One of the most common points of confusion for those seeking substance abuse treatment for themselves or a loved one is deciding on what level of care is required. There are several different options for substance abuse treatment available now. 

The right level of care is ultimately a medical decision that should be decided on through an assessment with a medical professional. This article serves as an educational guide for some of the many different factors that are reviewed when deciding what level of care is appropriate. 

Let’s take a look at a few different levels of care that those seeking help with their addictions can pursue. 

Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT) is substance abuse therapy that uses medication to help individuals handle cravings, and in some cases, alleviate discomfort experienced while working towards continuing recovery. 

These medications include opiate blockers such as Naloxone, opiate agonists such as Suboxone, as well as other forms of medication which discourage drinking or drug use such as Antibus. 

Medication-Assisted Therapy is best conducted in tandem with some level of outpatient counseling such are PHP, or IOP. Both of which we will cover next. 

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Partial Hospitalization Programs in Raleigh and beyond focus on providing an inpatient-like day programming, while the patient still leaves, and sleeps at home. These typically start at 9 AM and run until 5 PM. 

Patients take part in group therapy, lectures, educational seminars, holistic therapies, have the opportunity to explore new spiritualities, and more. PHP is commonly used as a stepdown program for individuals transitioning from inpatient to IOP who are unable to access sober or transitional living. 

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Our Substance Abuse IOP in Raleigh works with clients that are coming from an inpatient setting as well as those who are seeking IOP as their primary treatment for substance abuse. Not all intensive outpatient programs operate the same way, so it is always best to check with your provider on their specific policies. 

IOP typically is a 3-hour group therapy session held three nights a week. It serves as a safe place for group members to process and receive feedback about experiences they have encountered throughout their day as an individual in early recovery. 

How To Decide On A Level of Care

There are a few ways to give a rough evaluation of what level of care one should seek when looking for substance abuse treatment for themselves or loved ones. Ultimately the appropriate level of care is a medical decision that should only be made by a medical professional. 

At Advaita Integrated Medicine, we offer a free consultation to make sure that we match you with the appropriate level of care for your needs. Read on to find a few key areas that you will want to consider when deciding which level of care to seek. 


The substance that someone is addicted to can dictate whether they should seek inpatient or outpatient care. While the decision can ultimately come down to a case-by-case basis, it is reasonable to assume that any substance which has a medically dangerous withdrawal such as alcohol or benzodiazepines, would disqualify most from outpatient as a primary form of substance abuse treatment. 

Many times, if the withdrawal symptoms of a substance are so uncomfortable it triggers an individual’s fight or flight response, inpatient treatment is worth seeking as a primary option to create physical distance between the user and the substance. Opiates are the most common case where this is necessary.

History of Treatment and Recovery

An individual’s history of treatment and recovery is another important consideration to take into account while deciding on a level of care. If someone has experience in recovery, such as someone who is coming out of a brief relapse then IOP certainly makes sense. 

If someone has never experienced inpatient treatment and is only struggling with not physically addictive substances such as marijuana or hallucinogens, IOP is typically a viable option. Pushing inpatient treatment before necessary can actually have adverse effects on an individual’s recovery. 

If an individual has tried IOP several times but continues to fail at staying sober, then inpatient provides more structure and a safer place to process initial sobriety. 

Health Insurance

This is an unfortunate but important factor when deciding on which level of care an individual needs. In some cases, health insurance companies will only approve inpatient after some form of outpatient has failed as a treatment method. 

If the individual seeking treatment does not have health insurance, oftentimes IOP is much more affordable than most inpatient programs. Still, the cost of effective mental healthcare can be high, so it is important to consider which level of care is feasible from a financial perspective as well. 

Many treatment providers have scholarships or grants available for those with limited or no health insurance. It is always worth inquiring about what is possible with different facilities. 

Substance Abuse IOP In Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill

Advaita Integrated Medicine is conveniently located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Our IOP groups are made up of professionals as well as adult students from Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. 

With a combined experience that ranges decades in addiction medicine, the Advaita Integrated Medicine team is here to help support you across your substance use disorder recovery and mental health journey. We know and love North Carolina, and the many challenges those seeking recovery can face. The programming in our IOP is specifically curated to address these challenges. 

If you or a loved one is seeking information about our IOP and if it would be right for you, reach out today. We would love to hear from you, and we are happy to set up an entirely free consultation.

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