Determining the Level of Care Needed

Once you know the patient has a significant problem, you must decide the level of care the patient needs. There are four levels of care generally offered across the United States.

LEVEL 0.5:  Early Interventions
Early interventions are organized services delivered in a wide variety of settings. Early intervention is designed to explore and address problems or risk factors that are related to substance use and to assist the individual in recognizing the harmful consequences of inappropriate substance use.

Patients who need early intervention do not meet the diagnostic criteria of either chemical abuse or chemical dependency, but they have significant problems with substances. The other treatment levels include patients who meet the criteria for psychoactive substance abuse or dependency.

LEVEL I:  Outpatient Treatment
Outpatient treatment takes place in a nonresidential facility or an office run by addiction professionals.  The patient comes in for individual or group therapy sessions, usually fewer than nine hours per week.

LEVEL II:  Intensive Outpatient/Partial Hospitalization
Level II.1, Intensive Outpatient Treatment, is a structured day or evening program with nine or more hours of programming per week. These programs have the capacity to refer patients for their medical, psychological, or pharmacological needs.

Level II.5, Partial Hospitalization, generally includes 20 or more hours of intense programming per week. These programs have ready access to psychiatric, medical, and laboratory services.

LEVEL III: Residential/Inpatient Services
Level III.1,  Clinically Managed Low-Intensity Residential Services,  is a halfway house.

Level III.3, Clinically Managed Medium-Intensity Residential Services, is an extended care program oriented around long-term management.

Level III.5, Clinically Managed High-Intensity Residential Services, is a therapeutic community designed to maintain recovery.

Level III.7, Medically Monitored Intensive Inpatient Treatment, is a residential facility that provides a 24-hour, daily structured treatment. This program is monitored by a physician who is able to manage the psychiatric, physical, and pharmacological needs of patients.

LEVEL IV: Medically Managed Intensive Inpatient Treatment
This treatment is a 24-hour program with the resources of a hospital. Physicians provide daily medical management.


Robert R. Perkinson,  PHD
Helping Your Clients Find the Road to Recovery

Alcoholism - Treatment.  I.  Title.
RC565.P375 - 2004
616.86’10651- dc22

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