The Different Levels of Care and Their Importance

by | Last updated Apr 19, 2021 | Published on Jun 28, 2019 | Rehab, Treatment | 0 comments

The Different Levels of Care and Their Importance

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What Are The Different Levels of Care? And, Why Are They Important?

When looking for addiction treatment, you’ll come across different levels of care. Understanding the unique differences between each level of care will allow you to make a more informed decision on the type of substance abuse program that you are the best fit for. This article will look at not only the differences between the different levels of care, but also their importance. 

From the Most to the Least Intense Level of Care

Some rehab centers can offer a full continuum of care whereas others focus on a specific level of care. The amount of care that you need will depend on the severity of your addiction, the length of the abuse, and the type and severity of the withdrawal symptoms that are experienced. 
Many recovering addicts will opt to try a more intense type of rehab in the beginning before transitioning into something that’s more flexible and fluid. There are many different levels of care. The levels of care from the most to the least intense type are:

  • Inpatient treatment programs, also known as residential treatment programs
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

Each level of care will possess its own unique features and properties. We’ll take a look at each one in more detail below. The level of care that’s most suited for your needs or the needs of a loved one will depend on a wide array of circumstances and factors.

Residential or Inpatient Treatment Programs

inpatient treatment programResidential or inpatient treatment programs typically are the most popular types of rehab programs. They’re the type of addiction treatment programs that you typically see on the TV. These programs will require patients to move into the addiction treatment facility for anywhere from 28 to 90 days. In general, longer treatment lengths are correlated with higher success rates. This is because the brain has more time to reset.
One of the main benefits of a residential treatment program is that patients receive around-the-clock supervision and medical care. They can reach out to our addiction experts at any time and receive a prompt response. In the event that they are not feeling well, a physician can alter or prescribe medications for a smoother recovery. Patients also get to recover in a calm and peaceful environment.
Those who opt for inpatient care will do everything at the treatment facility. They will eat meals prepared by in-house chefs, and also do their laundry on-site. Family and members can visit during designated hours. 
Residential treatment programs are also typically the most expensive option of them all. However, as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now covers addiction treatment, many people will not have to pay for the entire cost of the treatment out of their own pockets. 

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)

partial hospitalization programs require a commitment of 6 hours a dayPartial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs) are a step down from residential treatment programs. With these programs, patients do not need to stay at the treatment center. Instead, they’ll merely travel there every day in order to get the treatment that they need. Those who choose a PHP will often get anywhere from 6 to 8 hours of therapy every day. They’ll also enjoy the same evidence-based treatment approaches as those who chose to go with an inpatient program.
These programs give patients the ability to continue to work or go to school. For example, those who go to work may choose to receive treatment after work. This type of addiction treatment program also allows patients to try out the skills that they have learned in real-time. This gives them some insight into what works for them, and what doesn’t.
It’s important to note that those who choose a PHP can change their treatment hours at any time. Some people may decide to receive treatment during the day on some days and during the night on others. It all depends on their schedule. Some patients will actually transition into a PHP after completing an inpatient program.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

outpatient programIntensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) are a step down from PHPs and are a type of outpatient program. With this type of program, patients receive more supervision and medical assistance. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines IOPs as addiction treatment programs that require a commitment of at least 9 hours a week. Most patients will opt to receive 3 hours of treatment three times a week. 
These programs are just as effective as inpatient treatment programs, and patients will usually receive a wide array of evidence-based treatment approaches. Most patients will usually receive more behavioral therapy than anything else. 
In general, IOPs are designed for those who do not have a lot of time to commit to recovery. Those who opt for this outpatient program will usually have a fairly stable home life and environment. They will also usually have already completed an inpatient program or a PHP. These individuals will usually already have acquired some recovery skills to help them achieve lifelong sobriety. 
A benefit of IOPs that is worth pointing out is their affordability. IOPs tend to be fairly inexpensive. Also, most health insurance plans will cover most, if not all, of the costs of an IOP. This type of addiction treatment program is ideal for those who are on a budget, but still want to recover and get sober. 
It’s important to note that IOPs are one step above standard outpatient programs. There are no requirements attached to standard outpatient programs. Patients can receive as much or as little therapy as they need.

How to Choose the Right Level of Care

Many factors will come into play when deciding which level of care may be the best fit for an individual’s needs. Some factors that determine which level of care may be most appropriate and suitable for a patient will include:

  • Their budget. Although health insurance will cover a portion, if not all, of the costs, some people may still need to pay out of their own pockets for certain treatments. In these situations, patients may want to consider what they can afford. Naturally, residential treatment programs are more expensive than PHPs. PHPs are more expensive than IOPs.
  • The severity of the addiction and the withdrawal symptoms. Those who are struggling with a serious addiction may need more guidance and help. They may benefit more from an intense type of rehab program. 
  • The types of treatments that are needed. Some rehab centers are unable to offer certain types of treatments for specific levels of care. Make sure that the evidence-based treatment approaches that you’re looking for are available at the level of care that you think may be best suited to your needs.
  • One’s home environment. Environmental triggers can result in relapse. Those who have a stable home environment are more likely to choose a less intense addiction treatment program. On the other hand, those who have less stability at home may appreciate living at an alcohol or drug treatment center instead.
  • The patient’s needs. Some patients simply do better with outpatient care while others do better with inpatient care. It all depends on the types of treatments that the patients respond to.

If you’re having difficulty figuring out what you need, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts can help you determine what the best course of action may be. 

Amethyst Recovery Offers High-Quality Clinical Care

If you’re looking to get sober, perhaps, you should consider getting help from us. Amethyst Recovery Center offers an array of high-quality residential addiction treatment programs. We treat all types of addictions from alcohol addiction to prescription drug addiction and more. 
What are your experiences with different types of rehab? Have you visited our facility before or have you completed one of our substance abuse treatment programs? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by: newamethyst

Written by: newamethyst

The Amethyst Recovery Center Editorial team is comprised of individuals who are passionate about addiction recovery. We hope to contribute to the recovery journey through personal stories, insights, and informational content pieces.

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