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Differences Between Halfway Houses and Hospitals

If you are currently undergoing treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, you are probably under the care of a hospital or mental health facility.  Depending on your level of progress, you may be in an inpatient program, where you stay in the hospital until doctors release you, or an outpatient program where you report to your doctor or counselor for sessions.  Typically, the type of treatment you are assigned has to do with the potential threat of damage that you could cause to yourself or others.  Most people who are treated do very well with a simple outpatient program that lets them live their normal lives while dealing with recovery.  While this is what distinguishes between inpatient and outpatient care, it is also one of the differences between half way houses and hospitals. 

When you stay in a hospital, you are at the mercy of the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who are charged with ensuring both your health and safety.  Your meals are often regulated as well as when and where you will receive the type of care that you need.  For addiction treatment, this might involve medical administration as well as psychiatric sessions and group therapy.  One of the differences between halfway houses and hospitals is that you are not in a completely restrictive environment in a half way house. The term half way house actually describes the intention of the facility, which is to help transition you from supervised care back to independence.  Of course, when you come out of the care of a hospital you may not quite be ready to take the world on by yourself, so you can utilize the services of a half way house to help reinforce the skills you learned while trying to implement them on your own terms.

While both halfway houses and hospitals are a good basis for both the physical and emotional support that you need, hospitalized care is always administered by doctors or professionals.  These sober houses are not always dependent on health care professionals of the same ilk. In fact, a large reason for the success of half way houses is that act as more of a community, live-in support group where everyone contributes by doing chores, supplying food, preparing meals, and especially to group sessions.  You share stories much like in a support group, but you also begin to form relationships, which is the most important aspect of recovery.  You need to begin to find people you can spend time with who have the same goal of abstinence that you do.  A hospital can help you to clear your system from years of use, but they cannot surround you by like-minded individuals who are on the same path to recovery.

While there are many more ways in which a half way house is different from hospitals, they are both aimed at helping you overcome addiction.  Whether through medical means or social reconstruction, they keep you focused on your goal and moving forward on the road to recovery.





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