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A halfway house does not offer the same intensity of therapy as rehab, but it is a safe and drug and alcohol free place for recovering addicts to begin to explore newfound sobriety and employ the lessons of drug treatment to good effect.

What is halfway house drug treatment?

There are varying degrees of drug treatment in different halfway houses. At one end of the spectrum, the halfway house may offer no additional therapy, but will require its residents to maintain a certain code of conduct, which may include stipulations such as no substance use, gainful employment, adherence to curfews and a submission to random drug testing as requirements to continuing residency. A better and more comprehensive halfway house may offer continuing drug treatment in addition to its requirement of social conduct, and 12 steps meetings may take place within the house, and other aftercare programming's and social educations courses may also be offered.

The normal period of residency in a halfway house is from 3 to 6 months after the completion of a drug rehab program, but the vast majority of halfway houses do not mandate any particular length of stay, and residents are free to leave at any point.

Halfway houses may be run either for profit, or as non profit entities, and while halfway houses used to be situated in derelict neighborhoods, there has been a trend in the last decade to transition these environments to better residential areas.

The benefits of inclusion in halfway house drug treatment

A halfway house is a bit like a practice run at real life sobriety. The lessons of drug rehab can be practiced from within a safe and sober environment before the recovering addict returns completely to the environment of temptation, and free access to drugs or alcohol.

Living with fellow recovering addicts allows for fellowship, and through a shared experience, halfway house friendships are common. Because most newly sober men and women struggle initially with recreation time and need to relearn how to enjoy life without intoxication, it can be very beneficial to maintain the support of others with a similar situation for strength against a return to substance abuse.

Clinical studies also show that the long term sobriety rates of those people that continue drug treatment in a halfway house are far better, and that aftercare participation rates remain significantly higher for those people residing in a halfway house. Some halfway houses will go so far as to mandate continuing and full participation in drug treatment aftercare as a requirement of residency, and failure to attend meetings can result in eviction from the house and program.

Although most halfway houses impose mandatory employment as a condition of residency, some also offer work training and work release programs, allowing the recovering addict to develop their employable skills in a safe and sober environment. Other educations programs are also offered.

Essentially, a halfway house keeps addicts motivated to sobriety; and growing together, recovering addicts learn how to fill their time without substance abuse. Recovering addicts better social interaction skills with others in a like situation, they gain valuable employment and life skills, and they are much more likely to remain active in aftercare drug treatment programming.

The lessons of rehab are many, and it can be difficult to consolidate all that needs to be learned and put into practice when released into extreme temptation and little support. Through gradually increasing exposure to temptations and challenge, the continuing drug treatment at a halfway house increases the probability of success.

Sober living environments offer an initially safe transition out of rehab.

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Page last updated Aug 05, 2010

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