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Partial Hospitalization for Alcoholism: Definition, Types, and Effectiveness

Author: Thomas Roth

Last Updated: 05/12/2023

Partial hospitalization treatment, or PHP, is a form of treatment for alcoholism that provides medical and therapeutic care during the day, allowing patients to return home or to a sober living environment at night. It is an intensive form of outpatient treatment, offering similar services to inpatient rehabilitation, but with more flexibility. Programs like these are suitable for people who require a high level of care but still need to maintain some level of normalcy in their daily routines. Read on to learn everything you need to know about this treatment method.

What is Partial Hospitalization Treatment for Alcoholism?

Partial hospitalization treatment refers to a structured program of outpatient psychiatric services provided to patients as an alternative to inpatient psychiatric care. In the context of alcoholism treatment, it is a comprehensive, short-term, clinically focused program. It provides therapeutically intensive, coordinated, and structured clinical services within a stable therapeutic environment.

Patients in partial hospitalization programs receive medical supervision, psychotherapy, and education about alcohol addiction during the day, typically for several hours at a time. These programs may offer the same therapies as inpatient programs, including individual counseling, group therapy, family therapy, and medication management.

The structure of partial hospitalization treatment provides patients with a stable environment that is less restrictive than an inpatient facility. This flexibility allows patients to put into practice the skills they learn during therapy in real-world situations.

What Are the Signs of Alcoholism That Require Partial Hospitalization Treatment?

The signs of alcoholism requiring partial hospitalization treatment are similar to those requiring inpatient care. These may include physical dependence on alcohol, withdrawal symptoms when not drinking, inability to control or reduce drinking, hiding or lying about drinking habits, and neglect of responsibilities due to alcohol use.

However, partial hospitalization is often recommended for individuals who have completed an inpatient treatment program but still need significant support, or for those whose alcoholism is severe but who have a stable and supportive living situation.

How Does Partial Hospitalization Treatment Work?

Partial hospitalization treatment begins with a comprehensive evaluation to assess the patient’s physical health, mental health, and substance use history. Based on this assessment, a personalized treatment plan is developed that includes medical care, therapeutic interventions, and educational sessions.

During the program, patients attend treatment during the day, often five to seven days a week for several hours each day. Treatment may include individual therapy, group therapy, family counseling, medication management, and other therapeutic activities.

After the day’s treatment, patients return home or to a sober living facility, where they can apply the skills and strategies learned during therapy to their daily life. This structure allows them to gradually reintegrate into their normal routines while still receiving intensive support and treatment.

How Much Does Partial Hospitalization Treatment Cost?

The cost of partial hospitalization treatment can vary widely, depending on the specific program, the types of services provided, and the length of the program. Some programs may be covered by insurance, while others may require out-of-pocket payment. It is important to check with your insurance provider and the treatment program to understand the costs involved.

What are the Benefits of Partial Hospitalization Treatment?

Partial hospitalization treatment offers several benefits. It provides a high level of care, similar to inpatient treatment while allowing patients to maintain some of their daily routines. This can be particularly beneficial for patients who have family or work responsibilities that make inpatient treatment difficult.

Additionally, because patients return home or to a sober living facility after treatment, they have the opportunity to practice the skills and strategies they learn in therapy in their daily life. This real-world application can enhance the effectiveness of treatment and support long-term recovery.

How Effective is Partial Hospitalization Treatment?

Studies have shown that partial hospitalization treatment can be highly effective for treating alcoholism. According to the National Library of Medicine, the efficacy of partial

hospitalization treatment is comparable to inpatient treatment in many cases. The effectiveness of these programs depends on several factors, including the intensity and quality of the program, the individual’s level of motivation, and the supportiveness of the person’s home environment.

Furthermore, partial hospitalization treatment can be particularly effective as a step-down level of care for individuals who have completed an inpatient treatment program. It provides a transitional phase that supports individuals in applying the skills they’ve learned in a controlled environment to their daily lives, thereby reducing the risk of relapse.

What Are the Other Treatments for Alcoholism?

Several treatment modalities are available for alcoholism. Below we list the most common alcoholism treatment options.

Consider PHP Treatment for Alcoholism Today

In summary, partial hospitalization treatment offers a flexible yet intensive approach to alcoholism treatment that can be highly effective for many individuals, particularly those who have a supportive living situation or who need to balance treatment with other responsibilities. Our network has plenty of alcohol rehab options for PHP treatment and much more.


  • National Library of Medicine
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism