Benefits of Half Way Homes for Addiction Treatment

Man at halfway house

Halfway houses are transitional homes that are housing for individuals recovering from drugs or alcohol. Some states call halfway homes ‘sober living homes.’

Individuals who enter halfway houses typically do so because they are discharging from residential treatment or a hospital, are homeless and struggling with addiction, or enter after prison. Other individuals enter halfway houses on their first step to recovery.

A majority halfway houses are run and managed by people who have been through addiction and recovery themselves. Choosing a halfway house can be scary, but asking at your local AA or NA meetings, treatment team, or center you are coming from can help you decide which is the best for you. There are many benefits for utilizing halfway homes. Below are some of these reasons.

Potential Benefits of Halfway Houses For Addiction Treatment

First halfway houses can provide accountability for the person struggling with addiction [1]. Sober living environment can help provide a place that will help aid the person in self accountability and responsibility to stay sober.

Halfway homes will often mandate the resident be up and out of the house early in the morning at a place of employment or school.

The homes also require clients to regularly attend a type of 12-step program. Rent is required at a certain time monthly, and will have rules and regulations. Sometimes addicts may see these accountability measures as overbearing or ridiculous, but it is allowing individuals to be able to work towards a recovery lifestyle.

Secondly, structured living can provide individuals a structured living environment. Discipline is important for recovery and rules and regulations provide structure. With halfway homes, staff also live in the house who can assist residents with support, and are able to monitor residents 24 hours a day.

Rules and regulations are in place to help the resident learn to be a productive citizen and practice real life triggers in a safe setting.

Thirdly the Benefits of Halfway Homes for Addiction Treatment can provide peer support. Being with others who are struggling and understand the triggers, stressors, and challenges to recovery can help the addict feel supported. Residents are able to discuss their lives, treatment, and progress. It can be powerful for residents to have support from peers when journeying through recovery.

Fourth, transitional living can be a support within itself. It is a place where individuals can learn basic life skills and be a productive member of society. Halfway houses is a place where residents can get support from each other and staff about transition from treatment back into real life and learn the necessary life skills to be successful.

Man on the streetFifth, a health new environment is offered with halfway houses. Benefits of Half Way Homes for Addiction Treatment is that some individuals come from homes which are enabling or dysfunctional and encourage the addiction. Sober living environments can help when those seeking treatment can live with others who are trying to live better, healthier lives.

Halfway Homes were first developed to give addicts a place to recovery without having to face challenges of an addicted or unsafe home [2]. They provide a stable, drug free environment and provide a place that allows residents to work on their own recovery program with the goal of being self supportive.

Understanding the Structure of Halfway Homes

When an individual enters into a halfway house, they typically sign a contract that they will stay drug and alcohol free. If they relapse, they violate the contract and can be sent to detox [3]. With the sobriety contract, house meetings, drug tests, breathalyzers, and community support are required.

Boy in treatment

This aids in offering accountability to the resident. Continued structure is also beneficial for those seeing sobriety. Halfway homes offer employment, school or volunteer options and require residents to attend a certain amount of 12-step programs per month. Leases can go week to week or month to month. This can help residents learn to budget, manage money, and stay atop of financial costs.

Halfway houses are designed to accommodate both alcoholics or drug addicts and are not typically co-ed [5]. Typically halfway houses are most effective when they are coupled with 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Halfway houses also accommodate residents 6 months to 1 year of continuous sobriety.

Houses do range in recovery time for those living in the house vary from house to house. Some offer 90 day, or 6 months, which can be a wonderful option after a residential stay of 30 days or so [5].

In conclusion, halfway homes are a viable options for individuals discharging from treatment, hospitalization/detox, or just starting their recovery process.

Knowing what to expect is important in entering a house, as well as choosing the right home for your needs. A halfway house can provide a stable environment for individuals that may not feel able to recover on own or in their home.


Image of Libby Lyons and familyAbout the Author: Libby Lyons is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS). Libby has been practicing in the field of eating disorders, addictions, depression, anxiety and other comorbid issues in various agencies. Libby has previously worked as a contractor for the United States Air Force Domestic Violence Program, Saint Louis University Student Health and Counseling, Saint Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute Eating Disorders Program, and has been in Private Practice.
Libby currently works as a counselor at Fontbonne University and is a Adjunct Professor at Saint Louis University, and is a contributing author for Addiction Hope and Eating Disorder Hope. Libby lives in the St. Louis area with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys spending time with her family, running, and watching movies.



The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on March 26, 2017.
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About Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC

Jacquelyn Ekern founded Addiction Hope in January, 2013, after experiencing years of inquiries for addiction help by visitors to our well regarded sister site, Eating Disorder Hope. Many of the eating disorder sufferers that contact Eating Disorder Hope also had a co-occurring issue of addiction to alcohol, drugs, and process addictions.