Success Rate of Sober Living

Success Rate of Sober Living

The success rate of sober living is unknown but it is most definitely better than the success rate of someone who doesn’t attend any kind of sober living after treatment. Lack of a stable, alcohol and drug free place to live can be a serious and almost insurmountable obstacle for addicts and alcoholics. Destructive living arrangements can totally derail recovery for even the most highly motivated addicts and alcoholics.

Sober living is an alcohol and drug free living environment for individuals attempting to abstain from alcohol and drugs. Sober living is not licensed for funded by state or local governments and the residents themselves pay for the cost. The philosophy of recovery in a sober living house emphasizes 12-step group attendance and peer support.

So what are the success rates of sober living?

Research in one California study measured treatment outcomes over an eighteen month period from a sample of patients who were provided sober living as part of their outpatient treatment. Participants were male, with an average age of around 40 years old. A fourth of them were criminal justice referrals. A third of them was either homeless or lived in a shelter. Residents were dependent on cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, heroin and amphetamines. Participants were interviewed at intake and at 6, 12, and 18 months.

The study found that sober living clients experienced significant improvements when it came to stay sober and even days worked. Involvement in 12-step groups was the strongest predictor of reductions in alcohol and drug use. The outcomes did not vary by demographics such as age, race, and education. The study concluded that sober living should be considered as a part of outpatient treatment for clients who have access to limited financial resources or reside in destructive living environments. The reason being, success of the individuals who were in sober living and staying sober.

The success rates of sober living are much higher in comparison to someone who doesn’t attend sober living. And it seems like the success rates of sober living go up even more if the clients of sober living also attend a 12-step group. The longer amount of time spent at a sober living residence the better too. Someone who stays at a sober living home and attends a 12-step group for a long period of time usually has a much higher chance of success than someone who just goes back to the original living environment and does not attend a 12 step group.

I know this is especially true for myself and most of the people I know who have multiple years sober. Sober living really can get addicts and alcoholics who have been unstable for so long the ability to start off on a stable and sturdy foundation instead of going back into the same unsteadiness once again. The success rates of sober living aren’t exact but they are good. The risks of going back into an old environment or giving yourself a better chance at staying sober with a sober living environment seems like an easy choice to make.


If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

How to Start a Halfway House

How to Start a Halfway House


What is a Halfway House?

Halfway Houses are transitional living places for those in recovery from drugs or alcohol. They are also called sober houses. Some people go to halfway houses from a treatment center, prison, or a homeless situation, while others go there to be in a sober and clean environment to begin the recovery process. Some residents are in halfway houses due to court orders.

Aspects of a Halfway House

Many halfway houses are run by people who themselves were at one time a halfway house resident. The houses accommodate either men or women. Most halfway houses require residents to pass breathalyzer and drug screening tests. Some houses have curfews.

Make sure the house is located so that your residents can easily get to AA and NA meetings. In recovery, we are self-supporting. Be certain that you are clear on what is expected from you and what you expect from your residents. Assign cleaning chores, including making their beds and keeping their rooms tidy.

Choose a house near public transportation for those of your residents who do not have their own transportation.

Why You Should Start a Halfway House

You should only open a halfway house if you are passionate about the cause. And, if you are passionate, it can be done with little or no money. There are various grants and loans available to get a house started. Learn from experience and check with someone who already has a house to see how to open one.

How to Start a Halfway House

Step 1: Acquire the licenses and permits needed to operate a halfway house in the community you select.

Step 2: Purchase or lease a property. Your financial circumstances may dictate this choice, but county, city, township and other lawmaking agencies frequently require property ownership before they are willing to sanction a halfway house in a residential neighborhood. Once you find one or more likely properties, have your top choices inspected by a certified building inspector to avoid “buyer’s remorse.”

Step 3: Renovate the property. Unless the home you buy was operated as a halfway house in the past, you’ll likely have to modify it to accommodate zoning laws that sanction the number of people you can house there, or any personal limits you’ve placed on resident capacity. Purchase insurance to cover the house and its contents, and add liability coverage to protect your personal assets from lawsuits. A regular homeowner’s policy isn’t adequate for a group home.

Step 4: Hire staff and create policies, rules and regulations. Having staff in place before the first resident arrives is a huge advantage, because experienced halfway house employees can help you write an operations manual and set rules, regulations and policies that will guide both clients and staff. Make sure you run background checks on everyone, from counselors to housekeeping employees.

Step 5: Set up the accounting aspects of your halfway house so it operates smoothly well into the future. Accurate records are important if you want your sponsors to continue making financial contributions, and it goes without saying that finding additional sponsors will be an ongoing activity.

Step 6: Implement programming. Residents released from rehab programs require an inordinate amount of structure in their lives so they can learn to become responsible members of both the halfway house and the outside world. Establish tight schedules that include mandated housekeeping chores, group counseling sessions, one-on-one therapy time, recreational activities, job searching and life skill building time. Plan social events, meetings and include alone time.

Remember: It is unlawful to discriminate in housing. The Supreme Court has ruled that recovering alcoholics and drug addicts are a protected class under the handicapped provisions of the Federal Fair Housing Act Amendments of 1988. If you seek a house in a good neighborhood, you’ll find it.








If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

Half way house

Half way house

Half way houses essentially are transitional living spaces for anyone who is in recovery from drugs and alcohol. You may also know half way houses as sober living or sober living houses, this is because in some states it is legally required that those terms be used. The people who go to half way houses usually go after they have been in drug treatment, prison, or have been homeless. Other people go to half way houses merely because they want to be in a sober environment to begin their recovery. There also some people who are court ordered to half way houses.

Half way houses can be private homes, apartments, or facilities specially built to provide support services to residents. Half way houses are not usually run down or scary. Depending on the location and type of half way house, they are fairly nice. Half way houses are usually decorated, come with all the furniture, amenities, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms that can hold one or two residents, pools, backyards and more. The half way house is not only a place for people to get sober but also a place for having fun sober and socializing.

For instance, in a half way house there are rules dealing with curfew, how many meetings a resident has to attend, whether or not a resident has to have a sponsor and during what times they can be in the house. Most half way houses are trying to help you get sober and also get your life back on track. So some half way houses have rules that say you must be out looking for a job, volunteering or working-if you aren’t doing those things than you can’t stay there. When it comes to curfew at a half way house it usually starts out fairly early and after a resident has been there for a while and successfully followed the rules, gets later. There are also chores that must be done daily and punishments for not doing them. The whole point of a half way house is to teach accountability, responsibility and sobriety. The strictness of the rules at a half way house varies from house to house.

More often than not half way houses require their future residents to pass a breathalyzer and a drug test. This is because if you were to have substances in your body, you may need the help of a medical facility for detox. The withdrawal symptoms from drugs can be very painful and sometimes fatal so it is best if future residents can’t pass a drug test or breathalyzer to go to a medical detox.     

Half way houses are quite frequently run by people who are also in recovery and were in a half way house at one point in their life. Half way houses usually are separated by gender. This means that most half way houses are either for only women or only men. The person who runs the half way house determines this. The person who runs the halfway house also determines some of the half way house rules.

A half way house merely is a residential place for those who need a safe place to transition back into the world again and to do it sober.

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

Government Aid for People Living in Halfway Housing

Government Aid for People Living in Halfway Housing

Halfway houses are also called recovery houses. They allow recovering addicts to begin reintegrating with society while receiving support and monitoring. Recovering addicts who live in halfway houses are at a reduced risk of relapse compared to recovering addicts who go directly from a treatment program back into society. The average stay at a halfway house ranges from one to six months, and behavioral health insurance typically covers all or a portion of the cost of the stay. People living in halfway housing generally must be able to support themselves, pay their rent, and purchase their own food. They are usually required to work or must be actively seeking work. All residents must attend a minimum number of 12-step meetings each week, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, or Narcotics Anonymous. Rent ranges from $250 to $1,450 per month, with the average ranging from about $450 to $750 per month. No security deposit is required, no first and last months’ rent are required, and no credit checks are performed. Utilities are included in the cost of rent and most homes allow residents to pay their rent on a weekly basis.

There is not a lot of government aid for people living in halfway housing. Residents of halfway houses are technically considered to be homeless and as such are eligible for much of the same programs as homeless populations.

Government Aid for People Living in Halfway Housing: Rental Assistance

Depending on the state and even the community within which people living in halfway housing reside, there are programs for rental assistance and other supportive services to homeless substance abusers and individuals with disabilities. These services are provided to their family members as well.

Government Aid for People Living in Halfway Housing: Food Assistance

People living in halfway housing are eligible for food stamp programs. Nowadays called SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), it is a federal nutrition program that helps you stretch your food budget and buy healthy food. SNAP benefits can be used to purchase food at grocery stores, convenience stores, and some farmers’ markets and co-op food programs.


Government Aid for People Living in Halfway Housing: Health Insurance

For some people living in halfway houses, there is access to the federal health insurance program, Medicaid. Many people are getting back on their own two feet and so they are likely income eligible for Medicaid.


Although there is not much in the way of government aid for people living in halfway housing, the programs that are available make a big difference in the lives of recovering alcoholics and addicts because they lessen the financial burden of putting their lives back together. With help to pay for groceries and free healthcare, the alcoholic/addict is more likely to be able to afford their rent at the halfway house. Many of those in recovery have never even had to support themselves and so it is a learning experience in how to be a productive member of society. The halfway house supports alcoholics and addicts in their recovery program by establishing structure and providing a safe living environment. It is up to the people living in halfway housing to learn how to provide for themselves financially. And the government programs listed above can help them to do so.

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

What is a Three-Quarter House?

 Three Quarterway House

A Three-Quarter House is a sober-living house or community. In order to understand what a Three-Quarter House is, you must first understand what a Halfway House is.

What is a Halfway House?

A halfway house is a communal living space for recovering alcoholics and addicts who want to transition back to independent living after having completed inpatient treatment or for those who have committed to a sober lifestyle without having undergone treatment.  A three-quarter house is much like this; it is another level of transition before going back out into the world.

After living for some time, usually 3 to 6 months, at a halfway house, many recovering alcoholics and addicts opt to move into a three-quarter house before getting their own apartment or before returning to their living situations prior to getting clean and sober, including returning to their families and  normal home life. For those with families, even those that include children, living in three-quarters houses is beneficial as an added level of support to the recovery process.

So Then, What is a Three-Quarter House?

The main distinction between a halfway house and a three-quarter house is that there are many more freedoms granted to residents of three-quarter living. Often times, there is still a curfew imposed by the three-quarter house rules but it is later than that of a halfway house. Also, residents get to stay out even later on weekends. Another freedom afforded to residents is the overnight and weekend pass which allows them to go on trips and mini-vacations or to visit their families.

What to expect

Just like halfway houses, three-quarter houses are designed to support and encourage recovering alcoholics and addicts as they navigate the process of getting back on their feet, so to speak. While living at a three-quarter house, residents are encouraged to begin working again, as they are responsible for paying rent just like in any other housing situation. Three-quarter houses also provide much needed structure to their residents. There are rules and curfews. Residents are subject to random drug screening. This is to promote accountability as well as to ensure the safety and well-being of the other residents who are serious about their recovery. A typical requirement for living in a three-quarter house is to attend a specified number of 12 Step fellowship meetings (i.e. AA, NA, or CA). Again, this is done to ensure accountability on the residents’ behalf that they are continuing to work a program while doing all the typical day-to-day activities such as going to work, grocery shopping, etc.

Additional benefits and support

Besides providing a safe, drug-free environment, three-quarter houses may provide their own, or access to intensive outpatient programs. These programs offer continuing group therapy to residents of three-quarter houses and usually do so in the form of evening sessions so that residents can attend work while receiving therapy. Being a sober living community in and of itself can be beneficial to its residents because they have the added benefit of living with sober peers. Often times, residents of the three-quarter house will have impromptu and informal meetings amongst themselves. Or they may even decide to have weekly meetings and literature (i.e. the Big Book) study groups.

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

Sober House Accommodations

Sober House Accommodations

Sober House Accommodations

Sober house accommodations vary widely depending on what kind of sober house you live in. In most sober houses, you will share a room with one or more roommate, though some places do have single rooms. You will share the common areas-like living room, kitchens, and porches with the rest of your house or apartment mates. This type of communal living is common in sober house accommodations because it gives you:

1. A close knit support group.

2. People around you to keep you honest and accountable.

3. The ability to cooperate with others.

4. An opportunity to learn to set boundaries.

Sober House Accommodations: Gender

For obvious reasons, sober house accommodations are generally same-sex only. Men are housed with men and women are housed with women. Some sober houses do not even allow members of the opposite sex to come on property. This is for your safety and the safety of the other women in the house.

Sober House Accommodations: Transportation

At some places, sober house accommodations will include transportation services. There will be a van, bus, or car to take you to certain places like meetings, outpatient groups, or work. Not all places offer these services, so if you will not have a car, make sure to ask about it.

Sober House Accommodations: Bedding and Cleaning Supplies

Some sober houses provide you with bedding when you arrive, as well as towels and washcloths. Other sober houses expect you to bring it on your own. Many sober houses will also provide you with basics like toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies. Make sure you know what is provided for you and what you are expected to provide.

Sober House Accommodations: Family

Some sober house accommodations will also provide accommodations for visiting family members. Sometimes, when a sober house facility is an apartment complex, for example, one of the apartments will be reserved for visitors. The family must follow the rules of the sober house i.e. no drugs or alcohol on the premises, but sober house accommodations for families can be very convenient if your sober house is out-of-state.

Sober House Accommodations: Cleanliness

In most sober houses, the residents are responsible for keeping the residence and grounds clean and neat. Sober house accommodations may include a cleaning service on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, but you are still responsible for day-to-day upkeep. The sober house will generally provide outside service for repairs, lawn mowing, and pest control.

Sober House Accommodations: Cable TV and Internet

Most sober house accommodations include cable TV and internet service, including Wi-Fi. These services are factored into the cost of your rent along with utilities such as electric, trash and water. Many sober houses also provide and in-house computer and telephone that is available for the residents to use. If you will not have a cellphone or computer, make sure you check to see what your sober house provides for you. Some sober houses may restrict your internet usage to approved sites.

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

Sober House Visitation Rules

Sober House Visitation Rules

Sober houses have many rules when it comes to just about everything in daily life and that includes what visitors and when. The reason sober houses have rules are because they are meant to give recovering addicts and alcoholics a safe, stable, and structured environment where they can slowly begin participating in society again. Sober houses are usually the transition from inpatient rehab to living independently or going back home. The length of time someone should stay in a sober house after inpatient rehab varies all on the individual circumstances. Here are some guidelines on sober house visitation rules and other rules/facts about sober houses.

  • Sober houses aren’t free

People who are living in a sober house are expected to pay rent, utility and to buy their own groceries. Paying for these things is actually a good thing because it helps build independence and accountability.

  • Sober houses are a community

Sober houses are all about community. In a sober house the individual shares the space and responsibilities with someone else who is going through the same thing they are. By doing this the recovering drug addict or alcoholic can gain self-esteem and accountability.

  • There is random drug testing at sober houses

In order to keep the sober house safe many require random drug testing. This keeps everyone living in the sober house safe and keeps them from relapsing.

And last but not least sober houses have visitation rules. Depending on how strict the sober house is, which can vary from house to house, the visitation rules can range from anyone can come to only family etc. Most sober house’s visitation rules are somewhere in the middle of safe but also understanding. Sober houses usually allow a maximum number of people to come visit the person living in the sober house. Visitation rules at the sober house also specify the time and days when visitations can occur. For instance a sober house may say that visitors are only allowed on Sundays from 3:30 to 6:30. Other sober houses my allow visitors whenever and then there are other sober houses that have visitation rules that require filling out a pass. For instance, if a resident of a sober house wanted to have visitors on any day they would need to fill out a request form and give it to the sober house manager or let the sober house manager know. From that point on the sober house manager would decide the specific set of rules for that resident and their visitors. Some visitation rules at some sober houses will require the visitors to check in at an office and require their ID. This is a precautionary measure to keep all the residents in the sober house safe. It is very easy for an addict or alcoholic who isn’t doing the right thing to lie and lies can be made about visitors and visitors could bring drugs or alcohol onto the property. The reason sober houses’ even have visitation rules to begin with is for this reason. Everything about a sober house including the visitation rules are meant to protect and ensure the sobriety of every residence living there.

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

My roommate is eating my food. What do I do?

My roommate is eating my food. What do I do?

My roommate is eating my food. What do I do?

Living with a roommate, whether it is someone who is related to you, a friend, spouse, or total stranger inevitably will always lead to some kind of conflict at one point or another. It is normal! Setting healthy boundaries with your roommate can be one of the biggest steps you take towards making your living situation a positive on for both of you.

The most obvious thing to do when your roommate is eating your food is to have a conversation with them about it. Having a conversation with your roommate can be done politely. If they admit they have been eating the food or that maybe some of their guests are you can just very simply ask them to stop. If not, you may need to be more firm about your suspicions that they are eating your food and consider if there is any other possible way that your food could have gone missing. If your roommate gets offended that you asked her about it, stay relaxed and explain that you aren’t angry, you just wanted to stop it from happening again.

Another thing you can do is start clearly labeling your food or keeping it secure in your bedroom or in a personal refrigerator. This plan could be really helpful if talking to your roommate didn’t make a difference. You could also decide to only shop for food on the day that you are going to eat as a way of keeping your roommate from even having a way to get it. When you don’t have any food in the fridge there is no way for your roommate to eat it.

In a situation where your roommate is eating your food the best bet is sometimes to focus on preventing it rather than trying to stop it all together. It is sometimes a good idea before starting to live with someone to set up a roommate agreement. If you haven’t done this you could try doing it now. An agreement between your roommates sets up rules and expectations when it comes to things such as having people over, how to pay for utilities, and when it is okay to use each other’s stuff.

In a worst case scenario you may find that your roommate is not eating your food because they are inconsiderate but maybe because they have an eating disorder. If there is a chance your roommate could have an eating disorder you might want to talk to them privately about it and set up some protocol for how you can help. Make the concern about their health not the missing food if this is the case.

If none of these things help with your roommate stealing your food you might need to begin looking for another place to stay or another roommate you can live with that you are more comfortable around. If your food disappearing is really a big issue this may be something to think about especially because being able to trust your roommate is so important.

If you need help with an addiction problem please give us a call at 800-507-7389.

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

Ideas for a Sober House Party

Sober House Party

Ideas for a Sober House Party

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about sober events, it’s that you have to have an activity. I’ve been to many sober house parties where they don’t serve alcohol but they don’t give guests anything else to do. Without an activity, sober people just stand around making small talk and sipping energy drinks like they do before and after meetings. It can be extremely dull.

Ideas for a Sober House Party: Sober House Party or Sober House Party

First let’s differentiate between a sober house party (as in, a party at your sober house) or a house party that is sober. Before you have a party at your sober house, you need to check the rules of the sober house and ask permission from your house manager. Many times, sober houses only allow same sex guests and/or have a limit on the number of guests you can have at one time. Some don’t allow parties at all except the ones they throw themselves or among other residents of the sober house. These measures are put in place to ensure the safety of people living in a sober house.

For a sober house party- a party that you throw at your house that is sober, there are a lot more options. Here are some great ideas for a sober house party:

Ideas for a Sober House Party: Sports Party

A game is a great activity for sober guests. Put together a party for Super Bowl or any other game that your friends want to watch. Make sure to let your guests know to arrive with plenty of time before the game starts so they don’t miss any of it. It’s also important to have enough seating around the TV for everyone. Plan to serve non-alcoholic drinks and snacks during the game. Make sure to provide enough menu items that everyone can find something they like.

Ideas for a Sober House Party: Movie Night

Talk to your guests before the party to find out what some of their favorite movies are. Buy or rent several different movies before the party. Make sure there is enough room around the TV that everyone can be comfortable during the movie. Gather plenty of comfy pillows and blankets for your guests before the movie starts. Plan to serve popcorn, candy, and non-alcoholic drinks so your guests can have a real movie experience.

Ideas for a Sober House Party: Board Games

Board games can be a lot of fun when you have a party full of sober people. People tend to let their hair down once they get into playing a game. Buy several games before people arrive. Personally, I like games like Apples to Apples, Time’s Up! and Catchphrase because they are more about social interaction than strategy and tactics, which is important at a sober house party. Plan to serve non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. Make sure you have plenty of chairs so that everyone can join in the fun

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

Everything you need to know about sober living

Everything you need to know about sober living

Everything you need to know about sober living

When my therapist first suggested that I move into sober living after treatment, I was kind of wary. I didn’t really know anything about sober living houses. As the terms “halfway house” and “sober living house” are sometimes used interchangeably, I thought these were the same kind of homes that parolees had to go after getting out of jail. I envisioned a slightly homier version of a jail cell, with barred windows and lock down after curfew. I agreed to go because I was desperate, and I was pleasantly surprised that the sober living homes were much different than I imagined.

Everything you need to know about sober living: Sober living homes are not homeless shelters

Before I moved into a sober living home, I thought that they were all run-down, sober versions of homeless shelters. I’d heard horror stories about “flop houses” where the residents just did drugs with impunity and came and went as they pleased. My preconceived notions couldn’t have been further from the truth. Sure, flop houses do exist, as do homeless shelters and halfway houses for parolees that enforce sobriety, but a true sober living home is something else. The good ones are generally well kept and clean, and the people living in them are people trying to get on their feet after going to treatment. These homes give recovering addict a place to call home while they navigate the waters of early sobriety.  Sober living homes are definitely not free, everyone is expected to pay their share of rent and groceries, and some sober living homes are quite exclusive.

Everything you need to know about sober living: You have rules

I never thought much about the rules in a sober living home, but once I lived there, I had to abide by a certain set of rules. In my experience, there are similar rules in most sober living environments. Obviously, you cannot drink, use drugs, or possess any kind of drug paraphernalia. Sober living homes regularly drug test the residents. Most sober living homes also enforce a curfew and require you to have an approved pass to spend the night out. My sober living home strictly prohibited men from being anywhere on the property, but we were allowed to have female friends and relatives over to visit. We were required to get a job, get a sponsor, and go to at least one meeting a day. We each had chores, and they did room checks every morning to make sure we were doing them. We had a zero tolerance rule for drug use. If a resident failed a drug test, they had to go to detox and test clean before they were allowed to come back to the sober living home. Communal living was the order of the day, and we all pitched in and helped out when things needed to be done. When things didn’t get done, we all often shared in the punishment as well. If one person didn’t do chores, we all were put on early curfew. In this way, we were encouraged to keep each other accountable.

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.