How Does a Halfway House Work?

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Halfway houses provide housing to men and women recovering from alcohol or drug abuse problems as well as those with criminal backgrounds. The idea of staying in a halfway house is to eventually return to living a normal life and becoming a productive member of society. Halfway houses are also known as sober living houses when they are established for people recovering from addiction.

When do I go to a sober living home?

Clean and sober housing is made available for those who have just successfully completed a drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation program. Sober living houses can be a place in which they can continue the recovery process. It’s a way of introducing a normal way of life so that the transition process into fully independent living is easier. Patients will often live in these homes for a period of six months to a year before returning to their families.

Most drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities offer a program that makes it easier to be placed in a sober living home. Many people who live in them have transitioned directly from their rehab center directly into clean and sober housing so the rehabilitation process isn’t interrupted. The success of this kind of living situation has been proven to be very beneficial and therapeutic to recovering residents.

Common Rules and Regulations

There are always strict rules regarding the lifestyle, social interactions and amount of time spent outside of the sober living house. Almost all halfway houses in Arizona separate the different sexes and house only men or only women, although there can be some exceptions. For example, a female might be on the waiting list to enter into a sober living home and be temporarily housed in a restricted area of a male halfway house until there is an opening in a house for females.

Sober living homes are fully furnished and might come with some amenities like a washing machine and dryer. The level of comfort for them depends on the area they are located in and the income level they are designed for. This can also depend on how the house is financed; whether private, corporate or a non-profit organization. While some private homes require their residents to pay for their own food, cleaning supplies, etc., others will provide some of these as part of the cost of living there.

Medications and Treatment

Many state funded and non-profit sober living houses are fully licensed to continue to provide the necessary medications their clients need for their continued recovery. They enter into partnerships with the pharmacies that provide the medications so that they have full control of their clients’ medications. This is done in order to discourage abuse of prescription medications.

Along with following strict rules and finding a job as fast as possible, residents are required to participate in group sessions that are usually 12-step oriented. The 12-step recovery program is associated with principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

The Cost of Sober Living Homes

Sober living homes cost about as much as a small apartment to rent for each individual. Each individual may or may not have their own room, depending on the level of accommodations that are offered. Once again, this depends on the income level a particular sober living home was established for.

For Recovering Former Convicts

Sometimes a condition of a prisoner’s release might require them to live in a halfway home for a period of time determined by the judge in charge of their case. The same rules and regulations for sober living homes applies to these as well. Residents in these homes must meet with probation officers and take part in counseling sessions pertaining to becoming productive members of society.


Carla Vista offers halfway houses in Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska and Nevada. If you don’t wish to travel to one of these locations, we recommend consulting a professional for recommendations rather than just googling something like Sober Living Homes Phoenix AZ.

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