What is a Halfway House and Why Should You Consider it?
You’ve gone through medical detox and completed an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. Now it’s time for the next step of recovery. While going home may seem like a relief after so much time in treatment, for some people, the thought is overwhelming—especially if you’re in a triggering environment or don’t have a strong support system at home.
If you’re committed to living a sober lifestyle but aren’t ready to transition to life at home, a halfway house is a great option to consider. Halfway houses provide support to those who are new to recovery and are committed to a life without their addiction.
What is a halfway house and what’s it used for?
A halfway house, also known as a “sober living house” in some states, is a transitional living facility for those in recovery from drugs or alcohol. Some people go to a halfway house after leaving a long-term addiction treatment center, prison or a homeless situation, while others go to be in a sober living environment as they begin their journey to recovery. In some cases, people are in halfway houses due to court orders.
Some halfway houses require residents to pass a drug screening and/or breathalyzer test, as they’re not equipped to deal with withdrawal symptoms or delirium tremens. Halfway houses are ideal for people who’ve already gone through medical detox and have completed an inpatient or outpatient treatment program.
The amount of time you’ll stay at a halfway house varies, but most stays are between three to twelve months. This gives you enough time to get back on your feet, secure a steady job, and feel strong in your sobriety.
Who Can Live In A Halfway House?
Most halfway houses don’t restrict who can live there, but the majority of people who live in a sober living home have already gone through a treatment program before going to sober living. This is mostly due to the fact that halfway houses require you to remain sober while you live there. Therefore, people who already have some level of sobriety under their belt are more likely to succeed at a halfway house than those who are new to recovery.
This isn’t a requirement, though. If you’re newly sober, have gone through detox, are willing to stay sober, and can commit to living by the house rules, you can live in a halfway house.
What to Expect at a Halfway House
Halfway houses are generally less regimented and allow more freedom than an inpatient treatment program. Still, they provide more structure and support than you receive at home. You can work and/or attend school while living in a sober living home, but you’re still required to put effort into your recovery by attending 12-step meetings (or other recovery meetings).
Halfway House Rules and Guidelines
Rules vary from facility to facility, but there are some rules that are common in most sober living homes. When you move into a halfway house, you agree to these terms, and violations have consequences including fines, making amends or even being asked to leave the facility.
Some common halfway house rules and guidelines include:
- You must stay sober. Drug and alcohol use is not allowed, and you’re subject to random drug testing.
- You must contribute to the house by doing chores.
- No fighting or violence toward other residents.
- No stealing or destroying another resident’s property.
- You must adhere to a curfew.
- You must attend 12-step or other recovery meetings.
- You may be required to interview for jobs if you don’t already have one.
How Much Does a Halfway House Cost?
Sober living homes vary in cost from inexpensive ($100-$300/month) to expensive (over $2,000/month), but many are in the range of $400 to $800 per month depending on where you live. You should expect to spend around the same amount of money you’d spend on rent for a modest apartment.
Some ways to cover the cost of a sober living home include:
- Scholarships and grants.
- Personal savings.
- Bank loans or credit cards.
- Borrowing from family or friends.
- Setting up a payment plan with the sober living facility.
Some halfway houses accept insurance, but it’s up to your insurance company to determine how much is covered and if you’ll need to pay a co-pay. If you’re thinking about entering a sober living home and want to know if insurance covers it, it’s best to contact your insurance company directly.
Choosing a Halfway House
Sober living homes are not for everyone, but if you think it might be right for you or a loved one, reach out to your doctor or therapist to see if they’re able to recommend one for you. If you attend 12-step or other recovery meetings, you can ask other members of your group for recommendations as well. If you still haven’t been able to get recommendations, do a quick Google search to read reviews and find halfway houses in your area.
Committed to Sobriety
Sobriety is far from boring. It allows you to live your life to the fullest, experience all of life’s adventures, make the most out of relationships, and be present in the moment. It doesn’t come without its challenges, however, and it’s beneficial to be around people who can support you on this journey. If you’re ready to commit to a life in recovery, the team at The Recovery Village can help you develop a strong aftercare program to help you continue a life of sobriety.
Halfway House Home. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2016, from http://halfwayhouse.com/