Sober Living Houses and Halfway Homes

If you or someone you love is trying to stop using drugs or drinking, sober living homes might be the right option. Sober living homes (aka recovery homes, halfway houses) are structured residences for individuals who are recovering from addiction. Individuals who live in sober homes must follow specific rules and participate in the home by doing chores. More importantly, residents must not use alcohol or drugs during their residency in the home. Living in this environment has been shown to support sobriety and help addicts and alcoholics gradually acclimate to life without addictions. Most addicts in early recovery utilize recovery housing to help them shift from drug rehab to independent living without using alcohol or drugs.

What Are Sober Living Houses?

Sober living houses tend to be group homes for alcoholics and addicts. Many sober homes are in private hands. However, a number of recovery homes are owned by for-profit and non-profit entities. These homes are, in many cases, situated in quiet areas to offer peaceful environments for alcoholics and addicts to recover in.

These homes are not the same as drug rehab centers; drug rehab centers usually offer a clinically-supervised recovery experience and Connecticut sober living houses and halfway homesprovide residents less with much less independence. Individuals who reside in halfway houses typically come and go as they choose assuming they follow the rules of the home. For instance, recovery houses might require their residents to be home at a certain time of night or have a job during the daytime. Residents should also be subject to random urine drug tests (and laboratory analysis for all positive results) to demonstrate they are sober.

Individuals who live in sober living homes and halfway houses will be required to be responsible for themselves. It is a critical step in the recovery process because addiction causes individuals to act irresponsibly, and the loved ones of addicts often support (enable) them. Individuals living in halfway homes typically have to pay monthly rent, purchase their food and all of the other regular responsibilities one would have if they lived in a normal home. Residents also must submit to drug testing on a random basis and follow the house rules.

What Rules Do Sober Living Houses Require?

Rules differ from facility to facility, but some rules and regulations are common in most structured sober living environments. Residents have to agree to rules before they move in, and breaking the rules will have negative consequences. Depending on the nature of the rule violation, residents might have to pay a facility fine, perhaps make amends to a resident or write about what they did. In the case of a severe rule violation such as relapse, the resident might be asked to leave the home immediately.

Sober Living House and halfway home in ConnecticutThe golden rule in all sober living houses is residents have to stay sober. They cannot use drugs or alcohol. In some halfway homes, residents cannot have ethanol-based mouthwash or possess certain cooking ingredients like vanilla extract. They contain alcohol and can produce false positives if the resident is drug tested. Also, residents can get high or drunk on these substances. Therefore, most houses do not allow the use of products that contain ethanol alcohol.

Along with these regulations and rules, individuals who live in these houses generally must obtain employment or attend school during the day and must be responsible for certain chores around the home. Residents must also avoid violence or fighting other residents. Most individuals who live in halfway houses will be required to be back in the home by a predetermined time. These regulations and rules help residents learn consistency and responsibility in early recovery.

Can Anyone Live in a Sober Living House?

While many sober living houses do not limit who can apply to live in the home, most residents have attended a rehab program before entering sober living. It is logical since residents must be sober to live in this type of home. Therefore, recovering addicts who have a bit of sobriety under their belt and basic recovery tools to aid them in staying sober have a greater likelihood of success at sober living than those who are brand new to the recovery process.

Although treatment first usually provides the greatest opportunity for success, it is not always a requirement. Many sober living homes will accept a resident who is new to the rehab process assuming the resident is committed and willing to live according to the house rules. However, potential residents should have at least completed a detox program to address the physical addiction, so they are not sick and unable to work or contribute while living at the home.

How Much Does It Cost?

Prices vary greatly for staying in halfway houses. Some cost about the same as a modest apartment or home. High-end recovery environments that offer employment training, one-on-one recovery Sober Home and Halfway House in Connecticutcoaching, outpatient clinical services, and more can be much more expensive. Residents must pay their “rent” each month. Some houses will provide a discount if multiple months are paid in advance. Due to a number of factors, rent can start at $1,000 a month to well over $10,000. It all depends on the services provided, quality of the halfway house, and area of the country. Residents are required to pay rent on time, but they do not have to pay first and last month’s rent. Also, they do not pay utilities in most recovery homes, although there may be guidelines regarding the over-use of utilities.

Living in a halfway house is usually much less expensive than living in drug rehab because the staff provides less in the way of services. Residents have to attend 12-step meetings almost every day and may have to work with a therapist at least once a week while living at a halfway house, but they do not have to attend the daily activities, intensive counseling, and they are on their own regarding meals. These factors contribute to bringing the cost down considerably. Also, many homes will ensure that residents can afford the cost to live there, so that individuals who are truly committed to sobriety have a safe environment in which to do so.


If you or a loved one is suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction, a halfway house may be the right choice. This type of home assists residents with staying focused on sobriety by supporting them and keeping them accountable while they resume normal activities like work or school. Residents can also benefit tremendously from peer support in the home and make new friends with individuals committed to their sobriety.

Recovery homes do not make sense for everyone. Individuals need to go through detox or rehab before they can expect to be successful in these types of environments. But halfway homes do provide a supportive “home base” to transition to from addiction to sobriety and personal responsibility. Those who are focused on sobriety and wish to remain that way should think about moving to a halfway house or another type of group home. Living in this type of home will support sobriety and increase the probability that the recovering addict will stay in long-term recovery.

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