Halfway houses are facilities that are designed to help the reintegration of men and women back into society. One type of houses are inmate halfway houses that provide services for those who have been released from prison. There are also halfway houses for those who suffer from chronic mental disorders. Most houses are for newly recovering addicts and alcoholics, and provide substance abuse aid. The term halfway house is commonly used synonymously with sober living house. Generally, halfway houses are government-funded, and often cheaper than sober living houses.
Substance abuse halfway houses often have a program of recovery, in which the residents are required to attend group counseling and activities. It is commonly suggested that residents attend twelve-step meetings, although not every halfway house requires this. Sober living houses are less structured, and generally ask that the residents simply stay sober and have consistent participation in meetings.
Halfway houses are a helpful tool for those who are serious about their recovery. Many residents have recently been through an inpatient treatment program, and some may even be enrolled in an outpatient clinic. Residents are not required to have attended or currently be attending a treatment program, but many choose to. The house is generally full of peers that provide a healthy support network for the recovering addict. Also, the house is drug-free, and the lack of presence of substances relieves the temptation of abusing drugs again.
Halfway houses provide a fantastic way for addicts and alcoholics to reintegrate into society. At this phase of their recovery, immediate dispersal into the real world may be overwhelming and scary. Halfway houses allow the individual to begin to slowly get back to their former life without being overbearing.
Some programs recommend a certain length of stay in order to graduate the program, while others are done with month-to-month rent. Every halfway house has different guidelines and rules.
Halfway houses are usually gender specific in order to keep focus on the substance abuse. Halfway houses for men may specialize in problems that many males face, such as supporting a family, sexual problems, and identity issues. Halfway houses for women similarly provide a place to deal with issues that females have. Some houses are coed, but many residents have problems with sexual issues, and may lose focus on their recovery.
The variety of options for halfway houses is daunting, but provides a plethora of different programs to fit different individuals. Every recovering addict and alcoholic is unique, and different programs of treatment often effect individuals differently. It is imperative that research is done before choosing a halfway house, because the right fit may make the difference between relapse and sobriety.