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Pros and Cons of Halfway Houses

If you struggle with substance abuse, getting sober may be one of the hardest things you ever do. Many alcoholics and drug addicts start recovery by entering a medical facility to safely detox from their drug of choice. Residential treatment is a logical next step, but you may not be sure what to do after you’ve completed your inpatient stay. People debate the pros and cons of halfway houses and how they differ from sober living homes before making a decision. Here is the information you need to know to plan your next move.

What is A Sober Living Home?

After completing detox and residential treatment in a facility, most people feel excited to get back to the comfort of their own homes. They want to be surrounded by the familiar, including family and friends. But for some it may be too soon to take this step. This is where a sober living home in Los Angeles, CA can come in. 

A sober living home is a house for people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. It’s designed to offer a safe and stable environment, while you lay the groundwork for lifelong sobriety. Most of these homes have a live-in house manager who ensures everything runs smoothly. Residents work together to share chores, as well as provide peer support while navigating the challenges of early recovery. There is often a curfew; however, you are allowed to come and go during the day. 

Is A Sober Living Home in Los Angeles Right for You?

When a person has a substance use disorder, their days center around things related to it. Initial treatment focuses on detoxing from the substance and receiving around-the-clock care in a facility. Many people find that returning home immediately after detoxing leaves out an important step. A sober living home provides a bridge between traditional residential and outpatient treatment that allows them to prepare to return home as a sober person. When weighing their options, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of a sober living home.

Pros of Sober Living Homes

  • Personal Responsibility – You’ll be expected to pay rent, do your own grocery shopping, and will be assigned household chores. Reorganizing your priorities and building a routine is an important discipline to learn in recovery.
  • No Rehab Required – Although you must be sober, most sober living homes do not require that you come from a treatment program. If you’ve safely detoxed from drugs and alcohol, you can move into a sober living home and further cultivate your journey in sobriety.
  • Communication Skills – Living with several roommates will allow you to practice setting healthy boundaries and develop proper communication skills.
  • Structure – Most recovering addicts and alcoholics need some structure to stay sober. A sober living home provides accountability, support, curfews, and random drug testing. Remember, recovery is a marathon, not a race. It’s all about transitioning back into your normal routine.
  • Safe Sober Environment – This is probably the most important benefit if you do not have a supportive, substance-free environment waiting for you at home. Being around other people with similar goals, in a substance-free environment, will ensure you stay on the right track.

Cons of Sober Living Homes

  • If you have not yet completed a detox program, a sober living home will not work for you. Residents are required to be sober upon entering the home.
  • If you require a high level of care with constant monitoring, a sober living home may not provide the amount of supervision and support you need.  
  • Some sober living homes are not upfront about what they provide. Make sure you ask questions before moving in so that you understand the services provided, the expectations of the residents, and any costs you may incur.

The Difference Between A Halfway House and A Sober Living Home

There are pros and cons of halfway houses to take into consideration when deciding between going to one or choosing a sober living home instead. While sober living homes exist solely for people in recovery from substance use disorders, halfway houses serve multiple populations. People living in halfway houses may have a current addiction to drugs or alcohol or be in recovery from one, have a chronic mental illness, or be transitioning out of the prison system. Some residents deal with more than one of those situations. Halfway houses are typically funded by federal or state government programs, and many only offer bare accommodations due to budget restraints. 

Pros and Cons of Halfway Houses

There are pros and cons of halfway houses each person should consider.

Pros of Halfway Houses

  • Because halfway houses are funded by the government, they often charge small fees or none at all to their residents
  • For someone who faces homelessness, a halfway house can provide them with a place to live and regular meals.

Cons of Halfway Houses

  • Halfway houses offer very few amenities compared to sober living homes. A halfway house also may be located in a less than desirable neighborhood.
  • People in halfway houses usually are there because the court system placed them there, whereas residents of a sober living home go there voluntarily. 
  • Halfway houses offer dormitory-style living, which limits a person’s privacy. Sober living homes in Los Angeles have a more home-like feel, which can be a benefit.

Sober Living Homes in Los Angeles, CA

If you are a young adult looking for the right option for continuing your addiction treatment after detox, we have a program that may suit your needs. Our gender-specific sober living homes in Los Angeles provide safe havens for individuals to practice living independently while still receiving continued personal care. Contact Riviera Recovery now to learn more about sober living and request a free confidential assessment to determine if it is right for you.