What are Halfway Houses?
Halfway houses help those recovering from various addictions maintain long-term recovery while beginning the transition into mainstream society. The basic premise is that a halfway house (or three-quarter house) is in an excellent position to help their residents identify factors that contribute to a relapse, and can intervene in time to interrupt that possibility. Additional services that halfway houses may offer are assistance in breaking from the old circumstances and environments to help with avoiding relapses. A halfway house is not a treatment facility. It is only in a clean and sober environment where recovering people can move on with their sobriety plan.
Halfway houses have been around for a number of decades, as long as the need for inpatient treatment has been recognized, and the realization that, at some point, the patient must resume a normal life. Historically, halfway houses have had a negative image, due mostly to who resided in them, and where they were located. However, as knowledge about the nature of addiction and recovery have has changed perception about who is an addict, have halfway houses have gained greater acceptance and are now understood to be important facilities in the recovery process. Many are located in neighborhoods that do not reinforce negative stereotypes, look no different from other buildings in the area.
Recovering addicts generally go to halfway houses directly from treatment to support the work they have begun. The average length of stay is between three and six months, with admission and discharge being a voluntary decision.
Each facility has its own set of rules and guidelines. In general, they include the following (there will be variations from facility to facility):
Review any discharge plans that have been designed previous treatment provider. It is the resident’s responsibility to follow that plan.
Abstinence of drugs, alcohol, or mood and mind altering substances is required.
If relapse occurs, the resident is subject to:
- Referral to a detoxification program
- Referral to an inpatient addiction treatment program
- Dismissal from the halfway house
- Violating any of the apartment guidelines can result in dismissal.
A typical daily schedule involves some combination of the following:
- Reviewing, assessing, and adhering to the continuing care plan
- Making required rental payments on time
- Gain full time employment or enroll in an educational institution as soon as is reasonably possible. While seeking work, a daily record of contacts will be made and maintained. For the most part, residents are not permitted to remain on premises unless their schedule or physical condition dictates it
- Contributing to the daily upkeep and maintenance of the premises
- Required nightly attendance at meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous
- Residents must obtain a sponsor within a set period of time