How a Sober Living Facility Is Different from a Halfway House

Meeting of support group

As someone who has committed to getting sober, you are likely considering your treatment options. Among them will be halfway houses and sober living homes, which are two very different facilities. Understanding the differences between them can help you answer the question “Which rehab centers near me are the best choice?”

What Is the Purpose of a Halfway House?

Halfway houses were conceived in the 18th century for the purpose of housing children convicted of crimes. Today, these facilities, typically government-funded, offer individuals transitional housing – “halfway” to living independently. Usually it is the halfway point for reformed convicts who have recently been released from prison, who are not yet able to support themselves independently. Other residents at a halfway house may include the homeless, and some are admitted as a requirement of a court order.

The primary focus of halfway houses is to help reformed convicts gain self-sufficiency, and to treat those with mental disorders. Many halfway houses offer drug or alcohol addiction treatment, and it is also common for those who have already received addiction treatment to be accepted into a halfway house. Halfway house residents must also comply with random drug testing, as well as maintaining a job, and doing chores at the shared home.

What Is a Sober Living Facility?

Sober living facilities got their start in the early 1800s when they were largely run by religious organizations, such as the Salvation Army. Today, sober living programs are homes run by a wide range of community organizations, and they differ from halfway houses in many ways. Some of these homes are funded by the state, while others receive private funding. The sole focus of a sober living facility is to work with those addicted to alcohol or drugs to help them transition back into an independent life, free of the grips of drug addiction.

Two women in the kitchen prepare salad.

Sober living facilities typically see addicts entering of their own volition, and not via other means such as a court order. Because of the voluntary nature of a sober living facility, it usually has fewer rules and regulations than a halfway house. However, they ensure that residents stay on track with their recovery by offering recovery strategies and 12-step programs, in which many homes require their residents to participate. Other rules and requirements of residents in sober living facilities include:

  • Adherence to curfew
  • Completion of chores
  • Regular drug testing
  • Ability to demonstrate their commitment to sobriety

In addition to the above, there are many sober living facilities which also offer intensive outpatient treatment, which means that licensed clinical social workers and nurses are available around the clock so that residents can receive medical care on-site. As well, residents of sober living homes may stay as long as they need to, as long as they adhere to the house rules, such as attendance at a certain number of weekly meetings.

Discover the Sober Living Difference

Discover BlueCrest Recovery Center: receive individualized treatment and benefit from the involvement and support of your peers during recovery, with the common goal of becoming self-sufficient. Discover how BlueCrest can help you on your journey to recovery, and contact us today.