The Better Way Program in Washington, D.C. is a nonprofit that offers 12-step based outpatient treatment for both men and women with addiction-related issues. The program was founded in 1989 by Pastor Freddie Davis, who felt a calling to help his church members, family and friends to break the chains of chemical dependency. People from all walks of life with all levels of severity of addiction are welcome. The program’s goal is to instill a lifestyle of healthy choices and freedom from negative thoughts as well as provide tools to live responsible, productive lives.
Treatment and Staff
To begin the Better Way Program, clients are required to show proof of negative TB tests or chest x-ray results, attend seven or more 12-step meetings and achieve abstinence for seven days.
The nine-month outpatient program consists of two phases. The first phase involves group therapy five days a week for three months and daily attendance at 12-step meetings. Once the first phase has been successfully completed, clients enter the second phase, where they attend group three days a week for six months. Relapse prevention, coping skills and an introduction to the 12 steps are all incorporated into the program. On-site, one hour 12-step meetings are offered six days a week in the afternoons and evenings. Clients are subject to random drug testing while participating in the program.
Upon completion of the nine-month program, clients are enrolled in the Alumni Program, where they become group leaders and go back into the community—including churches, detox centers and prisons—to share with potential clients about the Better Way Program. Alumni meetings are held once a month and include activities such as bowling, sporting events, picnics, inspirational movies and plays.
The Better Way staff is managed by a Master’s-level addiction counselor, who serves as executive director. Most of the day-to-day operations are handled by student interns from local universities and other community counseling training programs, who rotate through the Better Way Program to gain on-the-job training while working toward their degrees. The program conducts workshops to provide ongoing addiction education training for counselors, social workers and case managers.
An ex-offenders support group meets at the facility weekly for an hour and a half. They have access to additional programs such as anger management, life management, vocational rehabilitation, HIV/AIDS testing, and education and health education.
The Better Way Program provides no-frills, community-based 12-step outpatient treatment. It requires participants to devote time daily to their recovery by attending meetings and eventually sharing their experience with those in jails and detox centers. The program offers an affordable option for those who are willing to put in some serious effort.
The Better Way Program
4601 Sheriff Rd NE, Ward 7
Washington, DC 20019
The Better Way Program Cost: Sliding scale. Reach The Better Way Program by phone at (202) 396-4290 or by email at [email protected].
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