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The Difference Between Sober Living and a Halfway House

Aftercare is an essential aspect of drug use disorder treatment. The very first days or weeks are especially hard for patients who have just completed an inpatient detox program. Recovering addicts will experience multiple triggers and cravings, eventually leading to relapse. Most patients will take some time to get back into their lives. They usually choose to live in either a halfway house or a sober living home.

People often confuse the two because both are facilities used to help people ease from use disorder inpatient treatment to fully independent living. You should opt for either of these if you need a little more time to stabilize before you can resume your healthy life. A halfway house and a sober living house still have differences you must consider before selecting which facility you will spend your time in.

In this article, we will cover what a sober living house and a halfway house is, the difference between them, and how they can benefit you on the road to recovery.

What is a Halfway House?

sober halfway house

A halfway house is a residential facility serving multiple groups of people who need rehab or want to remain sober. Some are meant for people transitioning from prison life or jail, others use it for individuals with a chronic mental illness, and others are house individuals who aim towards sober living. In some cases, halfway houses are used to shelter the homeless.

The Federal Government usually funds halfway, eliminating all costs or maintaining it at a low cost to the patients. There are public facilities and government agencies that operate them. The court orders most of the individuals to halfway houses. These residences normally offer room and board facilities. There are a few of them that offer some therapeutic treatment and support, but in most cases, it is not available. However, they offer group meetings promoting sober living and reinforcing recovery.

Halfway houses were introduced in the 18th century in England. Initially, they were meant to house and rehabilitate juveniles who had committed crimes. The United States adopted these residences to house individuals who had just left prison. Over time these houses have been used to shelter the homeless and, in recent times, two house individuals who have left an inpatient rehab facility.

Benefits of a Halfway House

While both sober living homes and halfway houses provide a structured living environment for individuals in recovery from substance abuse or addiction, some unique benefits of halfway houses may make them a better option for some people compared to sober living homes. Here are some of the benefits of living in a halfway house:

  • Structured treatment plans
  • Accountability
  • Supportive community
  • Assistance with re-entry into society

What is a Sober Living House?

A sober living house is a residence owned by a private organization or individual for profit. Individuals sign up for a space in such residences voluntarily. These facilities vary from low cost and low amenity accommodations to luxurious accommodations. They are also available in diverse styles, such as faith-based accommodations, 12-step accommodations, holistic residences, etc.

The diversity makes it possible to offer many people the appropriate help to transition from patient treatment to a healthy lifestyle. Sober living residences have strict rules and a zero-tolerance policy for substance possession and abuse. You do not necessarily have to start with an addiction treatment program before you join any sober living house. However, you will need to participate in their applications and weekly house meetings.

The Difference Between Sober Living and a Halfway House

The right residence is necessary for practical sobriety skills. Knowing the difference between sober living and a halfway house will help determine which residence suits your sobriety skills and long-term recovery. Some of the major differences include:

  1. A sober living house is usually run by an addiction treatment center or an individual. Halfway houses are funded by the government and operated by its agencies.
  2. Individuals go to sober living houses voluntarily. On the other hand, individuals will go to Halfway houses under Court orders.
  3. Halfway houses are built like dorms, while sober living houses are structured like private residences. As a result, sober living houses offer more privacy and comfort.
  4. These residences have a major cost difference. Halfway houses are cheaper because they get their funding from taxpayers’ money. However, the low price comes with fewer amenities. Sober living houses cost more, but insurance companies can help with the bill. The higher costs mean better services and facilities.

What Happens at a Sober Living Home?

two women having a conversation in a sober living house, sober living los angeles, couples sober living, sober livingSober living houses host individuals suffering from various addictions, but behavioral addictions such as sexual compulsion or gambling are less common. Individuals who have a hard substance use disorder for the following substances have responded positively to a sober living environment—cocaine, heroin, alcohol, and methamphetamine. There are expectations and rules of living in a sober living home.

Sober living homes have staff members responsible for enforcing these rules to ensure the environment is free of drugs and the individuals are not tempted to relapse. As a Sober Living Home resident, you are expected to maintain sobriety, find work or go to job interviews, observe the curfew laws, complete the delegated choice in time, and some facilities have mandatory 12 steps and recovery programs.

You get to choose the period or the days to leave, but usually, the length of stay is between 3 to 12 months, which offers ample time to regain your security in terms of employment and sobriety. There are random drug tests in sober living Homes to ensure the residence is free of drugs. You can leave the sober living home after the agreed period or leave freely if the court has not ordered you to be at the residence.

Benefits of a Sober Living Home

Sober living homes and halfway houses offer a safe and structured environment for individuals recovering from substance abuse or addiction. However, some unique benefits of sober living homes may make them a better option for some people compared to halfway houses. Here are some of the benefits of staying in a sober living home:

  • Greater autonomy and independence
  • Peer support
  • Flexibility in treatment
  • Longer stays

The benefits of sober living homes over halfway houses depend on an individual’s specific needs and circumstances. It’s important to carefully evaluate the options and choose the living arrangement to provide the most support and stability for long-term recovery.

Halfway House Activities

Halfway houses are residential facilities that provide transitional housing for individuals who are leaving incarceration or a drug treatment program. In addition to offering a safe and structured environment, halfway houses often provide a variety of activities and services designed to support residents in their recovery journey. Here are some of the activities that may take place at a halfway house:

  • Initiate your search for employment. You have access to a support system that schedules time for making applications and attending interviews.
  • Make living and housing arrangements. Some individuals will visit halfway houses and do not own a home. These residences present and time to look for housing. Others fear that their own homes may trigger a relapse. However, towards the end of your stay, you need to make housing arrangements and rules for coping with temptation and cravings.
  • Adjust to leading a sober life. You may be experiencing withdrawal symptoms and Temptations to relapse. The residence has rules which will help you adjust two following these rules and leading a sober life.
  • Make amends. The actions of individuals who engage in substance use disorder affect those around them. You should try to reach out and make amends for your efforts. It is a liberating process that helps you rebuild your support network.

West Los Angeles Sober Living Homes

Riviera is a health and wellness community that sets its goals around wellness, independence, and community. We have a team of experienced local addiction consultants who help you ease back into the community from a sober living facility. Our services focus on safety, empowerment, and support. We offer multiple services, including weekly mentor meetings, nutrition meetings, 24/7 rehab consulting staff, food management systems, random drug testing, weekly social activities, and more.

Our organization offers two main facilities located in West Los Angeles. Palisades house is a coed residence, and the Barrington house only hosts male residents. You can choose between the two based on the convenience of the location and the type of patients admitted to the residence. We have staff waiting to help you start your transition to living a healthy life today.

Our experienced team of professionals is able to answer your questions regarding our sober living houses. Contact us today to learn more and see if our residences can help you continue your recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Visit our admissions page to get started now.

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