Halfway house vs. sober living – what’s the difference? Which one is the right option for you for addiction recovery?
If you are battling an addiction right now, these are question you may have asked. The addiction treatment industry often uses certain words that can be confusing. It’s important to clarify what halfway houses are and what sober living communities are. That way, you’ll be better equipped to make the choice that’s right for you.
Do You Need a Sober Living Environment or a Halfway House in Washington State?
Perhaps you’re looking for a halfway house or sober living in Bellevue, WA. You’re just not sure where to begin, or where you would fit in best. You’re in the best place to get some great information.
Sober living homes and halfway houses actually have some similarities, as you will quickly see. However, they also have some key differences. Depending on what your needs are, you are probably more appropriate for one, rather than the other.
What is a Halfway House in Bellevue, Washington?
Halfway houses are homes that are typically government funded residences. They are for individuals who have finished or who are in addiction treatment. Halfway houses are important because they offer individuals a place to stay when they need them.
People are able to stay at halfway houses for defined periods of time. Usually, the longest someone can stay at a halfway house is one year. Although, different states may have varying rules on this.
Most halfway houses are developed to provide shelter to people with substance abuse issues. However, there are exceptions. In some cases, jail or prison inmates are sent to halfway houses when they are released. This gives them a chance to reintegrate into the community. Sometimes, mental health patients are also admitted into halfway houses.
Sober Living in Bellevue Defined
Sober living homes are quite different from halfway houses in a few ways. These are living environments for people who want to stay away from drugs and alcohol. Some residents are currently in treatment, but not all of them are. In many ways, a sober living home can be an alternative to traditional addiction treatment. This is one of the most attractive things about it.
Today, many sober living homes offer a 12 Step Program as a part of the environment. Residents may need to take drug tests and they may be required to attend 12 Step meetings.
There are other types of sober living homes as well. Some require residents to work, pay rent, and even purchase their own food. In most cases, individuals can stay as long as they would like to stay. They do need to follow the house rules. This includes abstaining from drugs and alcohol during their stay.
The Pros of Halfway Houses
The pros of halfway houses include:
- Being able to get help if you have a drug addiction or are an alcoholic
- Participating in a structured living environment within a group of likeminded people
- Receiving assistance to transition back into the community
- Having access to staff support
- Being able to leave an unhealthy home environment
- Having access to medical and dental care
- Being able to continue your education, or even earn a GED
The Cons of Halfway Houses
Some people believe that halfway houses leave little to be desired. In some ways, they may not always be appropriate for recovering addicts. The cons of halfway houses include:
- The fact that they could include sex offenders and hardcore criminals
- The fact that they are run by the government, and so, have to maintain strict regulations
- Residents need to stay in long-term treatment, in some cases.
- They tend to have a bad reputation in the community.
- They may be located in the lower income side of the town or city
The Pros of Sober Living Communities
Now more than ever, there seems to be a shift toward sober living, rather than halfway houses. Sober living homes offer so much more for people in recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction.
The pros of sober living homes include:
- Being able to live in a place where the environment is solely focused on recovery
- Being able to practice living life within a safe and trusted atmosphere
- Having support for problems that may occur outside the home
- Being able to work a job and contribute to society
- Having the support of peers who are facing the same challenges
- Having the opportunity to practice relapse strategies in a safe place
The Cons of Sober Living Communities
While sober living homes are growing in their popularity, there are some cons associated with them too. Some of the cons of sober living homes are:
- They are not regulated, which means no standardized services for residents
- They can be expensive for residents to live in
- It is possible to be evicted from a sober living residence without being given much notice
- Being made to participate in a 12 Step Program when one might not be necessary
- Having to adhere to the many rules of the house
Is a Bellevue Sober Living Home or Halfway House Right for You?
What you need to know most is if a sober living home or halfway house is right for you. You are the only person who can answer that question. However, it can help to know if you are someone who would benefit from this type of assistance.
A sober living home or a halfway house might be right for you if:
- You think you would do well in a structured living environment
- You need the added support that a halfway house or sober living home would offer you
- You currently have an unsafe home environment to return to
- You recently finished addiction treatment, and you require additional help
- You need assistance with returning to “normal” life now that you’re sober or drug free
Drug Treatment and Alcohol Treatment for Sober Living or Halfway House Residents
An intensive outpatient treatment program is often an excellent choice for those in sober living homes or halfway houses. IOP programs are designed to be flexible, which is what you’re looking for right now. You may find that you need additional support on top of what’s offered at your residence. An IOP program can provide that for you.
Many IOP programs offer appointments for clients during the evening hours. This allows you to go to work during the day. If your residence requires addiction treatment, this fulfills your obligation perfectly. You’ll gain additional insight into your addiction with an IOP program. You’ll also be able to get even more support as you strive to remain free of alcohol and/or drugs.
Are You Considering a Sober Living Home or Halfway House in Bellevue, WA? An IOP May be Right for You
You may or may not have just finished an inpatient drug or alcohol treatment program. You’re glad that you took that step. However, now that you’re finished, you can’t help but feel nervous. You’re worried about returning back to your home. You don’t want to fall into the same old habits you were in before.
If that’s how you feel, a sober living home or a halfway house is probably the best option for you. Even so, you’ll need to get additional addiction treatment while you’re there. This is going to help you stay on the right path for your recovery. The issue is that you don’t know where to begin.
At The Evergreen at Northpoint, our IOP program might be just right for you. You’ll find that it offers you intensive, yet flexible addiction treatment. This is just what you’re looking for.
We’ve had the pleasure of working with many people who have lived in sober living homes or halfway houses. We understand the type of support you need during this time. Making the right treatment decisions now will help you plan for your future. We’d love nothing more than to be a part of that alongside you.
Do you have questions about drug and alcohol treatment in Bellevue, Washington for sober living or halfway house residents? If you do, we’d be happy to answer them for you. Contact us to get more information.
EN.Wikipedia.org. (3, June 2017). Halfway house. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halfway_house
EN.Wikipedia.org. (3, June 2017). Sober living houses. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sober_living_houses
NCBI.nlm.nih.gov. (December 2010). What Did We Learn from Our Study on Sober Living Houses and Where Do We Go from Here?. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057870/
Criminal.Lawyers.com. (2017). When is a Prisoner Released to a Halfway House?. Retrieved from: http://criminal.lawyers.com/criminal-law-basics/when-is-a-prisoner-released-to-a-halfway-house.html