How Does A Halfway House Work?

Substance dependents desiring sobriety have many choices when searching for establishments geared towards helping shepherd them through the potentially daunting and frightening recovery process. One such location is known as a halfway house.

Halfway House Overview

Also often referred to as sober living institutions, halfway houses serve as temporary residences for those facing alcohol or drug addiction recovery.

Admittance Into A Halfway House

Persons hailing from varying backgrounds and circumstances are often eligible for admittance into a halfway house. Specific conditions include:

  • Persons who previously spent time in an inpatient treatment facility
  • Homeless addicts
  • Dependents recently released from incarceration
  • Subjects beginning the recovery process

In certain cases, halfway house attendance is court-mandated.

Typical Residents

Unlike numerous inpatient facilities, many halfway houses neither possess the sophisticated medical facilities needed to support on-campus detox nor employ the skilled healthcare providers necessary to oversee said procedure.

Ergo, an appreciable percentage of those living in such establishments have already undergone detox and are past recovery’s physical withdrawal stage.

Most sober living facilities mandate its residents remain clean while staying in said locations. In fact, many such entities require prospective or even current inhabitants routinely be subjected to alcohol and drug screening examinations.


Typically, these establishments are considered to not be as strict or regimented as many inpatient treatment programs. That said, residents will be required to adhere to specific regulations. Every sober living entity is different and establishes its own set of rules. That said, certain common regulations shared by many such institutions include:

  • Completion of assigned household chores
  • Stiff penalties or expulsion for stealing or defacing the home’s or another resident’s belongings
  • No fighting or any other type of violence or aggression
  • Curfews
  • Mandatory attendance at 12-step meetings or other house-sponsored gatherings
  • Participation in an active job search

Above all, one cannot overstate that all halfway houses prohibit even the slightest amount of drug or alcohol use. Moreover, many said establishments employ random drug testing to weed out said behavior.

The Resident’s Daily Life

Many individuals residing in sober living residences work or attend school during the day. Furthermore, said subjects are afforded the freedom to engage in other sober, healthy, and productive activities provided they return before the facility’s curfew expires. However, an occupier’s attendance will be required at therapeutic efforts like 12-step meetings.

The Reasons Recovering Subjects Choose Halfway Houses

These entities are ideal for those capable of living on their own but may still need a certain degree of structure and discipline to help them remain sober and return to a fruitful and healthy civilian life.

Associated Costs

Costs will vary depending upon numerous underlying factors. In some cases, enrollment can fall into the relatively inexpensive range of a couple hundred dollars per month. That said, some facilities charge as much as several thousand a month.

Employed individuals may be able to foot all or most of the associated costs. However, those needing financial assistance might obtain said aid from sources such as:

  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Credit accounts
  • Loans from financial institutions
  • The establishment of payment plans with the facility in question
  • Borrowing from loved ones and other close associations

Certain establishments might accept insurance. That said, every policy is different and may not cover all associated expenses. Therefore, prospective residents fortunate enough to hold such coverage should consult with their provider and familiarize themselves with pertinent policy provisions prior to making any firm commitments.

Individuals Who Should Not Reside In A Halfway House

Newly sober persons or those requiring a significantly structured atmosphere might be better served at establishments like inpatient treatment facilities. One must further reiterate that sober living homes are often geared towards people who have achieved and maintained sobriety and are closer to a return to typical daily life than those beginning the recovery process.

Reaching Out To Us

Persons battling addiction who are unsure of which type of recovery facility to attend are encouraged to contact us at 866-963-7200. Our southeast Florida facility can answer their questions and offer honest and sincere counsel.