The more time you spend in treatment, receiving ongoing therapy, and participating in an aftercare program, the better chance you have at success in sobriety. And one way to do that is to live in a halfway house after treatment. Many people have apprehensions about living in a halfway house, perhaps because they have some sort of preconceived notions that are probably not so accurate. Here are 10 reasons you should live in a halfway house after rehab.
#1. Because it was suggested to you
The basis for 12 step fellowships is…fellowship. You know, that whole one-alcoholic/addict-helping-another thing. As such, we make suggestions – based on personal experience and handed-down wisdom from those who came before us.
That said, many people in recovery would agree that it’s good idea to live in a halfway house after treatment. The following reasons will explain in more detail why you should live in a halfway house after rehab.
#2. To save your life
Clinical studies show that people who choose to live in halfway houses after rehab and receive ongoing treatment (see #6) have a far better likelihood at long-term. Furthermore, rates for continuing participation in aftercare remain significantly higher for those who live in halfway house.
#3. For accountability
Sober halfway houses offer more freedom while providing a level of structure to those who have just left the highly-structured environment of an inpatient program. This is a much better idea than ‘releasing you back into the wild’ without any kind of support. Halfway houses have guidelines and regulations that their residents agree to follow. These include nightly curfews, random drug screens, required weekly meeting quotas, and having a job.
#4. For the peer support
Living in a sober living community such as a halfway house offers something of extreme importance to those in early recovery: peer support, and that is something you can’t put a price tag on. There are other people, just like you who are working towards the same goal: to achieve lasting sobriety. The benefits that peer support offers are that you can help one another to be accountable, work together to make meetings, go on errands together, just to name a few.
#5. It’s a good stepping stone to getting your own place (eventually)
You don’t have to pay bills, or come up with all of that money for first and last month’s rent. Moving to a halfway house creates a stable environment where you can begin to develop your financial well-being from scratch. Some halfway houses even accept insurance to help pay your rent while you navigate your way back into the workforce. The halfway house is great for helping you re-integrate back into society.
#6. Additional therapy and support
There are varying degrees of drug treatment, depending on the halfway house. Some of the accredited and more supportive halfway houses offer continuing treatment in addition to its requirement of social conduct and 12 step meeting attendance. In many cases, meetings are held at the halfway house on specific nights. Some halfway houses also offer other aftercare programs, such as IOP and social education courses.
#7. They provide a safe environment
Again, halfway houses have rules and regulations, with one of the main ones being that there is no tolerance for the use of substances while you are a resident of the program. This is enforced with random drug testing. People who are not serious about their recovery and who continue to use, will be kicked out of the house. This provides a safer environment than say, striking out on your own as soon as you leave treatment, by getting an apartment amongst “regular” people, who might expose you to alcohol and drugs.
#8. You don’t have a sober network back home
In some cases, people seeking treatment will do so far away from home, like in another state-far-away. In these cases, it’s suggested to live in a sober halfway house for a little while, at least before moving back home, in order to establish a sober network – in both places.
For those who went to treatment locally, it’s just as important to heed the suggestion to live in a halfway house before returning to your daily routine of where you were living before treatment. It’s important to set yourself up for the best chance at success as possible.
#9. Because you are fearful to leave treatment
There’s a term for this: “institutionalized,” which means that you feel apathetic and dependent after being in an institution, such as an inpatient rehab. For some people, the idea of leaving rehab is scary because they don’t know how they’ll act on the “outside” or how they’ll cope without drugs and alcohol because they were so used to turning to substances in order to deal with life. Moving into a halfway house will give you a safety net and a blueprint for beginning a life in sobriety.
#10. You have a history of relapsing
If you have a history of relapse, you shouldn’t be in a rush to get back home. Whereas rehab is where recovery begins; recovery continues once you’re out in the community. In treatment, you learn how to develop better coping strategies; in halfway house living, you get to put these tools to good use – all while having the peer support, accountability, and structure to help them to be successful.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, help is available. Call toll-free 1-844-422-6926.
I was raised in a wonderful family that has a lot of alcoholism and addiction running through it. Growing up wasn’t the easiest but my parents both did the best they could. For as long as I can remember, my grandfather has been in recovery (present day he has 31 years of sobriety) and my father struggled with trying to get sober constantly throughout my childhood. It was scary as a child to see your dad drunk or high all the time and then disappear for days or weeks and not know where he was or if he was coming back or not. My mother and father were always fighting and he went through many different treatment programs and halfway houses to try and get better.
Sometimes things would get better for a short period of time but they always ended up getting worse again. When I was younger, I was always so angry with my dad for not being able to stop drinking or using for my mother, sister or myself. I now understand that he was just sick and was unable to find a solution with a power greater than himself.
On September 12th 2004, I was woken up by a phone call from my mother. I had stayed the night at a friend’s house and she was calling to tell me I had to come home immediately and that family was coming over and she was on her way to pick me up. I was 15 years old and had assumed that someone died but had no idea who it could have been. My mom arrived to get me and within seconds of me getting in the car she broke down crying and told me my father had died of a drug overdose last night. Hearing news like that isn’t really something I can even explain unless you’ve been through it; I don’t think anything compares to the feelings I felt that day and that I still feel when I think about it.
I always had an idea that my dad wouldn’t live forever the way he was living but I didn’t actually think he would ever really die. I’ll never forget that day or the week following it. I remember thinking to myself that things would never be the same and to tell you the honest truth – they weren’t.
The disease of addiction wants you dead and the ones around you miserable. It won’t stop until you’ve died and I know this from experience with my dad and other loved ones, also. I’m merely sharing this to let others know they’re not alone and share my experience strength and hope. Despite all of that, I still became a drug addict and alcoholic. I don’t regret any of my choices and even the knowledge of the ultimate consequence of the disease couldn’t have stopped me. I was born this way and I had to hit a bottom before I could get to where I am today and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.
I miss my dad more than I could ever describe to another human and that will never go away. It helps to keep me aware of what my reality could be if I don’t work a program of recovery and stay connected to other alcoholics, addicts and my higher power. It was very difficult to get past the death of my father and it’s almost been 10 years now. I recommend seeking help through a 12-step program and possibly some professional help if you’re dealing with a situation similar to mine.
If you or someone you know if suffering from the disease of addiction and needs help, please call toll free 1-844-422-6926 today.