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How To Support Your Loved One Who Has Entered Into a Halfway House

It can be hard to know how to support a loved one who is moving into, or currently living in, a halfway house. It is estimated that around 23 million people in the United States are in recovery from addiction. This means that we are likely to know someone who has gone through or is going through the recovery process, even if you aren’t aware of it.

As a loved one, you have the responsibility of providing the necessary emotional support and also holding the person accountable. Addiction is a serious issue and once a person decides to get help, friends and loved ones can play a major role in the recovery. You have the chance to encourage healthier decisions and play a key role in rehab. This article will provide tips on how to support a loved one who’s living in a halfway house.

What is a Halfway House?

A halfway house, also referred to as a “sober living house”, is a temporary housing facility for those who are in the process of recovering from substance abuse. It is often used by people who have been released from a long-term rehabilitation program, prison, or homelessness, and for those who have been ordered to do so by a court. People who come to a halfway house are usually required to pass a drug screening and/or breathalyzer test, since the facility is not equipped to handle any withdrawal symptoms or delirium tremens.

This type of housing is especially beneficial for those who have already gone through medical detoxification and have completed an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. The duration of stay in a halfway house usually ranges from three to twelve months, giving the individual enough time to rebuild their life, find a steady job, and build up the strength of their sobriety.

Halfway House vs. Rehab

Unlike a halfway house, the main goal of rehab is to help individuals break free from drug or alcohol addiction. Depending on the facility, this could be done through a conventional plan involving medicine and therapy, a more spiritual route, or a combination of both. Confusion can arise from the popular practice of inpatient rehabilitation, also called “short-term residential treatment,” in which patients receive care in a residential-style facility. Rehabs and treatment centers are usually staffed by a clinical group containing medical, psychiatric, and/or spiritual experts who oversee a program for detoxification and recovery. This usually includes medical and psychiatric services, nutrition and health activities, fun and fitness activities, and more.

Halfway House vs. Sober Living House

Sober living homes provide a safe and alcohol/drug-free atmosphere for people looking to stop their addiction. Residents are encouraged to take ownership of their sobriety and are provided with the necessary assistance and peer support to make this happen. Generally, these houses are privately owned and situated in tranquil and serene areas, allowing individuals to relax and concentrate on their journey to recovery.

Although halfway houses and sober-living homes have a lot of similarities, there are several key distinctions. For instance, individuals in halfway houses may be required to reside there by court order and may have just been released from a correctional institution, while occupants of sober-living homes usually come from a substance use treatment program.

Furthermore, occupants of sober-living homes are usually in the midst of a recovery process, participating in Twelve Step meetings and other outpatient services for substance use, while those in halfway houses may not be involved in such programs. Additionally, halfway houses are normally owned or supported by the state, whereas the majority of sober-living residences are owned privately or by treatment centers that wish to provide continued support for their patients.

How to Support a Loved One Who Moves Into a Halfway House

Moving into, or already residing in, a halfway house can be a difficult transition for your loved one. As such, it is important to know how you can be supportive during this time. Even small gestures can make all the difference for someone living in a halfway house and help them feel not alone during this time of transition. The following are several ways to support your loved one:

Learn About Recovery

Being aware of the emotional, physical, and behavioral components of recovery is essential for creating a supportive atmosphere. When someone stops using alcohol or drugs, it’s easy to think they’re sober. They might be in that moment, but staying sober is a constant struggle. Even if they look and seem fine, the brain still needs time to heal, and that could take years in accordance with research. Having a thorough knowledge of what a person in recovery is experiencing can help you to comprehend the difficulties they face, as well as the accomplishments that are part of the recovery experience.


Being present and listening without judgment can be one of the most powerful things you do for someone in need. Listening empathetically requires a person to really understand where their loved one is coming from, which in turn allows them to process their experiences and move forward. Even if you don’t have the answers or solutions, simply being there and listening can do wonders for the person. Let your loved one know that they are heard and understood by simply being there and listening.

halfway house

Encourage Them

It is important to be an active supporter in your loved one’s journey toward sobriety. As they take the difficult steps towards a halfway house, encourage and remind them of their strength and resilience. Offer words of affirmation and be their cheerleader, celebrating their successes and acknowledging their efforts; even during the tough times. Providing comfort during setbacks can help them remain focused and committed to their goals.

Stay Positive

If your loved one is in a halfway house, they probably are conscious of the wrongs they did and the broken trust that needs to be recovered. Although you could still be hurting and managing your emotions, you wish for them to become successful in their sobriety. Pointing out these matters during their stay could bring up feelings of regret, humiliation, and sorrow that can lead to a regression. Try to be as loving as possible and express yourself honestly and positively regardless of the hurt you could still be experiencing.


It is common for people to have poor boundaries when they are struggling with addiction, and these boundaries may still be present during their recovery. This is an opportunity for you to become aware of the ways in which you may have enabled the addiction to persist. These sorts of behaviors may have included lying to protect your loved one’s use, doing work that they were not doing, going to places where alcohol is served, or even giving up activities that are important to you in order to supervise them. You may also have been avoiding any kind of conflict.

Be Patient

The journey of recovery is filled with highs and lows, varying moods, and unexpected flare-ups. Even though you both wish to return to normalcy, you must realize that it won’t occur in an instant. Have the patience and empathy needed for the good days as well as for the challenging ones. Develop an open dialogue between the two of you and produce a plan of action. This will help you achieve success, keep away from pain and avoid disputes in the future. Even though it can be difficult, remember that each stride forward brings you closer to recovery.

Sober Living in Los Angeles at Riviera Recovery

Sober Living programs provide their residents with the tools necessary to maintain sobriety on their own. This includes counseling, support groups and relapse prevention strategies. By offering this kind of assistance, these programs help individuals develop the skills and knowledge to live a healthy and productive life. Furthermore, each program’s staff is committed to providing the best possible environment in which people can work together to stay sober and make positive changes in their lives.

Riviera Recovery is very passionate about helping people as they begin down the road of recovery. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing our clients with the knowledge and support they require for lasting sobriety. We understand that sober living is the key to a successful recovery and our staff at Riviera Recovery is here to support you every step of the way.

With our help, individuals can get back on their feet and start life in recovery. If you would like to learn more about our sober living program, contact the experts at Riviera Recovery today. They are ready to answer any questions you may have and assist you in getting started on your journey to a lifetime of sobriety.

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