Is a Halfway House the Same as a Sober Living Home?

Halfway houses and sober recovery houses have been around for more than 100 years. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but there are key differences between them. These days, the term “recovery residence” is used to describe a wide range of living options that includes halfway houses, sober living houses and transitional housing. Which one is the better option for the newly recovered?

Halfway Houses

Halfway houses permit a wide variety of residents. Many have completed an inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment program.

Halfway houses also take in people newly released from prison, mentally ill people who are being released from institutions, homeless people and the physically challenged. The halfway house gives them a place to live before they are able to find work or otherwise integrate back into society.

In most cases, halfway houses do not offer rules, structures, drug testing, counseling or other things that support ongoing recovery.

Sober Living Homes

These are often associated with a particular inpatient treatment facility. A sober living home usually has much more structure than a halfway house and is far more selective about its residents, restricting them to people who have successfully completed addiction treatment.

A sober living home is not just a place to live. It’s a place where former addicts get the support and structure they need to function long-term without drugs and alcohol.

What Should a Good Sober Living Home Have?

It’s important to find a sober living home that is safe and well-run. The environment should be supportive and counseling should be available to residents who want it. In addition, a sober living home should prepare the former addict to integrate back into society. It can do this by providing the following types of structure:

  • A regular schedule of mealtimes, chore and other activities
  • Curfews, especially for the newly recovering
  • Help with finding employment
  • Employment and bill payment as a condition of staying in the home
  • Regular drug and alcohol testing
  • A safe, clean and comfortable environment

How to Find a Sober Living Home

The best place to find a good sober living home is through a residential treatment facility. These treatment centers work with homes that are supportive, safe and well-run.

If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you stay sober for the long term, call us at 833-846-5669. Our counselors are available 24-7 to take your calls.