Halfway Houses: How to get into one after drug rehab?

What Are Halfway Houses?

Halfway houses, also known sober living houses or recovery houses, are places of residence for people newly released from treatment. These living arrangements provide a recovering person with additional monitoring and support. These residential communities began as a means of providing substance abusers with a safe place to reintegrate into society. It was, and is, an interim step back into everyday living.

Today, these houses allow people early in recovery to find work, relinquish friends and associates related to drugs and alcohol and relearn the skills that are required of responsible, productive, citizens such as paying bills on time while living in an environment that is focused on recovery. Halfway houses can foster new sobriety-based, non-sexual relationships with a mutual interest in recovery.

What Happens in a Halfway House?

In many cases, a person will move into a halfway house before returning home to become re-oriented to living without drugs or alcohol. This allows the client to re-enter life without the stress of family obligations, while getting used to coping with life’s daily demands. Running a typical household can be stressful, challenging and distracting. Transitional living facilities are a stepping stone back into living a sober and clean life and are not a long-term solution.

A credible recovery house can provide clients with rules that include mandatory curfews, chores or 12-step meetings. These rules forbid the use or possession of drugs and/or alcohol. Breaking the rules is grounds for an immediate expulsion. Many places perform random drug tests to ensure compliance. Some houses provide live-in counselors to assist with the transition and during any real or perceived crisis that may arise.

Not All Halfway Houses Are Created Equal

However, not all sober living houses are the same. Some of these houses are merely profit-making facilities that do not monitor the activities of the residents. Such places may expose those in the house to drugs and/or alcohol or other unhealthy lifestyles.

The goal of a halfway house is to re-enforce living without drugs and alcohol while fulfilling the demands of everyday responsibilities. Before choosing a halfway house, one should thoroughly investigate its rules and philosophy. Choosing and living in an appropriate transitional living facility can help make the difference between a smooth early recovery experience or a tumultuous one.

This page last updated: September 19, 2013

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