psychiatry/Psychology:
    Some patients with risky drinking and substance use are able to moderate or abstain with help from their primary care physician alone. Alternatively or in combination, they may be able to work with their general mental health providers (psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist).
  • Specialty Addiction Services:
    There are many outpatient clinics devoted to treating patients with addictions or addiction in conjunction with other mental illness. These clinics can range in their offerings from talk therapy (including cognitive behavior and group therapy) to medication assisted treatment including medications like buprenorphine-naloxone or naltrexone to help with opioid and alcohol use disorders. Methadone is another medication used in the treatment of opioid use disorder, but by law must be prescribed by a specially licensed methadone clinic. None of the outpatient levels of care below should be incompatible with appropriate pharmacotherapy.

What is a Partial Hospitalization Program?

Partial Hospitalization Program refers to a comprehensive, short-term, intensive, clinical treatment program. PHP is a step below inpatient hospitalization but more concentrated than traditional outpatient care. Clients are generally referred to partial programs when they are experiencing acute psychiatric or substance abuse related symptoms that are difficult to manage but that do not require 24-hour care.

Sometimes PHP is needed after an inpatient stay to continue the crisis stabilization and treatment process started in the hospital. Individuals in partial hospitalization programs attend structured programming throughout the day, generally three to five days a week, and return home in the evenings. Patients will interact with psychiatrists, social workers, and other mental health practitioners during the program.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is designed to meet the needs of individuals who suffer from a substance use disorder and need more than weekly counseling, but don’t need residential care.

IOP programs provide monitoring several times a week in a supportive group setting.  IOP programs vary, but usually group meets three times a week in either the mornings or evenings for three hours.  Participants attend for three to eight weeks, with four weeks being the average.

This level of care is appropriate for those who have mild to moderate co-occurring mental health symptoms requiring monitoring and stabilization, those who are experiencing high stress life circumstances that make it more difficult to cope with urges and cravings to use substances, and those who have not been able to stabilize their substance use in a traditional outpatient setting.

Intensive outpatient programming is for those individuals who are able and willing to commit to a structured program that requires regular attendance and active participation.

Day vs. Evening?

  • IOP programs vary, but usually group meets three times a week in either the mornings or evenings for three hours.
  • Patients who are not currently employed or require increased structure during the day would benefit from participation in a Day program.
  • Evening IOP programs generally run after regular business hours and help to meet the needs of those patients who are currently employed or are occupied during the day time hours.