What’s the Difference Between a Day Program and an Outpatient Program?

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When you start your search for a drug rehab program, you’ll find that there are many different levels of care to choose from. Inpatient and outpatient are the two most basic levels of care, but there are others that fall in between, such as day programs. Understanding these types of care and what they offer can help you find the best program for your needs.

Pura Vida Recovery in Santa Rosa CA offers various levels of care, including detox, partial hospitalization, day treatment, intensive outpatient, outpatient and aftercare. In this blog post, we’re going to discuss the difference between day treatment and outpatient treatment so that you can get a better understanding of how they compare.

What is a Day Treatment Program?

Day treatment may also be referred to as partial hospitalization or PHP. These two programs are very similar. The only notable difference is that a day program requires less of a time commitment than partial hospitalization. Day programs are a type of outpatient care, which means you will return home every night. They are also typically held in a residential facility or office setting.

While each program is different, you can expect to spend around 25 hours a week in a day program. This time will be spent meeting with your clinical team and participating in therapy. You will also have access to holistic therapies to support your recovery, such as yoga, meditation, exercise and nutrition. At night, you’ll return home to be with your family.

Since you will be living at home, it’s important that you have a structured home environment that supports sobriety. If you don’t, you’ll want to consider sober housing. Pura Vida Recovery provides clean and sober housing. We have gender specific and co-ed homes for individuals in early recovery. They are safe, supportive and provide structure and accountability.

Who are the Best Candidates for Day Treatment?

Because day treatment is a more structured program that involves daily work, it’s best for those who need a higher level of care. You can use a day program as a starting point for recovery, as long as you have gone through detox. Once you successfully complete this program, you can ‘step down’ to a lower level of care like intensive outpatient or outpatient treatment.

The best candidates for day treatment are those who can benefit from:

  • Daily individual therapy. A day program provides therapy five days a week. You’ll meet with a psychologist or licensed counselor and undergo cognitive behavioral therapy to transform negative thought patterns.
  • Group therapy. Therapeutic settings use group therapy to promote drug-free lifestyles, develop peer support skills and build strong support networks.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis is when you have both a substance use and mental health disorder. Because two disorders are being treated simultaneously, specialized care is required.
  • Relapse prevention. Day programs also spend a lot of time talking about triggers, how to manage them and how to recognize the signs of an impending relapse. This information is crucial to maintaining sobriety.

What is an Outpatient Program?

Outpatient treatment is a lower level of care that provides structure, support and accountability to those working their recoveries. There are two basic types of outpatient treatment: intensive outpatient and standard outpatient. The difference is that an IOP involves more hours each week. Standard outpatient programs are especially flexible, with some meeting just nine hours a week.

Like day programs, outpatient programs also offer a wide range of services, such as individual counseling, group therapy, educational sessions and relapse prevention techniques. Many clients use this time to reintegrate into society while receiving support and guidance from licensed counselors and a peer support network.

Who are the Best Candidates for Outpatient Programs?

Outpatient programs are a step down from a PHP or day program. They give clients more freedom in the real world since there are fewer hours of treatment each day. Many programs only require clients to participate in therapy three days a week for three hours.

We recommend outpatient treatment for those who have a:

  • Supportive home environment. Since you’ll be spending less time in treatment, it’s important to have a sober home to live in. If you don’t, you’ll want to think about sober housing.
  • Strong foundation in recovery. Outpatient programs are designed to support a gradual return to everyday living. You should have already gone through detox and a program like intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization.
  • Understanding of your triggers. While you’ll continue to learn about your triggers in outpatient treatment, you should have a basic understanding of your motivations for using drugs and alcohol.
  • Mental health treatment. If you have dual diagnosis, you should also have your mental health disorder under control when starting outpatient care. If it’s not, you may need more time in a higher level of care until your symptoms are better managed.

Day Programs and Outpatient Treatment in Santa Rosa

Pura Vida Recovery offers a  full continuum of care, making it easier to start and finish your journey with one team. Contact our admissions team today to learn more about our programs and what level of care is right for you. We have everything you need to heal mentally, physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually, and we look forward to taking this journey with you.