Living with an addiction to drugs or alcohol overwhelms even the strongest people. A person can become confused by the choices for treatment, including not understanding the difference between sober living vs. halfway house. We explore both options to determine which offers the best options for your needs and recovery goals.
What is the Difference? Sober Living vs. Halfway House
While many people use the terms interchangeably, there are differences between sober living vs. a halfway house. Halfway houses provide transitory housing for people in various situations. Many people arrive at a halfway house after leaving prison or because they need treatment for chronic mental illness. Many of the residents are in the process of trying to recover from a drug or alcohol addiction.
Halfway houses often do not charge a fee, or the cost is low. Unfortunately, the conditions of some and the amenities offered can be of the bare minimum variety. Federal and state budgets influence what halfway houses are like. Halfway houses can close down if state or federal budgets are cut. It’s not uncommon for a halfway house to offer no medical or psychological support to its residents.
Sober living homes are typically privately owned, which means the houses are usually more modern and in popular neighborhoods. All residents gather in the home in pursuit of staying sober and are generally required to take drug tests. Sober living homes usually provide access to individual therapy, group therapy, and other beneficial treatment options. Residents are encouraged to stay 90 days or more, while halfway houses often eject residents before they have stabilized.
Benefits of Sober Living Compared to Traditional Halfway Houses
The benefits of sober living vs. a halfway house come in many forms. The peer support that comes with staying in a sober living home helps not only while a person is in the program but can extend past the time they leave. Friendships born between people pursuing the same sobriety goals often result in lifelong relationships. No one knows better how hard it can be to stay in recovery than someone walking on the same path.
Sober living homes offer more structure than halfway houses, often providing little more than a place to live. Sober living homes extend a menu of choices for proven types of therapy that help a person thrive in recovery from addiction. Beyond typical therapeutic modalities, sober living homes often teach their residents crucial life skills. They learn to budget their money, find and keep a job, and perform basic housekeeping and cooking duties.
Halfway houses offer little in the form of structure; sober living homes help residents reacquaint themselves with the value of living a structured life. Residents of sober living homes learn to set and keep a schedule. Residents also attend all treatment appointments and engage in house meetings with peers. This structure makes it easier to transition back to their home life. Routines and schedules form the backbone of staying busy and not becoming tempted to relapse.
Sober living homes help people new to the recovery process stay sober. People who graduate from a sober living home are more likely to stay sober than those who have only halfway houses as an option. The longer a person stays in a sober living home, the longer they remain in recovery after leaving, compared to those who only stay a short while.
Sober Living as a Form of Recovery Maintenance
A person who has reached the point of having banked a lot of time in established recovery may still find themselves starting to struggle. Deciding between sober living vs. a halfway house doesn’t enter the equation because they likely no longer qualify for the latter. Sober living homes don’t just offer support and a place to stay to people fresh out of rehab or residential treatment.
Someone who may have been in recovery for many months or even years sometimes finds themselves worried they might be in danger of relapsing. Sober living homes often invite past residents to return or welcome someone who needs a tune-up of sorts for their established recovery. Taking time away from their daily lives and joining a peer support community can provide the perfect temporary treatment option.
Recovery maintenance like this can give a person a break from triggers and allow them to revisit the fundamental lessons of staying sober. Being around housemates who are all devoted to staying away from drugs and alcohol proves to be a valuable asset, regardless of where a person is in their recovery process. Many individuals choose to take advantage of sober living homes during times of stress, including the holidays and painful anniversaries.
Sober Living Homes in Los Angeles, CA
Our gender-specific sober living homes provide a proven way to help young adults who need a safe living environment as they work on their recovery. Whether you have newly completed a residential program or want to work on recovery maintenance during a challenging period later on, sober living homes are a great option for you. Contact Riviera Recovery in Los Angeles, CA, or visit our admissions page today to find out how we can help you stay sober and healthy.