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What’s the Difference Between PHP and IOP?

medical specialist consoling patient as they explain what's the difference between PHP and IOP

Many people begin their recovery journey in a residential rehabilitation program. These treatment programs allow patients to live in the same facility where they receive care and comprehensive support. However, the full continuum of care for addiction treatment and co-occurring mental health disorders often involves stepping down to a form of outpatient treatment. Most often, this is either a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or an intensive outpatient program (IOP). However, it is crucial to know the differences when considering a PHP vs. IOP.

7 Summit Pathways offers both a partial hospitalization program and an intensive outpatient program as part of our comprehensive continuum of care. Call 813.212.7149 today to learn more about our programs and services and how we can help you or a loved one break the cycle of addiction.


In the behavioral health industry, a partial hospitalization program, or PHP, and an intensive outpatient program, or IOP, are two of the most common and effective means of outpatient treatment.

PHPs and IOPs supply treatment to patients who want to live independently. These programs can help those who have completed residential care and are seeking continued support. Or they may be ideal for patients in circumstances that make inpatient treatment difficult.

When considering a PHP vs. IOP, the patient’s journey through a continuum of care will depend upon the patient’s needs and recovery goals. A PHP may be more appropriate for one patient, while an IOP meets the needs of another.

What’s the difference between a PHP and an IOP, and which option is right for you? The main difference is in the level of commitment, structure, accountability, and flexibility. A PHP is more highly structured, with increased supervision and accountability and less flexibility for patients to pursue activities and obligations outside of treatment. An IOP is still a structured and intensive form of treatment and does many of the same things as a PHP, but it offers greater flexibility for the patient to address work, school, or home obligations.

What Is a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)?

A PHP allows patients to spend the night at home and spend the day receiving treatment at a safe, nurturing facility. Patients often dedicate a good portion of the week to receiving personalized, evidence-based care.

PHP patients receive many of the same treatments and holistic therapies as a residential program, such as:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Mindfulness training
  • Arts therapy
  • Yoga

Some PHPs also offer medication-assisted therapy to treat mild-to-moderate detoxification symptoms.

At 7 Summit Pathways, we offer an innovative Day-Night Partial Hospitalization Program. Patients come to our treatment center for 25 hours of comprehensive care, meeting five days per week and occasionally for evening programs. Our Day-Night PHP provides extended care and recovery support. We also offer sober living options to make addiction treatment possible for everyone.

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

An IOP is similar to a PHP in that patients receive treatment during the day and return home at night. IOPs tend to have shorter hours, so they’re ideal for patients who are transitioning back
into everyday life, work, and family commitments.

At 7 Summit Pathways, we understand the need for flexible treatment options. That’s why we offer two IOP schedules — one in the morning and one in the evening.

When you enroll in our IOP, you’ll receive three to four days per week of highly individualized, personalized treatment, including:

  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Relapse prevention training
  • Other classes to provide extended support during this recovery stage

A robust aftercare program is usually the next step after completing an intensive outpatient program and ensures that the patient has the support and resources to maintain recovery.

PHP vs. IOP – Which Treatment Plan Is Right for You?

The difference between an IOP and a PHP is subtle but important. The program that’s right for you will depend on many factors, including:

  • The severity and duration of the addiction or mental health condition
  • The level of support available at home
  • The flexibility needed to balance treatment with work, school, or family obligations
  • The individual’s ability to handle triggers and cravings outside a structured environment
  • The degree of progress made in any previous levels of care
  • The individual’s physical health and any co-occurring medical conditions
  • The individual’s mental health status and any co-occurring mental health disorders
  • The individual’s commitment and readiness for change
  • The existence of a safe, stable, and supportive living situation.

Through a thorough assessment and consultation process, our compassionate and professional addiction treatment specialists will determine the best course of treatment.

Reach Out to 7 Summit Pathways Today

Recovery is a unique journey for every individual. Wherever you are in the process, you deserve to find support. At 7 Summit Pathways, we’re dedicated to providing compassionate, personalized care. We’ll talk with you in-depth to make sure you choose the right treatment program for your recovery.

To schedule an appointment or to learn more about our PHP and IOP options, please reach out to us today at 813.212.7149 or contact us online.