Guide to Levels of Care for Recovery

Start to understand the nuance of each person’s individual recovery journey. While there are as many paths to recovery as there are people in recovery, this guide will help give you an understanding of the supports in place to help with recovering.

If you have questions about which level might be best for you, or if you would like help finding a resource at one of these levels, feel free to reach out!


Finding the proper care is an important step of the recovery journey.

There are as many paths to recovery as there are people in recovery. There are different levels of treatment to meet people where they’re at. Getting help with addiction treatment can be an intimidating prospect for anybody. However, finding the right program will set someone striving for recovery up for success. Understanding where the someone is in their addiction can help with getting them the help they need. This page is a guide to help people, whether in recovery or not, understand the different options available when looking for help in recovery.

If you have any questions, feel free to call Harvest for more information.


Medical monitoring to stabilize vitals and create safety.

The highest level of care for folks in recovery is medical stabilization, also known as detox. This level takes place in a a highly structured (usually hospital) setting, where proper medical care can be administered. It is most commonly performed over a three- to seven-day period. Stabilization is generally used to manage withdrawal symptoms safely, and sometimes places one in a medically-managed environment.


Providing round-the-clock care in a structured environment.

Residential/inpatient care involves checking into and living at a treatment facility for a specified period of time. In the past, this level of care was referred to as “rehab”. Programming at this level can range from a couple of weeks to multiple months. This supportive and structured environment delivers 24-hour care, frequent supervision, and a structured place to learn some new habits– or to unlearn some old ones, without distractions from the outside world. Inpatient treatment can be productive for individuals who need more structure, those could benefit from a new environment, and/or people looking for an immersive experience.

Harvest partners with several residential treatment programs in Colorado and out-of-state. Call Harvest for our recommendations.


Combining the structure of in-patient with some of the freedom of out-patient programs.

In Partial Hospitalization Programs participants are in a facility for treatment during the day (often 8-hours per day), but then can return home in the evenings. These programs generally include 35 hours per week or more of programming. This number can be higher or lower, depending on each individual program and each individual person. Because of the time commitment, some PHP programs include housing for participants’ convenience. PHP represents a highly-structured outpatient option for folks who could benefit from lots of support, but who could benefit from some level of autonomy.


Supervised care without the need to remain in a facility.

Like PHPs, Intensive Outpatient Programs offer structured treatment without having to live on-site. A major difference between the two involves the amount of time one spends in programming. IOPs are commonly set in three hour blocks of time, rather than the 7 or more typical of PHP. There are different levels of IOP, which range between three and seven sessions per week. Different programs include different requirements to participate. Some consist of randomized drug tests to ensure participants remain sober throughout care. Other IOPs want participants to work with an individual therapist, or to live in a sober environment. None of these options are necessarily better than others, it’s more about seeking out a program that meets your individual needs.


Knowing the risks is the first step in preventing substance misuse.

The least intensive help comes through prevention and education. This takes the form of programs or other initiatives designed to prevent substance misuse by informing individuals about the risks. Outpatient treatment also can include counseling and therapy sessions for patients to attend as frequently as they desire. This level of care is mostly suitable for those with mild or moderate addiction – but can maintain their sobriety with support from home.


Getting the right help starts with knowing where you are.

These steps aren’t necessarily cut and dried, and different levels of care are available in each of these tiers of treatment. Some services require complete abstinence – which means drug tests will be required with the sessions. Other services deal in harm reduction – which means the patient is required to be sober in session, with little or no testing outside of session. Harvest Therapeutic’s programs are not the same as other providers, but they’re dedicated to getting the right fit for every patient.