The Role of a PHP in
Substance Abuse Recovery

Learn more about how a PHP for substance abuse recovery is a flexible and effective option for those hesitant about residential treatment.

Table of Contents

The Pervasive Impact of Substance Abuse on Individuals and Communities

Substance abuse is a major problem that affects not only the person struggling with addiction, but also their loved ones and communities. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), approximately 20 million people in the U.S. struggle with substance use disorder (SUD) each year.1
The impact of substance use disorder (SUD) can be seen across all demographics, from teenagers experimenting with drugs to adults coping with chronic pain.
It not only causes physical and mental health problems, but also leads to:
  • Financial strain
  • Legal issues
  • Relationship difficulties
  • In some cases, loss of life
PHP for Substance Abuse

Choosing a PHP for Substance Abuse Recovery

While there are many treatment options available for substance abuse recovery, not all may be suitable for everyone.

A partial hospitalization program, or PHP, for substance abuse recovery offers a unique and effective approach to healing. They provide people with access to comprehensive treatment services without the need for overnight stays.

This allows for a balance of structure and independence, making it an attractive option for those seeking recovery while maintaining their daily responsibilities.

What Is Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse involves the excessive or inappropriate use of drugs or alcohol despite adverse consequences.
This pattern of behavior can significantly impact:
  • Physical health
  • Mental well-being
  • Social interactions

Symptoms of SUD

When struggling with substance abuse, people might notice various symptoms that disrupt daily life.
Key symptoms include:
  • A compulsion to use the substance regularly, whether daily or several times a day
  • Intense urges for the substance that block out other thoughts
  • Increasing amounts needed to get the same effect, known as tolerance
  • Inability to stop using the substance, despite wanting to quit
  • Making certain there’s a constant supply of the substance
  • Spending money on the substance, even if one can’t afford it
  • Not meeting obligations and work responsibilities
  • Cutting back on social or recreational activities because of substance use
  • Continuing to use the substance, even knowing it’s causing harm
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit

Risk Factors

The risk of developing a substance use disorder depends on a combination of factors, including:
  • Genetics: A family history of addiction can increase a person’s predisposition to substance abuse.
  • Peer pressure: Especially significant during adolescence, peer pressure can prompt substance use and potentially lead to substance abuse.
  • Lack of family involvement: A lack of close family ties or a supportive network can increase the risk of substance abuse.
  • Mental health disorders: Conditions such as depression, anxiety, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are often linked to higher risks of substance abuse.2
  • Early use: Engaging in substance use early in life can increase the chances of developing more serious substance abuse issues later on.
Substance abuse can be a complex issue with wide-ranging effects on a person’s life. At AM Behavioral Health, our focus is on understanding and addressing these complexities through tailored interventions in our PHP for substance abuse recovery.

How a PHP for Substance Abuse Recovery Can Help You Heal

A PHP for substance abuse recovery provides a structured and supportive environment for those seeking to overcome SUD. One of the defining characteristics of PHP for substance abuse rehabilitation is its flexibility and personalization.
Each PHP participant receives a customized treatment plan that addresses their specific needs, challenges, and goals. This personalized approach ensures that clients are getting treatment that’s aligned with what will benefit them most.
A PHP for substance abuse recovery also provides a gradual transition from more intensive care to less restrictive, outpatient care. This step-down process allows people to progress at a pace that is comfortable for them while still receiving support and accountability.

The Comprehensive Approach of a PHP for Substance Abuse Recovery

At AM Behavioral Health, the uniqueness of our PHP for substance abuse lies in how we deliver care:

Integrated Care Model

Our PHP for substance abuse recovery combines various therapeutic disciplines to offer comprehensive support tailored to enhance the recovery journey.
This includes:
  • Medical support: Our medical team provides medication management and monitoring to address any physical symptoms of substance abuse and withdrawal.
  • Psychological therapy: At the heart of PHP care is a robust psychological therapy component. This includes behavioral therapy, which helps people address patterns of thought that contribute to substance use, and other modalities tailored to their needs.
  • Social support: Group therapy sessions and peer support activities are integral to PHP treatment. These sessions offer a platform for sharing experiences and learning from others who are facing similar challenges, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose.

Structured Environment of a PHP for Substance Abuse Recovery

The structured environment of PHP for substance abuse rehabilitation is designed to provide the stability and routine necessary to foster early sobriety. This setting helps people transition from intensive inpatient care to a less restrictive outpatient model while maintaining a high level of support.

The typical structure of a PHP for substance abuse recovery includes:
  • Scheduled days: Days in a PHP are carefully structured with therapeutic activities, treatments, and educational workshops. This routine helps alleviate the stress of decision-making and reduces the risk of relapse during this vulnerable phase of recovery.
  • Accountability measures: Regular check-ins and therapy sessions provide accountability. These check-ins serve to monitor progress and encourage adherence to the treatment plan.

Skill-Building and Coping Strategies

The ultimate goal of skill-building in PHP for substance abuse is to integrate these coping strategies into daily life. At AM Behavioral Health, we ensure that the skills learned are not only theoretical but also highly practical and applicable in everyday situations.

Regular follow-ups and support sessions help reinforce these skills and ensure clients are confident in applying them independently. These include:

Trigger Identification

Recognizing what triggers cravings is the first step in managing them. In a PHP, clients learn to identify these triggers through individual and group therapy sessions. Understanding triggers allows for the development of personalized coping strategies.

Coping Strategies

Once triggers are identified, clients work with therapists to develop a toolkit of coping strategies.
These may include:
  • Mindfulness and relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation help manage physiological responses to stress and cravings.
  • Cognitive restructuring: This involves challenging and changing the harmful thought patterns that can lead to substance use. By recognizing negative thoughts and replacing them with more constructive ones, people can reduce the likelihood of relapse.
  • Distraction and substitution: Learning to redirect attention toward positive activities or substituting a craving with a healthier behavior are practical strategies that are emphasized in a PHP.

Skills Practice

The PHP environment provides a safe space to practice these new skills. Through various activities and group exercises, clients gain confidence in implementing these strategies in real-life situations.
These skills are transferable to everyday life and can be used to cope with any future challenges that may arise.

Breaking Down the Benefits of a PHP for Substance Abuse Rehabilitation

There are numerous benefits to taking part in a PHP for substance abuse treatment, including:

Intensive Support

The intensive support offered in a PHP is designed to address the complexities of recovery as people navigate the initial, often turbulent, stages.
With access to continuous medical care, clients receive regular assessments that are crucial for early detection and management of any complications associated with recovery.
Additionally, the availability of healthcare professionals ensures that any challenges people face are promptly addressed, offering reassurance and stability when they need it most.

Flexibility and Autonomy

A PHP for substance abuse treatment also supports people’s need for flexibility and autonomy, allowing them to integrate treatment with their everyday responsibilities. This balance is crucial as it enables people to maintain their roles in the home, workplace, or school while receiving care.
The program’s structure is carefully designed to accommodate personal schedules, which means clients can engage in therapy sessions and medical appointments without fully stepping away from daily life.
This integration helps people apply the coping strategies learned in therapy directly to real-life situations, enhancing the practical benefits of treatment.

Peer Support and Community

The journey through recovery often feels isolating, but within a PHP, the presence of peers who understand a person’s struggles can significantly ease this burden.
Here’s how peer support in a PHP for substance abuse treatment enriches the recovery experience:
  • Shared experiences: Engaging with others who have similar challenges provides a sense of universality. People realize they’re not alone in your struggles, which can be incredibly affirming and encouraging.3
  • Mutual encouragement: Recovery can have its set of ups and downs. Having peers around who encourage clients during tough times and celebrate their victories can boost motivation to stay on the recovery path.
  • Accountability: Being surrounded by peers who share the goal of sobriety can foster a sense of accountability, where people hold each other responsible for staying on track with recovery.

What to Expect in AM Behavioral Health’s PHP for Substance Abuse Recovery

At AM Behavioral Health, our PHP for substance abuse offers a comprehensive range of evidence-based treatments and therapies to support the recovery journey.
Some of the treatments and therapies you can expect to receive during your time in our PHP include:


Through psychotherapy, you will gain insight into your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and learn healthier ways of coping with them.
This include:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT addresses the interconnectedness of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It helps you identify and challenge negative thinking patterns and replace them with more realistic and positive ones.
For example, if you have a thought like, “I can’t handle my cravings without using drugs,” CBT can help you challenge that thought and replace it with a more helpful one, such as, “I have successfully coped with cravings before and I can do it again.”
Your therapist will also work with you to develop strategies for managing difficult emotions and avoiding triggers that may lead to substance use.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)

MET is a systematic intervention approach that produces rapid, internally motivated change. This therapy does not attempt to treat the person but rather mobilizes your own internal resources for change and engagement in treatment.
MET involves an initial assessment battery session, followed by two to four treatment sessions. During the assessment session, your therapist will:
  • Provide personalized feedback on your substance use and its risks
  • Assess your level of motivation for change
  • Identify personal goals for treatment
In subsequent sessions, your therapist will work with you to increase motivation and develop a specific plan of action to achieve your goals.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

MI is a collaborative and goal-oriented therapy that helps you explore your intrinsic motivation to change. Your therapist will work with you to identify what motivates you and how to use it to achieve your goals.
MI is considered a person-centered therapy, as it puts you at the center of your own recovery process. It is based on the premise that you are capable of changing and making choices that lead to positive outcomes.
Your therapist will guide you through the exploration and resolution of ambivalence, empowering you to make informed decisions about your substance use.

Medication Management

Medication management involves the prescribing, monitoring, and adjusting of medications to improve your symptoms and support your recovery.

Medication can be helpful for:
  • Reducing cravings
  • Managing withdrawal symptoms
  • Addressing underlying mental health issues that may contribute to substance use
Combined with therapy, medication management can significantly improve your chances of successful recovery.

Note About Medication Management

It is important to note that medication should not be seen as a cure for a substance use disorder. It is most effective when used in combination with other forms of treatment and a supportive recovery environment.
During medication management, your doctor will work with you to find the right type and dosage of medication that works best for you. They will also monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed.

Holistic Therapy in Our PHP for Substance Abuse Rehabilitation

Holistic therapy is an approach that addresses the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. It recognizes that substance use disorder affects all aspects of a person’s life and recovery requires a holistic approach.
At AM Behavioral Health, we offer a variety of holistic therapies, such as:

Recreational Therapy

Recreational therapy uses leisure activities to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

In substance abuse treatment, it can help you:

  • Develop healthy coping skills
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Increase socialization

These can include arts and crafts, team sports, outdoor activities, and more. Each activity is chosen to help develop new hobbies and interests that can replace substance use. Recreational therapy also encourages healthy physical activity, which can reduce stress and improve mood.

Nutrition Counseling

Substance abuse often leads to poor nutrition habits, as drugs and alcohol can cause a loss of appetite or lead to unhealthy eating behaviors. In a PHP for substance abuse, nutrition counseling is used to educate you about the importance of proper nutrition in recovery.4
At AM Behavioral Health, we have registered dietitians who can help you develop a balanced and sustainable meal plan. Our dietitians will work with you to create a personalized plan that meets your specific nutritional needs while also promoting overall health and well-being.
This can include:
  • Meal planning
  • Education on portion control
  • Addressing any underlying nutritional deficiencies

How to Know If a PHP for Substance Abuse Recovery is Right for You

If you or a loved one is struggling with SUD and are considering PHP for substance abuse as a treatment option, there are a few factors to consider.
These include:

Severity of Substance Use Disorder

A PHP for substance abuse rehabilitation is often recommended for people who have a moderate level of substance use disorder. This means that they may not require 24/7 supervision and medical care, but still need more intensive treatment than traditional outpatient therapy.
Some signs that your symptoms may not be severe enough for PHP include:
  • Being able to maintain basic daily tasks and responsibilities
  • Not experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms when not using substances
  • Being able to function relatively well in social and work settings
  • Not having a history of multiple unsuccessful attempts at recovery

Ability to Commit to Treatment

It’s important to assess whether you or your loved one have the time and ability to commit to this schedule, as missing sessions can hinder progress and potentially lead to relapse.

Availability of Support at Home

Since PHP for substance abuse allows you to return home after treatment each day, it’s important to have a supportive and stable home environment. This includes having family or friends who can provide emotional and practical support, as well as a safe and drug-free living space.

Steps to Take for Intake for a PHP for Substance Abuse Rehabilitation

Below is a detailed guide on how to proceed with the intake process for a PHP for substance abuse recovery at AM Behavioral Health:

Initial Consultation

The first step in the intake process is an initial consultation, which is essential to determine the appropriateness of PHP for your specific situation.
You can schedule this consultation by calling our facility or through our website. During this call, you’ll provide some basic information about your situation, which will help us prepare for our first meeting.

The goal here is to understand your needs, history of substance use, previous treatments, and any co-occurring mental health conditions. This meeting also gives you the opportunity to ask questions about the program and familiarize yourself with our approach.

Comprehensive Assessment

Following the initial consultation, a comprehensive assessment is conducted by our team of healthcare professionals. The medical assessment includes a physical examination and possibly some diagnostic tests to assess your physical health, which can be affected by substance use.
During the psychological evaluation, a mental health professional will evaluate your psychological state to identify any co-occurring disorders and to understand your overall mental health.

Financial Arrangement and Insurance Verification

You can discuss payment options and insurance coverage during this step. Our team will work with you to understand your financial situation and determine the best course of action for payment.

We will verify your insurance coverage and inform you about any out-of-pocket expenses, co-payments, or deductibles that may apply.
If needed, we may be able to offer payment plans to help make treatment more manageable for you.

Preparing for the Program

Once the assessment is complete and financial arrangements are made, the next step is preparing for entry into the PHP.
We provide an orientation session where you’ll learn about the daily schedule, program rules, and what to expect during your time in PHP. This is also a good opportunity to meet some of the staff and possibly other participants.
Together with your treatment team, you will set initial recovery goals. These goals will be reviewed and adjusted throughout your time in the program based on your progress.


The final step is the formal admission into the PHP for substance abuse recovery. You will be given an admission date, which is typically soon after all preparations are complete.
On your first day, you will be welcomed by our staff and introduced to the team who will be working with you. You will also receive a comprehensive tour of the facilities.
At AM Behavioral Health, we ensure that each step is handled with care and attention to detail, reflecting our commitment to providing a supportive and effective treatment environment.
PHP for Substance Abuse

Take the First Step Toward Recovery With Us

We understand that seeking treatment can be overwhelming and uncertain, but we are here to guide you through the process and support you every step of the way.
Our experienced team is dedicated to helping people overcome their mental health and substance abuse challenges and improve their well-being.

Contact AM Behavioral Health Today

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse and seeking treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out and take the first step toward a healthier, happier life.

Contact us today to learn more about our PHP and how we can help you on your journey to recovery. Remember, it is never too late to seek treatment and make positive changes in your life.

Let us be a part of your healing journey and support you in achieving your goals for a brighter future. Take the first step toward wellness today. Join us at AM Behavioral Health, and start living the life you deserve.