Levels of Care

Levels of Care for Addiction Treatment


Knowledge of treatment, including levels of care, is often confusing and misunderstood creating barriers to addiction treatment. A thorough and concise explanation of treatment at all levels of care can help to demystify both mental health & addiction treatment.

All of these levels of care are not offered at Nsight Psychology & Addiction.  This page is only meant to educate people on what is offered in the treatment field.

Inpatient Hospitalization is treatment that occurs within a hospital and is for providing stabilization of an acute psychiatric or medical condition.  The need for hospitalization for acute psychiatric condition would typically include one being a danger to self/suicidal, danger to others/homicidal, and gravely disabled/unable to care for self.  The mental state of being gravely disabled can result from a number of factors but is often associated with psychosis where one is delusional or having hallucinations.  Delusions, believing something to be true despite strong evidence to the contrary and hallucinations, where there is a perception of something without the stimulus to cause that perception are common with specific types of mental illness such as Schizophrenia.  Inpatient treatment for alcohol and drug addiction is used to prevent medical and life threatening conditions that could result from detoxification.  Inpatient hospitalization is typically short term, 7 to 10 days, for stabilization of a condition and then discharge to a lower level of care.

Partial Hospitalization (PHP) is treatment for mental illness and substance abuse that occurs in a clinical setting for a minimum of 5 hours each day where the person resides at home but needs the treatment and structure to prevent an acute condition that would require admission to inpatient hospitalization.  PHP can last for a few days up to a few weeks with the goal of stabilization and improvement so that an individual can return to activities of daily living.

Residential Treatment is often called rehab and is used to provide longer term structure and support needed for chronic mental health and substance abuse conditions that prevent an individual from completing daily activities and meeting developmental milestones.  Length of stays in Residential Treatment can vary from 30 to 90 days and sometimes longer depending on progress.  Participation in a 24 hour residential program allows for therapeutic interventions to occur as life challenges unfold with emphasis on the development of skills that promote long term change.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP) is treatment used to treat both mental health issues and addiction and is less intensive than PHP and Residential treatment.  Treatment includes group and individual therapy that occurs a minimum of 3 hours per day and allows the individual to participate in treatment and still attend to daily activities such as work and school.  Participation in IOP is at least 3 days per week and may continue for 10 or more weeks depending on progress.

Outpatient Treatment is individual psychotherapy and/or medication management and usually occurs 1 hour per week.  Medication management is provided by a Psychiatrist and psychotherapy is provided by a Psychologist, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, or Licensed Professional Counselor.  Psychotherapy is an interactive process between an individual and mental health professional with the goal of understanding the connections between ones thoughts, feelings, and behaviors find solutions to life’s challenges and improve one’s level of functioning.

Professional providers of mental health and addiction services have a thorough knowledge of levels of care which is utilized as part of individualized treatment planning.  A primary goal of treatment professionals is to assist an individual to function at the least restrictive level of care possible in order to promote autonomy, independence, and confidence.