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Inpatient Rehab vs. PHP: Which Level of Care is Right For Me?

Millions of people in the United States live with a substance use disorder (SUD). Substance abuse and addiction can harm your health, emotional well-being, relationships, and other aspects of your life.

Drug and alcohol abuse can change how your brain and body function, making it very difficult to stop using addictive substances on your own. Most people living with an SUD need comprehensive addiction treatment to achieve sobriety and maintain it for life.

Because no two people have the same needs during treatment, addiction rehab programs are offered in many settings and several levels of care. There are two main types of rehab: inpatient and outpatient. However, within those levels of care, there are many programs and approaches that can be used to help people recover from addiction.

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are one level of outpatient rehab that people may choose during their recovery journey. A PHP provides a substantial level of care and intensive treatment. It mimics the structure and support of inpatient care while allowing people to return home after treatment sessions.

But how do you know which type of treatment is right for you? People who require intensive treatment may wonder about the benefits of inpatient rehab vs. PHP. This article will explore these two levels of care and help you determine which is right for your needs.

Reach out to the team at the Mandala Healing Center to explore our inpatient rehab programs, PHP, and other levels of care.

Inpatient Rehab: Understanding the Basics

Inpatient rehab occurs in a secure setting–typically within a treatment facility or hospital. People who require round-the-clock treatment and access to care may benefit from the 24/7 supervision and support of an inpatient rehab.

People in an inpatient program live in the treatment center. They eat meals, socialize, sleep, and attend treatment sessions in a secure facility. Some programs may allow people to leave the center on visits or have visitors, while others do not.

During an inpatient rehab program, people follow a tailored treatment plan that can keep them safe during detox and treatment. Here is an outline of what to expect during an inpatient rehab.


During an intake into an inpatient rehab program, a doctor or addiction specialist will evaluate your needs and identify any issues that may complicate detox or treatment. The intake assessment may include:

  • Questions about your current substance use
  • Medical and mental health history
  • Physical exam
  • Lab testing
  • Family history of substance abuse

This information allows your team to create a safe and effective treatment plan.


Detox is often the first step of the journey to lifelong recovery. During detox, your treatment team will monitor you for withdrawal symptoms. You may take medications to reduce cravings and manage other physical and emotional symptoms.

You may also participate in holistic therapies, such as nutrition therapy, exercise, massage, and other healing practices to keep you calm and comfortable during detox. Some people also engage in counseling sessions when appropriate.


Once detox is complete, you will begin to follow a treatment plan that will help you address the physical, behavioral, and psychological components of your substance abuse. You may participate in counseling, group therapy, family therapy, education, and holistic treatments during this time. Many people continue to take medications to manage lingering withdrawal symptoms or to manage physical and mental health conditions.

Inpatient rehab programs provide a high level of support, supervision, and care when people are at the highest risk for relapse. It also provides people with a community of peers and professionals as they work to untangle themselves from their substance abuse and move forward.

PHP: Understanding the Basics

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are sometimes called “day treatment programs.” This level of treatment provides a high level of support and care for people who need significant intervention but do not require round-the-clock supervision and care.

In a PHP, people participate in several hours of treatment each day. People may spend up to 30 hours a week engaging in a range of treatment activities that include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Medical assessments
  • Medical and mental health treatment
  • Support groups
  • Family therapy
  • Relapse prevention education
  • Exercise, mindfulness, art and music therapy, and other holistic practices

People in a PHP often must take time away from work or school to keep up with the intense schedule of therapies. However, having the option to receive a high level of support while remaining close to their support network and living at home is appealing to many people.

Inpatient Rehab vs. PHP: Which Level of Care is Right For Me?

Before beginning treatment, you must consult a doctor or addiction specialist to help you choose the right level of care to meet your needs.

Inpatient treatment can be beneficial to people in the earliest stages of addiction recovery and others who require intensive care, including:

  • People with long-lasting or severe substance use disorders
  • Those who require constant supervision and treatment during detox
  • People who do not have stable housing or a safe living environment
  • Those with an increased risk for complications during detox
  • People who have a significant risk of relapse

A PHP can benefit people who require a high level of care but do not meet the criteria for inpatient admission, including:

  • People who are medically stable
  • Those who do not experience intense or persistent cravings
  • People who have consistent support from family or friends in the community
  • People who need intensive treatment to avoid relapse

Reach out to a medical professional or the Mandala Healing Center specialists for help to determine which level of care is best for your needs.

Find Help Now

If you live with substance abuse or addiction, you are not alone. Compassionate, holistic treatment is available at the Mandala Healing Center. Contact our team now to determine which level of care is right for you or to learn more about any of the programs we offer.