As you approach the end of your treatment for substance abuse you may be asking yourself the question: do halfway houses work for treatment of drug addiction, alcohol addiction, and mental illness? This is probably because you have either heard the term “half way house” mentioned in a group session or you have openly discussed sober living with your therapist. Either way, this question is an important one, because living in a half way house is a big commitment and could potentially be the difference between a full recovery and a relapse. The simple answer to this question is “YES,” otherwise counselors would not recommend them. However, to understand how they work or why, you should look a little deeper into the various functions that each phase of therapy plays in both the progress of your recovery as well as the development of your personal life.
You first need to understand that the purpose of a halfway house is to help someone recovering from addiction, or dealing with certain psychological challenges learn new skills and function in society. For many people who have been in treatment, this concept makes a lot of sense because they understand how difficult the transition from full-time treatment facility to independent life can be. Inpatient treatment can require you to remain in a hospital or medical health center for up to ninety days, and sometimes even longer, which means you have no contact with anyone other than the doctors, nurses, counselors, and patients in the hospital.
This transition is difficult because you are still learning how to identify and communicate your emotions in an effective way. However, you are also learning how to develop and maintain strong, positive relationships without the use of substances. While you learned many skills in treatment, it is not always easy to begin implementing them in situations that can be so drastically different than the controlled environment of treatment.
The main reason why halfway houses work after the course of treatment is because sober living shares the same basic fundamental philosophy as many other forms of treatment, including institutionalization and support groups. This fundamental philosophy is that as long as someone has a desire to stop using drugs and alcohol and is making efforts to see this becomes a reality, they will offer whatever help they can. Half way houses are not only available for people who are currently dealing with overcoming these problems, but they are also available for anyone who might be dealing with these issues and is making a conscious decision to surround themselves with a supportive and positive community. As long as you are able to set proper goals and put forth the effort to achieve them, you can always rely on the services of your local half way house to help you.