Treatment Level Definitions

Treatment levels (intensity of treatment) is determined individually only after initial clinical assessment and thereafter by client progress. A prospective client may enter at any of the treatment levels. One level of care is not a prerequisite for the next level; however, a client may transfer between levels if clinically appropriate. These decisions flow from individual client need and predetermined criteria.

There are five major types of treatment levels for drug and alcohol abuse: detoxification, residential, partial hospitalization (day/ night treatment), intensive outpatient, and outpatient.

  1. Detoxification-- This level of care is appropriate for patients who are experiencing withdrawal from the physical effects of alcohol and other drugs. This level is a medically managed by physicians and nurses who monitor the stabilization needs of the client. Detoxification may be delivered in an outpatient or inpatient setting after appropriate initial assessment.
    1. Outpatient Detoxification- May be offered by a physician in an office or health care facility. The degree of medical monitoring is dependent on the client’s level of severity
    2. Inpatient Detoxification-Provides 24 hour services for clients in withdrawal who require a greater degree of medical management due to more severe symptoms.
    3. Residential Detoxification-Provides 24 hour or peer support when a medically managed or medically monitored detoxification is not necessary.
  2. Residential/ Inpatient Treatment- This level of care is a 24 hour, live-in setting. It is designed for clients with significant disruption in life areas such as work, school, family relationships, health, friends or the legal authorities. In Florida, there are four levels of residential/inpatient treatment as defined by the Florida Administrative Code. These levels are defined in terms of length of stay and intensity of treatment.
  3. Partial Hospitalization/Day Night Treatment-This level of care requires a minimum of 16 hours of structured treatment activities a week, 10 of which must be in individual, group or family sessions. Clients remain in their home environments and provide their own transportation for these services.
  4. Intensive Outpatient Treatment-This level of care requires a minimum of 9 hours of structured treatment activities. This service may be indicated in helping clients transition from a more intensive level of treatment to a less intensive level, or it may be used solely as a treatment level within itself. In either case, this level allows clients the flexibility to work, attend school and remain at home while receiving these services.
    1. Transitional Living-Residential levels 4 and 5-These levels of care are a residential level of care which may be thought of more structured than a halfway or sober house and less intensive than residential levels 1-3. They provide staff oversight, 24 hours per day, and mandatory, structured treatment services. The treatment services are provided by credentialed and/or licensed professionals and are part of the treatment program. Clients have more freedom and may work or attend school; however, they must return to the facility or have an approved “pass” to spend time away from the program. Clients may enter transitional living from residential levels 1-3 or from the intensive outpatient level of care
  5. Outpatient Treatment-This level of care can range from weekly counseling to intensive counseling sessions provided several times a week. The counseling sessions may be placed on the individual or in a group setting. Family counseling may also be in use. This level of care allows the client flexibility to work, attend school and remain at home while receiving these services.
    1. Halfway House- A halfway house is not a “sober house” as defined below; however, it does provide a sober, transitional living environment. It is a residential level of care, staffed 24 hours per day, in which clients live at the program and receive counseling while they work or attend school. A range of vocational and/ or educational services are provided in-house or through community contract which helps the individual further understand their disease, its consequences and appropriate behaviors in which to cope.
    2. Sober House- Sober Houses are single-family or clustered housing facilities which promote recovery by providing a safe and sober living environment for individuals, after treatment, or who are stable enough from the consequences of addictive illness so as to cope and function independently. These housing facilities are helpful in that the individual is surrounded by others who are trying to learn the same sober living skills and to avoid relapse. The length of stay varies by the facility but may easily be up to one year.