A halfway house is exactly what it sounds like: a home that acts as a stepping stone from treatment to living on one’s own. For someone new to recovery, halfway houses may have never been thought of or considered before but they play a vital role in successful treatment. Though in a halfway house a person will not receive actual “treatment”, the structure along with increased personal responsibility does in fact act as a stage of the treatment process. There are many options out there, it is important to know what to look for in a quality halfway house to ensure a successful recovery.
When I got sober, I had the fortune of finding a phenomenal halfway house. This home had a very high success rate while also being affordable. I was particularly lucky because the area I was living was notorious for fraudulent or mismanaged sober homes. Now, several years later, I have seen a trend of what truly defines a successful and proper halfway house. Here are some of the things to look for:
A quality halfway house will offer an amount of structure that will allow a person to have responsibility while also expecting accountability. This is achieved with a dedicated and highly involved homeowner with passionate “house managers.” House managers often live in the house with the clients to enforce rules, check chores, conduct drug tests, and ensure safety.
A structured halfway house will have rules about guests, curfew, activities like gambling, or anything the owner deems detrimental or risky to early recovery. Clients are also usually assigned chores. A halfway house is not supposed to be like living on your own, so if a halfway house seems very laid back, though maybe tempting, it’s not the right home!
How committed is the owner? Does he or she offer you a bed immediately? Or do they want to interview you first? A quality halfway house will want to be sure they are not about to “infect” their community with someone who may be a problem or who is not committed to recovery. A quality house will want to uphold their reputation and ensure they have a high success rate, so a vetting process is a good sign of a quality sober home.
A quality sober home will also want to make sure you have detoxed from drugs and/or alcohol and have received proper treatment prior to admission. Again, it’s a halfway house, not addiction treatment. A halfway house should not be the first step of the treatment process. A quality home will want to make sure you are ready for the responsibility of a halfway house, which would be very difficult newly sober.
A quality halfway house should be willing to and even encourage you to take a tour of their property. A dedicated owner should take their time to get to know you and allow you to view the home and meet other clients. A good house wants their clients to feel comfortable and welcome so that they can be successful in recovery. If a center is hesitant about giving a tour then this should be a red flag. A quality house would love for you to visit.
Cleanliness and Living Quarters
When given a tour, how do other clients’ living spaces look? Are beds made? Are there clothes on the floor? Are their belongings organized? Is the bathroom organized?
A quality halfway house will enforce life skills, like organization and cleanliness, very heavily. If other rooms don’t look as organized as an army barracks, then, unfortunately, this is probably not the best place. A successful home uses chores and responsibility to help change old habits that came along with addiction. Responsibility and life skills play a huge role in the treatment process, so you want to look for a home that seems fairly “strict.”
Payment Options and Licenses
It is a good idea to research laws about halfway houses, like payment methods, certifications and licensing. Many halfway houses recently have come under scrutiny for unethical or even illegal billing methods. Some homes try to charge health insurance for intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) while letting the clients live at the residence for free (while not even providing IOP). Some states have organizations that monitor and police halfway houses. Be sure to do the research necessary to ensure you are not about to move into a home that does not comply with local laws.
While in treatment, try to get suggestions for quality halfway houses. Ask these questions and try to find reviews online. Many treatment centers will have lists of quality sober homes they can refer clients to. It can be tempting to avoid structure, but if you are truly willing to recover and stay sober, a structured halfway house is the best option.
How Pinnacle Can Help
One of the most effective ways to beat addiction is to start recovery at an addiction treatment center. Pinnacle Treatment Center is a comprehensive program that addresses the root causes of addiction and how to overcome it. Pinnacle provides intensive therapy along with lectures and exercises for life skills and relapse prevention. Patients will be involved in group therapy sessions as well as 12-step groups like NA and AA. Pinnacle will even help manage aftercare planning to ensure their patients remain on the right path after treatment. A well-rounded program like this is the best way to start recovery today and take control of your life. Call us today at 1-866-301-0573.