If you are currently in treatment for substance abuse issues then more than likely you have been told that you should live in a halfway house or three-quarter house after your discharge. This suggestion is almost universal in the treatment field and the reason is that the structure that is offered by these sober living environments can make a world of difference when a newly sober individual leaves the confines of inpatient treatment for the freedom of normal everyday life.
A halfway house offers them a safe and secure place to live during this early phase of their recovery where they can be surrounded by other people attempting to lead a sober life. It gives them the ability to create new relationships in recovery and the guidelines that many of these houses put forth act as a barrier between the newly sober person and a relapse.
What is a Halfway House?
Depending on what part of the country you live in, a halfway house could mean something different. In the North East, this sort of living environment usually refers to a more structured housing option where individuals are not necessarily free to come and go as they please. They can work, attend meetings, and go out, but when they leave the house someone who manages the house has to know where they are at all times.
However in other parts of the country, like in South Florida, these houses are more so just sober living options that offer individuals who are attempting to get sober a place to live during the transitional period after treatment. These houses often times have rules and guidelines that must be followed, but individuals who live there are allowed to come and go as they please, as long as they do not break curfew, and they are given almost complete autonomy over their life.
Many people who are just getting out of treatment have trepidation about living in a halfway house and that is mostly because they do not know what to expect and because of this, they want to avoid the situation altogether. With that said, many people who overcome this trepidation will find that their halfway experience is among the best times in their sober life. They find that in halfway they have the ability to share their recovery with other like-minded individuals, they can grow in their recovery with people just like them, and they can get the support they need if life becomes overwhelming. They will often times find that the structure of halfway house living also gives them the tools they need to navigate life sober and looking back, they understand the importance that halfway had on their life.
What Guidelines to Expect in a Halfway House
While each halfway house will have their own individual rules and guidelines, many share common expectations for the conduct of the people living in the house. Many will ask that you attend a certain number of 12 Step meetings a week, usually between 5 and 7, and this is to ensure that you are participating in your recovery. It is critically important during early recovery that you attend as many meetings as possible so that you can get the support you need to overcome cravings or impulses to use again, but also so that you can begin to build a support network for yourself and transition into the recovery community. Sober living managers understand this and that is why they ask that you attend meetings on a regular basis as a stipulation for living at the house.
Another common guideline for living at these sober living options is that you be clean and sober from all mood and mind altering substances. This may sound like a given, considering what their function is, but it is important to note that if you use while living at one of these sorts of houses you could very well be asked to leave or asked to attend treatment again before returning.
Many halfway houses are not coed and as such, many do not allow you to have visitors from the opposite sex over to the house. This is partly for the reason you would think, and partly because having visitors over to the house could cause a security risk to the house and the people living in it. Since it is a living environment, people very often have their valuables out and about and so having too many visitors over to the house could result in theft or other various problems.
Another guideline that many of these houses ask of their inhabitants is that they have a job. This is not only so that they can ensure that rent is paid, but also because working, especially in early recovery, is vital. Having a job gives newly sober people a sense of purpose and structure that they cannot receive any other way. If they are just sitting around the house all day watching TV, it can be tremendously difficult to stay sober, because depression is bound to set in.
So if you are just about to get out of treatment and you are not sure what to do, I would highly suggest going to some sort of sober living option. While returning back to your apartment or home might seem like the best thing to do, as you can once again be in the comfort of your own space, this very often can result in a disconnection from the recovery community you are attempting to be a part of, and in time could lead to a relapse.
Seeking Treatment for Alcoholism or Addiction
Getting clean and sober from drugs and alcohol is the most important thing that an addict or alcoholic can do in their life. It is also the most anxiety producing and frightening thing that they can do in their life, but it doesn’t need to be. With help from the professionals at Elevations Health, you can find a new life in sobriety with the least amount of resistance possible. So call us today at 1-866-200-3224 and begin your journey to recovery the right way, with Elevation Health.