group therapy during PHP


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The journey into recovery is unique for those who come into it. Not everyone recovers the same way and some people wonder what is PHP vs IOP. Which program is best is totally dependent on the person who is seeking it out. What are the pros and cons of these programs? Well, they each have their own set of both pros and cons. Both come with positive aspects that can benefit recovery.

Getting help is vital to ensuring the best possible start to a life of recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol.


PHP vs IOP programs can best be explained in the manner in which the programs take place. Partial hospitalization programs, or PHP, are when an individual attends daily group and individualized therapy and is maintaining a controlled environment where there is a safety net for fighting off cravings. PHP vs IOP is more about how the programs work. Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are available generally once PHP is completed. After PHP, an individual has the tools and skills necessary to combat daily struggles and make it through without drinking and using drugs.

Both programs consist of attending groups and individual therapy. However, IOP is a level at which someone is better equipped to do this from the comfort of home without supervision. 

PHP Benefits

The benefits of PHP vs IOP include the safety net it provides. There are people who someone has access to 24 hours a day in order to talk through the thoughts and feelings that often lead to using drugs and alcohol to cope. Having a solid and strong foundation of tools and skills prior to returning to a world where access to professionals in recovery is limited, can be crucial to making sure that someone has the best shot of staying clean and sober. 

Everybody processes and rids the body of drugs and alcohol differently. Someone may not begin to physically recover as quickly as someone else. Having the safety net of a PHP can help to address any symptoms of post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) that may occur once the substances have been removed from the system. PHP vs IOP allows someone to have this option when trying to build a foundation in recovery.

IOP Benefits

Once completing a PHP program, IOP allows individuals to return to normal daily life. The person still receives positive support from addiction professionals who can help with learning new and positive coping skills. At this stage, an individual is able to mostly self-soothe, and not go back to using drugs and alcohol when things get tough. They have generally integrated themselves into a recovery community, and manage cravings well on their own.

This stage is best suited for those who do not need round-the-clock care and monitoring to ensure recovery.

PHP Cons

PHP vs IOP has cons as well. For one, PHP requires more time in treatment. Thus, a person might be limited regarding a return to work and caring for themselves and their family. This is to ensure that once it comes time to return to regular daily responsibilities, the person has all the necessary tools to not go back to using substances. 

Having all the necessary and recommended coping skills before returning to daily life and responsibilities, such as family, work, and financial responsibilities, is highly recommended so that a person knows how to cope when stress and anxiety arise.

While it may seem less convenient, in the long run, a partial hospitalization program can benefit an individual immensely. Using all the time allotted for addiction treatment is crucial for an individual who is struggling with substances. Having proper support as someone potentially goes through PAWS, or is experiencing anxiety and depression can help to ensure that they are giving themselves the best chance at living a life in recovery from addiction to substances.

IOP Cons

PHP vs IOP cons include lack of monitoring. In IOP a person is left to their own devices outside of the group hours. Often a person has returned to their home, taking care of family and returning to work. This can lead to stress and anxiety that could be managed in a PHP setting. However, when the symptoms heighten during IOP, it can happen at any time, and if there is no one available to address these feelings with, it can make turning to substances seem like a good idea.

When someone struggles with addiction, the proper support system is vital to ensuring a positive outcome.

PHP and IOP in Southern California

Addiction to drugs and alcohol can lead to some severe life impacts, and these impacts can be life-altering. If you or a loved one are struggling, Ocean Hills Recovery in Southern California can help. We offer programs to help those who need to begin to recover and learn to live life without using drugs and alcohol as a means of coping. This is essential to gaining control of their life and living productively.

Recovery is possible. Contact us today and begin healing.

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