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Drug and Alcohol Rehab Levels of Care

Levels of Care


A substance use disorder is a chronic disease that affects people in different ways. Because of this, there is no program that is “one size fits all.”  Every treatment plan should start with an assessment by a recovery professional who will recommend a program and plan to fit a person’s needs and situation. Each person’s individual path to recovery can begin at different points. They often progress through different intensities of rehab levels of care as they receive evidence-based, therapeutic intervention by trained professionals.

What are some of the different levels of care?


Detoxification, commonly called “detox,” is often the first step in a drug or alcohol treatment program. Medical detox uses a combination of medications and psychological support to stabilize a patient in a safe, monitored environment. The length of time needed in detox will vary by the individual and the substances they have been ingesting.


When most people think of addiction rehab, they think of inpatient or residential treatment programs. Residential treatment is a structured setting where each patient works on an individualized treatment plan while setting the foundation for recovery with the help of licensed, professional staff. Patients live on a facility’s campus and attend daily therapy groups, individual counseling, recovery lectures, and even recreational therapy sessions such as yoga or Adventure Based Counseling.

Extended Residential Treatment

Extended care programs (ECP) exist for those who need more in-depth counseling. An ECP, by nature of the time in treatment being extended, has the capability to expand upon a treatment plan. It also incorporates issues that require a wider breadth of intervention and time. Barriers to recovery, such as co-occurring disorders, unresolved grief, trauma, chronic pain, or chronic relapse, are often best managed in a long-term treatment environment.

Partial Hospitalization Program (at Outpatient Setting)

A Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) within an outpatient setting is an intensive, daily treatment program. However, it is lesser in intensity than residential treatment since patients will be residing in their homes or sober living setting while attending scheduled programming. These types of programs generally consist of six hours of sessions, five days a week. During this time, patients participate in group therapy and targeted educational content. They also receive medical follow-ups that include visits with physicians and nurses. 

Intensive Outpatient

Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP) programs offer comprehensive, structured therapy while allowing patients to continue to fulfill home or career responsibilities. Depending on a person’s recommendation, they may enter an IOP program as the first step in their recovery. At the same time, others may transfer to IOP after completing an inpatient rehab program. A typical IOP program includes a mix of group therapy and individual counseling. This program is four days a week, at least three hours per day, and is often available in a morning or evening schedule.

Sober Living

After completing inpatient treatment, some patients are not ready or able to transition back to the setting they were living in before coming to treatment. Sober living acts as a bridge, helping a person find stability and structure while improving their recovery skills in a safe environment. The goal is to help a person maintain sobriety and navigate situations that may be overwhelming on their own. These situations include finding a job, securing housing, and handling their finances.

Outpatient Therapy

As with other chronic conditions, substance use disorder is not resolved after a single, acute treatment episode—sustaining a recovery plan that incorporates ongoing care services is key to long-term success. 

After completing intensive outpatient (IOP), many individuals transition to an outpatient program that includes individual and group therapy services but less frequency/intensity than IOP. 

Some patients find success in recovery through Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). As the name states, an MAT program provides medications to help eliminate cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms, combining them with counseling and support.

Meetings & Support Groups

Treatment goes hand-in-hand with recovery support groups. For many people, these groups will be a sustaining source of recovery long after formal treatment concludes. Organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Celebrate Recovery offer meetings in person and online. Bradford also offers support and community for former patients through our Alumni and Continuing Care Programs.

As you go through treatment, your needs will change. The levels of care should adapt to your needs and situation. Bradford Health Services offers drug and alcohol treatment programs designed to respond to individual needs and circumstances as they find their personal path to recovery. 

Help is only one call away. A phone consultation with our Care Coordinators can help you determine the most appropriate level of care for you or your loved one. Please call 866-259-7562 and begin your recovery journey today.