Halfway houses are helpful places for people currently imprisoned. After they have completed their sentences, they may not be able to return to the homes they were living in before they were arrested for substances. People addicted to substances also need someplace to go after their treatment for substance use ends, and the home that these people used to live in may not be the best option. This population may enter into a halfway house or a sober living facility, but people wonder how long they will be able to stay before they commit to one or the other.
What Is a Halfway House?
A halfway house is a location where people serve their entire sentences or a portion of their sentences. If they served sentences in federal prison, a halfway house is a place that takes them in after they are released. It gives them the opportunity to transition from a locked facility into an autonomous situation.
The halfway house also goes by the name of “residential reentry centers” and “community correction centers.” The Federal Bureau of Prisons or BOP operates these houses for those in the correctional system.
A halfway house is considered to be part of a person’s incarceration, but it has very little in common with prisons. The first thing that you will undoubtedly notice is that the halfway house is not surrounded by barbed wire, and the walls are not nearly as high. Unlike prisons, a halfway house is located within the community, and the inmates get to enjoy a much greater amount of freedom than they had in the prisons.
What’s the Longest You Can Stay at a Halfway House?
The length of time that you or your loved one will spend at a halfway house will vary, so there isn’t a limit to the amount of time that you can spend there. It is possible that your loved one could remain in a halfway house throughout his or her entire sentence. In other instances, prisoners are only at a halfway house for a period of 14 days, and some people never spend any time there at all.
Even though there isn’t a limit to the amount of time that your loved one could be in a halfway house, the BOP doesn’t believe that it is beneficial to leave a person in a halfway house longer than one year for the purpose of obtaining reentry programming. Therefore, your loved one’s stay in a halfway house will last one year at the longest.
If someone doesn’t have friends or family in the community, he or she may obtain permission to remain at the halfway house for a longer period of time. That is because someone without support is at risk of being sent back to prison, and this makes this type of person a high-risk offender. The BOP considers high-risk offenders to be the highest priority for acceptance in a halfway house.
What Are the Common Rules in a Halfway House?
You may be required to go to work every day while you live at a halfway house. You may also be required to attend 12-step meetings or outpatient treatment services.
What Is a Sober Living Home?
A sober living home is a residence that you or your loved one can move into after completing treatment at a drug treatment facility. This is in lieu of returning to the person’s home.
After completing treatment at a treatment facility, many people feel as if they are not prepared to return to their homes without the extra support that they received in their treatment facilities. Each day, they will experience the stressors of life, and they believe that they need more time to practice using the coping strategies they learned in rehab.
Many treatment programs offer residents a 90-day stay, but three months isn’t necessarily going to be the amount of time that is appropriate for your loved one. Some people can return to society after 90 days and remain sober, but others may benefit from more time in a supportive environment.
The sober living home benefits a specific segment of the population, including the following:
- Those resisting the idea of receiving treatment
- Those without a support system in his or her place of residence
- Those who completed a residential treatment program on one or more occasions
- Those diagnosed with mental health disorders or other illnesses along with a substance use disorder
How Long Can You Stay at a Sober Living Home?
You or your loved one can remain in a sober living home as long as you make a promise that you will remain sober while you are there. In general, if you remain abstinent for the longest period of time, your chance of relapsing into drug use will go down over that length of time.
According to NIDA, those with a substance use disorder are very likely to relapse, but this doesn’t mean that treatment has failed. It does mean that the person’s treatment needs to be adjusted. Because your loved one will receive additional support in a sober living home along with encouragement to remain in a 12-step program, your loved one is more likely to remain abstinent.
What Are Common Rules at Sober Living Homes?
Every sober living home has its own set of rules. For example, each resident is expected to complete his or her assigned chores. These include household chores, preparing meals, and keeping the home clean. They may also be required to submit to periodic drug tests.
Are Sober Living Homes and Halfway Houses the Same Thing?
Sober living homes and halfway houses are definitely not the same things. A halfway house is called such because it is halfway between incarceration and independent living. As was mentioned above, they are run by the BOP, so they are primarily for those currently incarcerated in the prison system. The halfway house serves as a place for convicts to go if they are not in a position to support themselves.
Because convicts have been away from society for a time, they may have difficulties returning to gainful employment, and they may also be homeless. Some of this population have a dual diagnosis with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder. The halfway house that you find for your loved one may also provide further addiction treatment. Halfway houses typically accept people from drug treatment centers after they complete their programs. They are capable of putting their residents through random drug tests and requiring them to do chores or maintain a job.
People do not enter sober living facilities because they have been ordered to by the BOP. They enter the sober living facility voluntarily, so it is not as restrictive as the halfway house. Residents don’t have as many rules, but they are encouraged to continue with their 12-step programs and follow the home’s recovery strategies. Residents may be required to participate in these endeavors at the sober living home.
In addition to 12-step programs, the sober living facility may require regular drug testing, household chores, following a curfew, and maintaining a commitment to sobriety. Some sober living facilities even provide outpatient treatment. If so, you or your loved one could receive round-the-clock care from nurses and licensed clinical social workers.
Why Is a Sober Living Home a Better Option?
A sober living home is a better option for people for several reasons, including the following:
Reduces the Chance of Relapse
A sober living home is a place away from the pressures that you experience at home every day. Without these pressures, you have the best chance of completely recovering from your addiction. As a matter of fact, this is the best reason to enter a sober living home. You can concentrate on yourself without being confronted with old temptations that come with seeing your old acquaintances or visiting your old environment.
Because you aren’t visiting the places you used to frequent, you don’t have a chance to be triggered into using substances again.
Transition Back into Your Healthier Life Again.
Returning home right after leaving a treatment center can seem like an abrupt ending to your treatment. A sober living facility, on the other hand, is more like a continuation of the treatment process. Rather than throw you back into your old life, you can slowly make your way back to where you need to be. After work or school, the sober living home provides a safe place where you can become accustomed to living independently again. It is a safe place to learn what it is like to live a sober life outside of the treatment facility.
Support and Guidance
Unlike your home, the staff at a sober living facility support you in your recovery. Each day, they will make sure that you are held accountable for your actions, so they offer you a measure of safety.
If you are searching for addiction services for a loved one, Garden State Detox is here to help you.