Suppose you’ve recently relapsed and found that the stress of being in environments around alcohol and drugs or a lack of structure is particularly triggering. They first came into existence when a group of active participants in the Alcoholics Anonymous group created a “12-step” residence. This was a home, typically placed in low-income housing, that enforced policies around sobriety and required attendance to AA meetings. Meetings were held both in the home and in neighboring organizations in the community.

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Other regions like California and Florida are more prone to using the term sober living or aftercare/transitional housing when referring to someone looking for a post-treatment plan. While some may be hungry to integrate back into Intermittent explosive disorder Symptoms and causes society after a stint in a treatment program, there is an expectation that you will remain an active participant in the home and follow its rules. Some sober living houses may be placed in neighborhoods with high crime rates.

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Sober living homes commonly rely on the social support of living with like-minded peers as inspiration and comradery during recovery. In fact, some sober living homes use peer-led programming and focus on mutual accountability, while others have staff members who lead programming. Those who reside in a halfway house are likely to be connected with a corrections officer, social worker and additional support to set up a life so they’ll be less likely to relapse after leaving.

One distinct difference between halfway houses and sober living is that the initial establishment of halfway houses was for criminals. Soon enough, the United States followed England’s lead and introduced halfway houses for individuals released from prison. Today, the United States has halfway houses to assist those who were incarcerated and need help transitioning to their return to society. Halfway houses help prevent homelessness among the former criminal population. Some halfway houses also provide shelter to individuals progressing from inpatient treatment at an addiction recovery center to life in sobriety within society. Halfway houses are mostly state-sponsored and many are overseen by government agencies.

Who Can Live in a Halfway House in Los Angeles?

For instance, in Pennsylvania, a halfway house is a structured residential treatment center, whereas in Florida it might be a transitional residence following treatment. A halfway house is a community home typically designed for men or women who are mandated to spend time in a transitional facility. Most often, these individuals are returning to society after time spent serving a sentence for a drug or alcohol-related crime. For many people who are reintegrating after time in prison or jail, the first days, weeks and months in mainstream society can be overburdened with triggers. Since sober living typically follows addiction treatment, getting a referral from the treatment provider is recommended.

sober house vs halfway house

One of the most important things you must have in your early days of recovery is a safe place to live – one that supports your decision to stay clean. It would be fair to assume that the expense would be comparable to that of renting a modest apartment. Residents benefit from extended support during a critical phase in their recovery journey. They also experience a sense of belonging and community, living with fellow residents who share a commitment to sobriety.


Level 3 residences are noted for their practical, rehabilitative approach. They provide an increased level of structure and oversight and often utilize a clinical component of some kind, i.e. outpatient or aftercare services from a collaborative entity. This level offers life-skill-oriented programming in-house or in cooperation with other service providers.

  • Some people go to a sober house immediately after they get out of rehab.
  • The right sober living environment can have a powerful capacity to support your recovery.
  • The rules and regulations that come with living at a halfway house promote accountability and responsibility, helping residents develop essential life skills that are necessary for independent living.