What Is a Halfway House?
What Is A Halfway House?
Halfway houses are supportive residences for people who are working to gain a foothold in early recovery. Also referred to as sober living homes or sober living residences, halfway houses provide a safe, structured environment where people can prepare to resume a fully independent life after completing treatment for addiction.
A person’s environment can play an important role in their ability to resist relapse after completing treatment for addiction. For many people, spending some time in a halfway house can be an essential step on the journey toward long-term recovery. Creekside Recovery Residences offers numerous options for those seeking halfway house options near them.
How Does A Halfway House Work?
There is no single standard format for how every home works. But most reputable halfway houses share characteristics such as the following:
– Residents must agree to follow all house rules. In addition to curfews and drug testing, these rules may include required participation in support groups or other activities and mandated performance of certain household chores.
– Many halfway houses provide private bedrooms for residences along with shared common areas such as the living room, a meeting space, and the kitchen.
– Some halfway houses offer outpatient rehab, case management for addiction, and other support groups. Others may require residents to attend a set number of off-site meetings.
– Some halfway houses require residents to either have a job, be actively looking for employment, or be currently enrolled in a treatment program.
– Residents are usually prohibited from bringing guests to the halfway house.
– Though every halfway house is a bit different, they all share the goal of helping people take important steps on their path toward successful recovery.
Benefits of A Halfway House
Every person in recovery has their own needs and goals. So the benefits they receive from staying in a program often varies from person to person. In general, though, here are some of the common benefits that a halfway house may offer to all residents:
- Personal safety: The safety of all residents should be the top priority at every reputable halfway house. Locked doors, security cameras, and on-site staff are among the many features that can ensure the continued well-being of every person who lives in the house.
- Substance-free environment: Understandably, halfway houses strictly prohibit residences from bringing alcohol or other substances onto the premises. They also require residents to abstain from abusing drugs when they are away from the house. Limiting a person’s exposure to drugs and to people who are engaging in substance abuse is a significant benefit of a halfway house.
- Supportive community: When a person resides in a halfway house, they will be living among other people who have had similar challenges and who are working toward the common goal of long-term sobriety. This is an excellent opportunity to form healthy relationships and share support with other members of the recovery community.
- Responsibility & accountability: To remain in a halfway house, residents may have to follow a schedule, participate in counseling sessions, complete random drug tests, and otherwise adhere to a set of established policies and procedures. In addition to promoting a safe environment for all residents, these rules are also guidelines for living a responsible, accountable lifestyle.
- Peace of mind: Early recovery can be a challenging and emotional time. People who have just completed – or are in the process of completing – a drug rehab program may be worried about their health, their job, their relationships, and a host of other important concerns. Not having to worry about finding a safe, drug-free place to live can be a source of considerable peace of mind.
What Can You Bring to a Halfway House?
Halfway houses generally allow you to bring most of your belongings. However, there are specific items that are prohibited from entering a halfway house. Some of these items include weapons, drugs, alcohol, and any toiletries that contain alcohol in them. If you have any of these when you arrive at Creekside, they will be confiscated.
To make your stay more comfortable, we do recommend you bring the following:
- Personal Items (pictures, books, etc)
- Legal documents such as your ID and insurance card.
How Long Does Someone Stay in a Halfway House?
The length of time that a person stays in a halfway house may be influenced by several factors. The two most common of these factors are the individual’s progress and the house’s policies.
Some programs may establish a maximum period of residence when a person enters the home. Also, a person’s stay may be shortened or extended due to the progress they make in their recovery and their adherence to all house rules.
For example, if someone has been making a concerted effort and needs to remain in the house for a bit longer than originally anticipated, they may have the opportunity to do so. Conversely, if someone is a source of conflict, violates house rules, or otherwise disrupts the lives of other residents, they may be required to vacate the premises.
A minimum stay of three months is a common goal at most (but not all) halfway houses. Some houses permit residents to stay for a year or longer. At Creekside Recovery Residences, we have a minimum requirement of a one month stay at our halfway houses.
Who Is A Good Fit For a Halfway House?
Halfway houses are designed for adults who meet criteria such as the following:
– Have completed an addiction treatment program or are currently enrolled in drug rehab?
– May not have the structure and assistance they need at home to remain in recovery.
– Can benefit from residing in a substance-free residence.
– Are willing to follow all house rules, including curfews and random drug screenings.
– Do not need assistance with personal care, hygiene, or other basic activities of daily living.
Most halfway houses make their admissions decisions after meeting with prospective new residents, reviewing their treatment history, and discussing house policies and procedures.
If you are not referred to a halfway house by a treatment program or a healthcare provider, the best way to determine if you are a good fit is to speak with a staff member at the house you are considering.