Treating a mental disorder or substance abuse problem is often a multilayered process. As you progress from the depths of addiction into a newer and healthier lifestyle, it is possible to still enjoy the freedom of living at home and remain connected to your support groups and treatment networks at the same time.

Partial hospitalization treatment, also known as “intensive outpatient treatment” offers high-quality, vital care – sometimes seven days a week – to break your dependence on drugs and alcohol and to address the underlying causes behind addiction without the need for constant supervision and monitoring.

How Does Partial Hospitalization Addiction Treatment Work?

Counseling groupPartial hospitalization addiction treatment still requires you to attend treatment sessions five to seven days a week, sometimes up to eight hours a day. However, once your sessions are completed, you are free to leave the treatment facility.

Residential treatment may be the best choice during the first few days or weeks of addiction recovery. Residential treatment (sometimes called inpatient treatment) offers overnight accommodations that help during detoxification and early recovery. After more intense treatment, many people choose to step down to partial hospitalization, or intensive outpatient therapy.

People who attend partial hospitalization programs or intensive outpatient programs have often shown enough improvement that they are strong enough to leave treatment at night and stay healthy. Partial hospitalization is also sometimes used in cases where individuals have familial commitments — such as caring for children or elderly family members — that they can’t leave to partake in residential care.

Partial hospitalization treatment is very structured and concentrated. If a patient does not show expected signs of improvement, if attendance at partial hospitalization treatment sessions is negligent, or if a relapse occurs, the patient may be asked (or required) to live at the facility again until their condition progresses.1

Maintain Early Recovery Through Partial Hospitalization

While there is more freedom in an outpatient setting, partial hospitalization should offer the same dedicated treatment and professional staff that residential treatment offers. That means that support groups, as well as individual, group or family therapy sessions, will still be a part of the treatment regimen. Patients will also have the additional step of learning to live on their own again, ideally in a clean and safe environment.

Like any good freedom, this is also responsibility, because patients will have to apply and adapt what they learned in treatment sessions to real-world environments, such as:

  • Resuming academic/professional life
  • Interacting with healthy friends and family members
  • Resisting the temptation to use drugs or alcohol when they are on their own

The treatment and support that occur during partial hospitalization offers a safe place to discuss setbacks, make plans for the future, and heal from past traumas. Therapists and support groups will give practical advice and guidance on the new life ahead of those in care.

Most partial hospitalization programs have an average length of treatment, but quality treatment programs know that addiction treatment is not “one-size-fits-all”. Both the patient and the treatment team should work together to determine the best length of treatment. Dedicated counselors can help ensure that program participants feel comfortable and are able to stay as long as treatment is needed.

Does Partial Hospitalization Work?

Intensive outpatient programs and partial hospitalization programs help alleviate symptoms of depression, mental health distress, and substance use. These programs help participants manage cravings, handle difficult emotions, and improve social and interpersonal relationships so that they can build better futures.2

Partial hospitalization is a popular program. The National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems has called partial hospitalization practice a “critical” component of the restoration of mental health.3

Black Bear Lodge is committed to giving you all the tools and resources you need to start your new, clean, and healthy life. Call us today at 706-914-2327 to see how we can help you or someone you love begin the journey to wellness.


1 Randle, K. What is Partial Hospitalization? Psych Central. Web. Retrieved 15 Dec 2017.

2 Kelly T., Daley D., Douaihy A. Contingency management for patients with dual disorders in intensive outpatient treatment for addiction. Journal Dual Diagnosis. 2014. 10(3):108-17. Web. Retrieved 15 Dec 2017.

3 National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems. Partial Hospitalization. Nd. Web. Retrieved 15 Dec 2017.