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Some addicts get sober by way of a sober living home (halfway house, recovery housing) and some need a drug rehab center. Which is the right choice?

Addiction recovery in sober living vs. a drug treatment center
Getting sober from drugs and alcohol is a unique experience for each individual. Some people can literally put it down and go about their lives as if it was never really a problem, though this is quite uncommon for the real drug addict (alcohol is a drug too). People in this category are generally considered to be drug “abusers” rather than actual “addicts,” and though they still have the power of choice, it usually takes a varying amount of negative consequences, ultimatums, threats, feelings of impending doom, etc. for them to finally stop.

With the true addict, there often times needs to be an additional force on their side in order to create physical seperation. This is where a sober living home (aka. recovery residence or halfway house) or an addiction treatment environment comes into play. There are various potential hurdles commonly experienced in early sobriety, the first of which being the decision to get sober and subsequent follow through.

For many addicts & alcoholics, that initial separation during the first 30, 60 90 days or so is simply impossible to persevere through without some additional outside assistance. This is especially common with drugs like crack-cocaine which have a very powerful grab and euphoric recall. People in this category will undoubtedly improve their chances for success in recovery if choosing to enter an addiction treatment program, or at least a structured or semi-structured sober living residence. Both options provide for more personal accountability and oversight, though the rehab option is definitely more comprehensive in this regard.

Here are some of the common recovery approaches for those who cannot simply stop using drugs or alcohol on their own:

  • Structured or semi-structured sober living/recovery home
  • Sober living residence + outpatient treatment (sometimes referred as PHP treatment)
  • Short-term drug rehab program (30 days or less)
  • Long-term treatment program (60 days to 18 months)


Going the route of an addiction treatment center is almost always going to provide a far more comprehensive approach, in terms of clinical services. These include such things as; group & private therapy, other therapy types (i.e., CBT, DBT, EMDR, equine, etc.), psychiatric & medication management), and more.

As compared to a halfway house or sober living residence, a facility that provides residential or inpatient treatment will offer much more structure as well as 24/7 oversight. This is important because, those whose drug addiction has taken over will often times feel overcome by the urge to use, especially during early recovery.  While oversight can be a big plus in helping these individuals get through these periods, even the most highly structured recovery residences cannot provide the same level of oversight as that of inpatient treatment.

Whether you go the route of a halfway house or sober living home, or some variation of addiction treatment, your success is ultimately in your own hands. The more willing a person is to change, the more likely they are to achieve success. More information on sober living housing as well as treatment & support services is available for further review on this site.

For more information on Herbert House Sober Living Residences, or if you would like to submit an article of your own to our recovery blog please feel free to call or email us 7 days a week at: (310) 737-7566 | info@herberthouse.com.

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Herbert House Sober Living is an organization dedicated to helping guide mature men to a life of successful recovery. With over 20 years expertise and a pioneering role among the Los Angeles, CA recovery housing community, we successfully balance recovery, community, comfort and cost. We are unique, our mission is steadfast, and each opportunity to help rebuild a life (and family) is a process we truly cherish.

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