Halfway House for Addicts
It is a well-known fact that addiction is a problem that is difficult to overcome alone. Those who struggle with substance abuse and addiction usually need some form of outside intervention to stop drinking or using their drug of choice. This is where treatment comes in. Attending a residential (inpatient) treatment facility is often the best option to get addicts clean and sober and on the road to recovery and a brand new life.
However, treatment alone is not enough. Once the addict finishes the residential treatment program, they may want to return home and resume their life. Unfortunately, doing this makes the risk of relapse very high. Going straight from the safe environment of the treatment center to the environment they were using in can be a dangerous move. Slowly transitioning back into the real world with a strong support system is a much better option. This is where halfway houses for addicts come in.
Halfway housing is available both for those who are being released from jail or prison, and those who are leaving residential treatment. This article will focus on halfway houses for addicts, which are usually privately run, whereas halfway houses for released prisoners are often publicly funded and part of a program to reintegrate offenders into society.
What Is a Halfway House?
A halfway house can be seen as an intermediate step, halfway between full-on residential treatment and living in the real world. Addicts live together in the home and help each other along the journey of recovery, much like inpatient treatment.
The halfway house will provide a structured environment: residents must wake up at a reasonable hour, get a job or attend school, attend a certain number of meetings weekly, be home at a certain hour, and will be drug tested to ensure they are maintaining complete sobriety. A typical halfway house has a manager who keeps track of the residents and holds them accountable, making sure they are going to work and attending meetings. Residents who violate the terms of the program by relapsing or repeatedly breaking rules will be asked to leave.
Residents pay rent on a month-to-month basis, just as if they were renting an apartment, but there is usually no lease. Halfway houses are available in a wide price range and offer different features. Some provide food and amenities like one-on-one counseling, cable television, transportation, gym memberships, and support groups, while others are much more barebones. What the houses all have in common is that they provide a safe, supportive environment for the addict to transition back to a normal life in the real world.
The term “halfway house” is often used interchangeably with the term “sober living house.” It has become common knowledge in recent years that a halfway house is the best option for an addict leaving treatment. For this reason, most cities will have a variety of halfway houses to choose from. Options include male- and female-only housing, housing for those with a dual diagnosis of addiction and mental illness, and age- and sexual orientation-specific housing.
Why Choose a Halfway House?
As discussed above, going to a halfway house makes the transition from treatment to the real world much less risky. Today, addiction is considered to be a chronic illness or disease. Like other chronic diseases, it can be treated, but there is also always a chance that it will come back. Taking preventative measures once the disease has been successfully treated is the best way to make sure a relapse doesn’t happen.