Understanding Levels of Treatment

A generalized approach to treating the complex diseases of addiction and mental illness just doesn’t make sense. No two people are the same, no two life experiences are the same, no plan of treatment could work the same for different people. Like theories or scientific laws, there are some things that have been time and again proven to have benefit.

Choosing a course of treatment for a loved one can be challenging without adequate knowledge of what’s available or needed. Use this quick description as a guide to understanding some levels of treatment.


Depending on the severity and duration of use, a detoxification period may be required. Supervised detox can prevent health complications which can arise during the process. Withdrawal is an undesirable experience. A brain ravaged with craving stimulates physical and psychological reactions ranging from depression to muscle spasming. Before any therapy can be effective, the mind and body need to be clean of the harmful substances being abused.

Residential Inpatient

The long term residential inpatient program is the “rehab” reference most understand. An individual unable to prevent themselves from continuing to use drugs and alcohol should consider residential inpatient. Under 24 hour clinical supervision, there is always someone to talk to, and medical care on hand. Full daily regimen of education, therapy, and activity will take place. The patient will live on the premises. Residential inpatient also facilitates regular evaluations by a medical doctor and psychiatrist.

Partial Hospitalization

Considered part of a step down process, partial hospitalization includes all the daily programming of residential inpatient, without the room and board. At the end of the day, patients return to their homes or their sober livings. Medical staff still sees partial hospitalization patients and they receive nursing care like daily medications.

Intensive Outpatient

Intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization are looking more alike, but they are still different. For a majority of treatment centers, intensive outpatient is the new norm. Varying in the amount of days per week and hours per day, intensive outpatient is a site visit focused on therapy and processing. Other programming can be involved in intensive outpatient, but medical assistance likely will not.

Sober Living

Sober living is not technically a level of treatment. It is, however, a very big part of the treatment process. Sober living is simply a managed home where people in treatment (partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient) or people recently out of treatment can live. Other sober people live in the home and there is regular testing (urine analysis). Many sober living homes require a meeting attendance slip, setting a minimum amount of meetings per week.

Refuge Recovery offers detox, partial hospitalization, inpatient and outpatient services, as well as sober living. We believe in meeting our patients at all levels of their need for care. For more information call (323) 207-0276

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