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PHP At Vertava Health

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This program, which may also be referred to as “day treatment,” is not as intensive as residential treatment but is more intensive than outpatient therapy. It is most often used as a form of “step-down” following several weeks or months of residential treatment, allowing patients to practice their skills before being fully discharged.

About PHP

At Vertava Health, most patients who enroll in PHP will have already completed the detoxification process, as well as a 30- to 60-day stay in one of our residential programs. The goal of PHP is to help patients continue their recovery as they begin the transition from residential treatment back to life in the community. 

During PHP, patients will practice the coping mechanisms and other skills they learned in residential treatment. They will also continue to build new skills and develop a strong support system that will serve them when their treatment is complete.

Some of the main components of PHP at Vertava Health may include:

  • individual counseling sessions aimed at identifying and overcoming triggers
  • Group therapy sessions to foster stronger relationships with peers and provide continued access to peer support
  • Medication management for patients engaged in medication-assisted treatment
  • Ongoing case management services to ensure that each patient is progressing through treatment properly
  • Aftercare planning, which consists of developing a clear plan for continued participation in addiction recovery activities after release from PHP.

At Vertava Health, all PHP treatment plans are customized based on each patient’s individual needs, preferences, experiences, and progress. These plans may be modified throughout the treatment process as the patient’s situation changes.

PHP Vs. Inpatient Care

For most patients, PHP will be the phase of treatment that follows completion of inpatient treatment. At Vertava Health, PHP differs from our residential program considerably. Some of the primary differences between these two programs include:

  • flexibility: Patients in PHP have more freedom to leave the treatment facility, visit with family and friends, and use cell phones.
  • less intensive therapy: Patients in PHP will not spend as much time actively engaged in treatment activities as patients in inpatient treatment programs.
  • more aftercare planning: Because patients in PHP are preparing to transition back to the community upon discharge, they will spend more time engaged in aftercare planning than patients in an inpatient treatment program.

While in PHP, patients have a chance to practice the skills they learned in inpatient therapy in an environment that is less structured than a residential program but safer than an abrupt return to the community, thus lowering the likelihood of poor treatment outcomes.

How Long Does PHP Last?

The amount of time each patient spends in PHP will vary based on the treatment team’s assessment of the patient’s needs, as well as the patient’s progress during the program. 

In most cases, Vertava Health will require patients to spend at least 10 days in the partial hospitalization program before moving on to outpatient treatment. 

The decision to discharge a patient from PHP treatment should be made with care. In some cases, patients who do not progress as well as expected while in PHP may be moved back into a residential treatment setting for more intensive therapy.

When Is PHP Appropriate?

PHP is a standard part of the continuum of care for patients with substance use disorders. As stated earlier, PHP is most often recommended for patients transitioning out of inpatient treatment. 

In these cases, the goal of PHP is to help patients gain more confidence, as well as to ensure that each patient has internalized the skills conferred during residential treatment. However, in some cases, PHP may also be used as the initial line of treatment for patients entering the continuum of care for the first time. 

Determining when PHP is the appropriate treatment choice for a new patient requires a thorough assessment of the patient’s condition, as well as careful consideration of all treatment options available. Healthcare providers, addiction treatment specialists, and patients’ family members should work together to make the best decision for each individual patient.


National Institute on Drug Abuse—Treatment Settings