What is the Difference Between a Drug Treatment Center and a Halfway House?

If you are new to the world of addiction, recovery and treatment, chances are you aren’t familiar with the difference between options available for addicts and alcoholics today.  What’s better: an inpatient treatment program or an outpatient treatment program?  Is there a difference between drug rehab and a drug treatment center?  What are the benefits of staying in a halfway house?  Whether you’re searching for yourself or a loved one, the options can be overwhelming, and without some guidance, you may feel a bit intimidated.  Let’s make things a little easier by taking a closer look at the differences between a drug treatment center and a halfway house.


In today’s world, the term “treatment center” encompasses a wide array of programs and options that are available to men, women and adolescents suffering from a variety of addictions, including chemical (drugs and alcohol) and process (eating disorders, sex addictions, gambling, etc.).  Treatment centers can include inpatient centers and outpatient centers, both of which offer different services.  An inpatient drug treatment center generally refers to a residential facility that provides medical services for the treatment of a variety of addictions.  Recovering individuals who seek treatment from an inpatient drug treatment center are required to reside on site (twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week) for a designated amount of time.  Throughout their stay, they are required to maintain sobriety and have access to a variety of treatment options, including programs, facilities, therapies and methods.  Overall, inpatient drug treatment centers provide increased control and in-depth options for addiction treatment, as clients are fully removed from the outside world and given the opportunity to fully focus on their recovery.


For some, inpatient treatment may not be an option, due to finances or pre-existing commitments.  For others, inpatient treatment may not have been enough and continued treatment might decrease the risk of relapse and provide continued stability in the recovery process.  Whatever the case, outpatient drug treatment offers affordable, effective treatment options for men, women and adolescents struggling with addiction.  Through therapeutic methods, Twelve Step involvement, clinical techniques and other services, an outpatient drug treatment center supports recovering individuals as they continue to work, go to school and fulfill other commitments outside of treatment.  Outpatient drug treatment centers do not require clients to reside on site, but often offer access to sober living options at nearby sober living homes.


In general, drug treatment centers exist to guide and support recovering individuals as they overcome addiction.  When deciding what drug treatment center to attend, closely consider your unique needs and whether or not the center can meet those needs.  There are numerous drug treatment centers across the country that specialize in a variety of treatment methods and addictions.  Make an informed decision by researching each center closely before committing to treatment.


Another stepping stone in the recovery process, but one that is significantly different from a drug treatment center, is the halfway house, also known as recovery house or sober house.  Halfway houses provide a safe, supportive living environment for recovering individuals who are currently participating in treatment and looking to reside in a sober environment or those who have recently completed treatment and are interested in a place to live while they adjust to sobriety and life outside of treatment.  Halfway houses provide stability by offer a unique balance of freedom and structure to allow recovering individuals the opportunity to make their own decisions while having access to the support and guidance they need to progress in their recovery.


Housing multiple recovering individuals, halfway houses are generally located in quiet, peaceful settings to promote relaxation and recovery.  They offer a less intense recovery experience and provide a greater sense of freedom that a drug treatment center.  Generally, residents are permitted to come and go as they please, but are required to abide by house guidelines, such as curfew and sobriety.  It is not uncommon for halfway houses to conduct regular and routine drug and alcohol tests to ensure that each resident is maintaining sobriety and abstaining from drugs and/or alcohol.


Halfway houses promote accountability and responsibility, which encourages recovery.  Life inside a halfway house is similar to independent living, as residents are usually required to pay rent, purchase their own groceries and perform general household tasks.  Each halfway house will have a set of guidelines that residents are required to abide by, with sobriety being the main focus.  Residents are generally expected to have a job, actively seek employment, go to school or volunteer their time and services.


Pathways to Peace, a halfway house in Palm Beach County, Florida, provides transitional living opportunities for women in the early stages of recovery. Our staff members lead clients by example and provide them with the compassion they need to continue growing in their recovery and working toward sobriety.


Our halfway house provides a variety of amenities to help recovering individuals get comfortable during their stay.  Clients can call our one and two bedroom and bathroom suite home while they work on their recovery.  Our fully furnished apartments also include new pillow top mattresses and fresh linens and towels on a regular basis.  Residents can explore the kitchens, which are completely equipped with utensils and appliances.  Flat screen TVs display upgraded Direct TV packages, and clients also have access to hi-speed Internet, as well as coin operated laundry machines.


Pathways to Peace has multiple locations that offer residential options women in the early stages of recovery.  If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction and interested in learning more about the differences between a drug treatment center and a halfway house, contact Pathways to Peace at (800) 714-8260.


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