What is a halfway house?

Recovery consists of a series of steps. For most people, simply detoxing is not enough to stay sober and clean. While the physical dependence may disappear over time, substance cravings and sudden lifestyle changes can be difficult for anyone recovering from drug or alcohol-use disorders. Halfway houses are a way to make this transition easier.

The Bridge Between Rehab And Independence

There are a variety of small decisions that can lead to bigger outcomes on the road of addiction. Choosing to use a drug or pick up a drink may not actually be the first step toward addiction. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time or seeking out situations that have the possibility for substance use is often the precursor to this road.

Falling into addiction can happen very fast. From choosing where to socialize to finding cheaper and cheaper housing, the steady decline can occur over a matter of months or even weeks. Once the addiction has gotten out of control, it can feel overwhelming to try and climb out of it.

The road to recovery is also made up of several steps. These steps, however, may take longer than the ones that caused addiction. The steps to recovery can involve changing behavioral patterns that could have potentially been set years ago. This takes both practice and support.

A halfway house is usually used as a stepping stone from inpatient rehab centers to complete independent living. By providing a safe house with no drugs or alcohol, residents can live in a community of support.

What Is A Halfway House?

A halfway house is a transitional program that is usually used between living in an inpatient facility and home. Halfway houses can help with situations that may trigger intense cravings for drugs or alcohol by providing a supportive community for recovery.

Depending on the halfway house, there are different rules the residents follow to foster responsibility and independence. By living in a house that restricts alcohol and drugs, many residents find their cravings decrease with the unavailability. A halfway house allows for freedom with structure to combine a positive long-term recovery.

Many residents can work or go to school from a halfway house. Positive steps forward are encouraged and support through recovery meetings can help progress in all areas of life. Since starting a new lifestyle can bring unique challenges that may be unexpected, individuals with substance-use disorders can benefit from the on-going support of these houses.

Depending on the house, individuals may stay for varying lengths of time. It is common for some residents to stay 12 months, but some prefer only a few months or half a year. By participating in the treatment program, residents can gain confidence and esteem from living in this type of community.

Who Is Eligible to Live In A Halfway House?

Those recovering from substance-use disorders can live in a halfway house. Most houses do not have restrictions on who is allowed to stay. Individuals can arrive directly from an inpatient facility or they can come from home. The circumstances can vary greatly.

There are several ways to pay for a halfway house. Depending on the individual and the facility, some of these avenues include:

  • insurance
  • scholarships
  • borrowing from family
  • loans
  • payment plans within the facility

By contacting a halfway house directly, different payment structures can be discussed. Halfway houses are designed to help all different kinds of individuals struggling with addiction. These communities can provide support for those in multiple areas of recovery.

Halfway houses can provide separate housing for both men and women. These facilities are designed for those who are over 18, but ages can vary. Since addiction can afflict anyone of any class, gender, or race, halfway houses can be diverse in their population.

Halfway houses are not designed for those who are in the detox process. The detox stage occurs directly after an addictive substance has been stopped. For individuals who are physically dependent on alcohol, this stage can be especially dangerous and even fatal. The detox stage happens with individuals who are physically dependent on both drugs and alcohol and is best done under medical guidance.


Halfway houses are often seen as a necessary step between inpatient and independent living. Going home directly after a well-structured inpatient facility can be daunting for many individuals in recovery. By providing a safe transition with a supportive community, halfway houses are highly desirable for long-term recovery. For more information, we can help. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 732-392-7311.

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