Last Updated on August 25, 2022 by Dr. Ronaye Calvert-Conley
Drug addiction is a growing problem for countless people. It’s estimated that 48.5 million Americans used illegal drugs or misused prescription medications in 2016 alone. That number is already high and is expected to go up even further.
People that are healing from their struggle with addiction can benefit from being in a healthy and monitored environment.
A halfway house could be the answer to a lot of people’s addiction problems.
For those interested in learning more about how halfway houses can help people struggling with addiction, we’ve outlined some important information about how they can help with the journey of recovery.
What Is a Halfway House?
A halfway house is a transitional living facility where people can re-acclimate to their regular life under strict supervision.
These facilities are called halfway houses because they’re halfway between living independently and halfway between having a totally monitored lifestyle.
Some people view halfway houses as institutions that only cater to recovering addicts. But they can be used for anyone that needs help learning necessary skills to re-enter society and better care for themselves.
Some people may choose to go to a halfway house after leaving a short or long-term inpatient addiction program. Others may go into a halfway house as their first step to recovery. A few may be forced to attend because of a court order.
A halfway house can be more than a supervised environment though. Many provide important medical, social, and educational services that are designed to help the residents living there.
Halfway House Vs. Sober Living House
Some people use the terms sober living houseand halfway houseinterchangeably, but there is technically a difference between both terms.
The main difference between the two is that many halfway houses usually require that residents are enrolled in a rehabilitation program or have already completed one.
Sober living homes do require that residents abstain from using substances, but typically don’t require formal programs to be part of the admission process.
Another difference is the length of time you can stay in both. Most halfway houses accommodate people for no longer than a year. Sober living facilities typically don’t have time limits.
Halfway House Rules
Each house is going to have its own unique set of rules, but there are some that tend to be the same regardless of where people are staying.
Halfway houses are going to require a commitment from all residents to stay sober and abstain from all substances. Residents may have to sign an agreement and can be subjected to routine drug and alcohol testing.
Room inspections are also a common part of halfway house life. This is done to ensure that residents are following the rules regarding substance use.
Some may require that residents pay rent. This can help foster a sense of responsibility, build self-discipline, and help get people used to making regular payments. Most of the time they are more affordable than traditional housing in the area.
Because people are living in a monitored environment, residents shouldn’t expect to be able to come and go as they please. Many facilities have nightly curfews and may require that residents check in with a counselor before and after they leave.
It isn’t unusual for residents to have assigned chores, be enrolled in school, or have a job. The goal of these homes is to get people ready to live on their own, and many programs focus on helping people build healthy daily routines.
Attending community and house meetings along with 12-step programs are typical parts of resident’s days. They should also expect to spend one on one time with their own personal counselors or doctors.
3 Benefits of Halfway Houses
There’s a reason why halfway house programs have become an essential part of many people’s addiction recovery plans. There are a lot of benefits that come from spending time in a halfway home and these include:
- Make New Friends
Friends could be the last thing on an addict’s mind. But being surrounded by the right people and making healthy friendships is absolutely crucial for recovery.
Some people struggle with addiction because they’re surrounded by it through their family and old friends.
Staying sober can be difficult when people that you love and trust are using substances like alcohol or other illegal drugs. Some may even encourage them to fall back into bad habits.
Residents are around people that understand what they’re going through and can help them on their own path to recovery. They’ll be there to help encourage them when times are tough and can help them celebrate milestones.
- Live in a Recovery Focused Environment
When people are in a halfway house, every part of their day is spent working towards recovery.
Whether they’re building healthy habits or getting counseling for their addiction issues, everything is focused on getting better.
People can be surrounded by supportive family and friends when they’re dealing with their drug addiction, but there’s no way that people can get the same kind of 24/7 support outside of a program.
- Prepare for Regular Life
Some addicts are able to hold jobs when they’re at the lowest point in their addiction, while others may have struggled to hold jobs for many years.
Going back to work after coping with an addiction can be difficult for a lot of people. Some have to learn how to work through stressful jobs while being sober, and others just have to get used to working regularly again.
Whatever the case, being in a halfway house can make it easier for people to get into the routine of working again.
If residents lack formal job experience, a halfway house can teach them skills and help them find steady employment. People that have established jobs can fall back into their work routines with the help of counselors.
A Halfway house can play a crucial role for many people in recovery from addiction. A supportive and immersive environment can give people the tools they need to stop abusing drugs and is a welcome support system for those new to a life of sobriety.
Many treatment centers can help guide their patients to local halfway houses or sober living facilities as part of their exit strategy when they complete the program.
For those not attending a formal treatment program, local AA meetings or sponsors should know where to find sober living in the area.