It can sometimes be distressing for an individual to discover that resolving their drug abuse and addiction problems is difficult and time-consuming.  By the time they recognize and admit to the fact that drug abuse and addiction is harming their life and needs to be resolved, they are also often exhausted by their lack of control over their own life and desperate for a change.  The time it takes to work through rehabilitation treatment and address every single physical, mental and emotional cause and effect of drug use can be exhausting, and recovery doesn’t even end there.  The individual still needs to smoothly transition back into normal life environments and routines, and gain and apply the life skills necessary to abstain from all future drug use.  This is where halfway houses can help.

The Benefits of Halfway Houses

Halfway houses can be enormously beneficial to the individual who is working on maintaining and strengthening their recovery, because it provides many of the same things a rehabilitation treatment program provides.  Unlike the general environment an individual lives and works in, halfway houses are completely drug and alcohol free.  Residents are normally required to sign a contract that promises their continued sobriety, and if they violate this they are promptly ejected from the house.  Halfway house residents are normally expected to participate in house meetings, drug tests, breathalyzers and more, offering accountability and community support to help the individual remain clean and honest.  Many halfway houses also require that their residents have a job, attend school or volunteer during their stay, and they are often expected to help contribute to the care and maintenance of the halfway house itself.

There is no doubt that an individual who is transitioning back into normal life environments and routines can find that halfway houses are wonderfully helpful.  The individual finds himself in a structured, substance-free environment among other individuals who are themselves working on maintaining their recovery and therefore understand just what it takes.  However, does this mean that the individual who goes through a halfway house is automatically guaranteed long-term sobriety?

Long-Term Sobriety

While taking into account that there is a very wide range of both rehabilitation treatment facilities and programs as well as halfway houses, one must also consider that there is a marked difference between rehabilitation treatment programs and halfway houses.  Whereas rehabilitation treatment programs are normally highly detailed in order to help the individual get down to the root causes of their addiction problems and gain the knowledge and skills they need in order to prevent a return to drug use in the future, halfway houses essentially only provide the individual with a safe and structured environment in which to strengthen the foundation of their recovery.  This means that an individual who is living in a halfway house and who needs further rehabilitation treatment will not necessarily achieve the long-term sobriety they desire simply by remaining in the halfway house.  However, this individual is also more likely to receive the support they need to return to treatment if they are living in a halfway house, rather than living on their own in the real world.

If one takes the time to research halfway houses and finds one that runs ethically and responsibly, they will often find that time spent in this facility can aid them on the road to full and lasting recovery.  So will halfway houses don’t automatically lead to or ensure long-term sobriety, they can most definitely make a difficult and challenging recovery a little smoother.