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Though sober living vs halfway house facilities may have similar support factors in play, they are entirely different atmospheres. Their uniquely distinct roles also play a vital purpose in their respective circumstances.  When it comes to rules, structure, and overall treatment, sober living vs halfway houses have contrary focuses in many respects. The core purpose may be the same, but the living arrangements have different standards by which they are operated.

That’s why it’s vital to know the details of both sober living vs halfway house living arrangements before choosing one over the other. The following information makes the differences, similarities, and purposes of sober living vs halfway house arrangements very clear.

At Monroe Street Housing in Kokomo, Indiana, we understand the necessity and benefits of having recovery support. Our sober living homes are an environment that will help you or a loved one receive the care they deserve.

What is a Sober Living Home?

sober living vs halfway house

Sober living homes vary in both appearance and environment. Some sober living homes are on a designated campus with a full support community. Others are apartments, homes, or townhouses run by government-supported residential homes with an appointed counselor. These sober-living environments usually consist of multiple residents per room as approved by local capacity lawmakers. Sober-living home requirements consist of daily household chores, curfews, and attending some form of community organization such as AA. There may be other rule designations that widely vary depending on individual property rules.

What is a Halfway House?

Halfway houses are properly named as they serve as the midway point between institutionalization and being released into the general populace. These homes are specifically for individuals coming out of incarceration or inpatient facilities related to substance abuse. These homes, like sober living establishments, are the training wheels to help former substance strugglers adapt to independent sober life. They follow a similar set of rules to sober living homes, but are usually slightly more strict, depending on the individual property standards.

What are the Requirements to Live In Sober Living Facilities?

Sober living facilities have separate requirement criteria than halfway houses. These requirements, though stricter for approval, usually have somewhat looser guidelines than halfway houses. Here are the specific typical requirements to live in a sober-living home.

History of Substance Abuse

As simple as it may seem, the first requirement of any sober living facility is you must have a prior history of substance abuse. Many people attempt to enroll in sober living because they can be cost-efficient rehab properties depending on the region. That’s why sober living homes usually require the appropriate documentation and doctor recommendations. This confirms two things- your medical record history of prior use and your residential qualifications based on your medical history.

Pre-residential Detox Completion

Most sober living facilities require medical detox completion certification before acceptance into the home. This means you have to have appropriate documentation to say you’ve completed a medically-approved detox program in the area. This certification confirms you’re ready to be eased into society at a sober living facility.

Accomplished Sobriety Certification

Sober living homes require a minimum amount of sober days to qualify to live in their facilities. These minimums also vary as dictated by the house leader or property manager. These requirements are the first thing discussed and confirmed with your therapists or physician to ensure minimum requirements are met.

Faithful Attendance to a 12-step Program

As mentioned previously, sober living locations require daily, weekly, or monthly attendance to some form of a 12-step program. This would be a community group therapy session such as Alcoholics Anonymous for example. The attendance criteria vary per location and individual property rules.

Rental Fees

Residents are expected to pay monthly rent just like any other living situation. These rental fees are subject to local and individual property discretion. This means you will be required to have the financial means to support your rental requirements in sober living homes. To learn more about local sober living expenses, consult our approved sober living specialists in your area.

What are the Different Types of Sober Living Environments?

Sober-living residences have different atmospheres and guidelines to choose from. This is by design to ensure each individual is equipped with an atmosphere that fits their situation. That’s why it’s essential to find an environment that suits your recovery needs and goals. Here are the four degrees of sober living environments to choose from.

Tier 1 Senior Leader Homes

Homes that have a senior leader adopt their leader by democratic style voting within the house. The positions and leaders within the home are on an unpaid volunteer basis. Furthermore, these sober living facilities consist of a single residential house with house meetings and periodic drug screenings. These meetings and drug screenings are conducted at the discretion of the elected senior leader, as are the house rules. These facilities are the loosest environments, yet maintain the necessary structure to keep you accountable.

Tier 2 Monitor-based Homes

Level 2 homes consist of more accountability monitoring of your rehab progress. This means a slightly stricter set of rules, more community group meeting requirements, and an in-depth accountability structure. Speak to a sober living specialist to learn more about how level 2 rehab homes can help you sustain independent sobriety.

Tier 3 Certified Management

Level 3 homes are locally certified by the state as sober living facilities. This means the leaders are made up of paid administrative employees. These employees, often consisting of medical and therapeutic specialists, provide a more in-depth structure to provide the highest level of care. You can expect next-level guidance and mentorship to help you thrive beyond the training wheels of sober living arrangements.

Tier 4 Clinical Structure

Level 4 structure sober living homes provide the most structure in an institutionalized setting. This means house runners are medically certified to provide on-site treatment to aid the transition from recovery to independent life. Structured clinically-based homes are the best foundation for people who desire sober-living environments that better emulate IOP therapy or strict monitoring recovery treatment. You still have the independent foundation of maintaining a job and experiencing life to the fullest. The only difference consists of greater accountability to ensure you meet and exceed your sobriety goals.

How Long Can You Stay at Sober Living Facilities?

The duration of stay permitted by sober living homes varies per individual. While a three-month minimum is recommended, these variables are solely dependent on the depth of your struggle and addiction severity. Your desired duration is also taken into consideration when choosing the best sober living arrangements for your personal needs. Speak to the sober living director at your selected location to discuss the specifics of your stay.

Sober Living vs Halfway Houses: What are the Distinct Differences?

Sober living vs halfway house necessities are very different in a couple of ways. The most foundational difference is that halfway houses are specifically for those who have just been released from institutional incarceration. Sober living homes, on the other hand, are specifically for non-institutionalized individuals who are seeking the next step toward an independent life. Because of the basic criteria of these homes, halfway houses have strict monitoring by local authorities and more strict guidelines. This includes stricter curfews, drug test criteria, and frequency.

How Do You Find the Right Sober Living Home for You?

Needless to say, finding sober living arrangements that are a perfect fit for your unique addiction struggle is key. That takes consulting the correct individuals who understand your situation better than anybody. Bearing that in mind, here are the most effective ways to find the perfect sober living home for you.

Consult your Physician

Nobody knows the right fit for your situation better than your doctor or therapist. Getting their thoughts and opinions on what to look for in a sober living environment is a good place to start. Most personal physicians can even direct you to approved sober living centers in your region to help narrow down the search. Remember, your greatest resource in many regards is your therapist or physician.

Shop Around

The only way to find a facility with the standards and restrictions you need is to seek out sober living homes near you. Speak directly with the property administrator and share your background and struggle with them. Doing so allows you to assess whether you and the facility are a fit for each other.

Go with Your Instincts

Regardless of what your therapists, doctors, or house leaders say, it’s not the right fit unless you’re comfortable. Therefore, going with your instincts and how you feel is one of the most important attributes of feeling out of sober living environments. If you aren’t comfortable with the people, atmosphere, and restrictions, there’s no point making yourself miserable by forcing something to work.

Seek Peer, Parental, or Family Advice

Nobody knows you better than the people closest to you. Therefore, there’s no better advice to seek than the ones who know you best. Seek the counsel of your friends and closest relatives to get their thoughts on local sober living facilities. Bring them with you as you shop around for local homes during your assessment process.

Let Santa Barbara Recovery Be Your Ultimate Rehab Solution

There are no better resources, therapists, or treatment you could ask for than the tools provided by Santa Barbara Recovery. Not only can we be your guide, solution, and mentor to achieving independent sobriety through our numerous top-notch treatment options. We can make the journey enjoyable with the help of our unparalleled team. Let Santa Barbara Recovery help you pave the road to a better life by reaching out now.

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