Do halfway houses increase your chances of staying sober?

Do halfway houses increase your chances of staying sober?

Halfway houses are another avenue to increase the success rate of staying sober. Halfway houses are just another step towards freedom while allowing some stability and safety while addicts and alcoholics get back on their feet. The halfway house success rate is much higher than the rates of place that only are inpatient or outpatient treatment. If you talk to anyone with long term sobriety chances are they went to a halfway house after they went to treatment and this makes the halfway house success rate very high.

A halfway house is a bit like a practice run at real life sobriety. The lessons of drug rehab can be practiced from within a safe and sober environment before the recovering addict returns completely to the environment of temptation, and free access to drugs or alcohol. This is one of the biggest factors that contribute to the success rate of a halfway house. The fact that many addicts and alcoholics get to experience life issues while in a safe environment.

Living with fellow recovering addicts allows for fellowship, and through a shared experience, halfway house friendships are common this is another important factor in the success rate of halfway houses. Because most newly sober men and women struggle initially with recreation time and need to relearn how to enjoy life without intoxication, it can be very beneficial to maintain the support of others with a similar situation for strength against a return to substance abuse.

Clinical studies also show that the long term sobriety rates of those people that continue drug treatment in a halfway house are far better, and that aftercare participation rates remain significantly higher for those people residing in a halfway house. This also adds to the success rate of halfway houses. Some halfway houses will go so far as to mandate continuing and full participation in drug treatment aftercare as a requirement of residency, and failure to attend meetings can result in eviction from the house and program.

Although most halfway houses impose mandatory employment as a condition of residency, some also offer work training and work release programs, allowing the recovering addict to develop their employable skills in a safe and sober environment. Other educations programs are also offered. This helps an addict get a good head start on life while which can also increase the success rate of halfway houses.

Essentially, a halfway house keeps addicts motivated to sobriety; and growing together, recovering addicts learn how to fill their time without substance abuse. Recovering addicts better social interaction skills with others in a like situation, they gain valuable employment and life skills, and they are much more likely to remain active in aftercare drug treatment programming. The lessons of rehab are many, and it can be difficult to consolidate all that needs to be learned and put into practice when released into extreme temptation and little support. Through gradually increasing exposure to temptations and challenge, the continuing drug treatment at a halfway house increases the probability of success.

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.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.sba.gov

http://halfwayhouse.com

http://smallbusiness.chron.com

http://soberhouse.net

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

How to fight emotional triggers in recovery

How to fight emotional triggers in recovery

Triggers are specific memories, behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and situations that jeopardize recovery. Triggers are signals you are entering a stage that brings you closer to a relapse. Triggers are the stimuli, the people, places, situations, emotional states, thoughts, etc. that can “trigger” an ingrained ritualistic response which in most cases is to get high. Learning to identify relapse triggers and especially the emotional intensity that they invoke can be an effective tool in how to fight emotional triggers in recovery.

If you really want to know how to fight emotional triggers in recovery then the best place you can start is by learning what they are. For instance, deep sadness or extreme excitement might be emotional states that trigger you. If you know those are your emotional triggers in recovery then you can begin to fight against them.

Once you know what your emotional triggers in recovery are you can then begin to set in a place a plan of action for yourself. A plan of action for fighting emotional triggers in recovery can consist of multiple different things. For instance say an emotional trigger in recovery for you is excitement. If you begin to feel that excitement and it makes you think about using you can have a plan that first consist of calling a sober support, second doing something to get your mind off of it. No matter what it is that you use to fight emotional triggers in recovery make sure that you are taking action. Change your state.

A good way to fight emotional triggers in recovery is to go for a run when you begin thinking about using. You could also choose to turn on some music and dance your heart out. You can go workout at the gym. You can go for a bike ride. You can meditate. You can read a book. You can really do whatever it is that works for you to fight emotional triggers in recovery as long as it’s something different than what you would normally do. A lot of the times when addicts and alcoholics feel emotionally triggered in recovery they don’t know why they are thinking about using and they have no idea what to do instead of go and get high. This can lead to relapse without the proper identification of what is going on and what to do when it happens.

This is why identifying what triggers you emotionally and then making a plan of action for yourself when emotional triggers pop up is the best way to fight emotional triggers in recovery. It is not easy to fight emotional triggers in recovery in fact addicts and alcoholics are hardwired to use in certain instances that’s why its good to have a plan in place before you are ever get triggered. Once you are able to implement your plan to fight emotional triggers in recovery multiple times it will get easier to ward off. If you make a habit of fighting your emotional triggers in recovery eventually it won’t be so difficult and then you may even find you aren’t triggered by the emotional states at all now.

 

 

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.

Relationships in Recovery

Relationships in Recovery

Relationships in Recovery

Relationships in Recovery

Someone once said to me “If you want to test your sobriety, get into a relationship.” I didn’t really understand the truth of that statement until I got into a relationship in recovery. Relationships in recovery can be tricky, particularly if you are a new to recovery. I was warned, very early on, not to get into a relationship in the first year of my sobriety. Like most things in my life, this was a lesson I was destined to learn the hard way.

Relationships in Recovery: Relationships in early sobriety

I met the guy who was destined to be my first “recovery boyfriend” at a fellowship event that my treatment center attended. He had two years sober; I had eight days. We started dating the day I got out of treatment, and it didn’t take long for the relationship to go from good, to bad, to total shit show. I realized I was using him to fill the void left by drugs and alcohol. He made me feel good, wanted. I never thought about the fact that I had nothing to offer this guy. I was unemployed, living in a halfway house, and taking the bus. But it felt good to be wanted. Maybe on some level, I thought he had the secret to sobriety. He had, after all, stayed sober longer than I ever had. Maybe I was just lonely and insecure. Whatever the reason, I stayed with this guy long after it was clear that the relationship was unhealthy. When it finally ended, I got really, really depressed. I hadn’t really developed a relationship with a higher power, because I didn’t really need to. I had the guy. Without the guy, without the drugs, and without a relationship with God, I was lost.

Relationships in Recovery: Relationships later in sobriety

The good news about my early relationship in recovery is that I did not relapse. Instead, I threw myself into the program, re-worked steps, and got connected with my higher power. After some time single, I started dating again.

I quickly learned that even though I was no longer new in sobriety, relationships in recovery aren’t easy. They are much like relationships in the real world. They have the same ups and downs. They can be hard, scary, and (usually) worth it.

But relationships in recovery have an added twist; especially if both people are in recovery. The upside to dating someone else in recovery is that they usually have a similar lifestyle. You won’t have to hang out in bars all night and they speak the same language. If both parties are working a solid program of recovery, they can have an even better chance than non-alcoholics of a successful relationship. However, that’s a big if, and chances are, you both won’t always be at the top of your game-recovery wise. As alcoholics, when me or my boyfriend aren’t on top of our recovery, we become selfish, self-seeking, and fearful-which can be poison to relationships in recovery. Thus the biggest challenge, for me, is allowing my boyfriend to work his own program and not trying to control what he does. Ultimately, the most important element in my relationship is fate. The minute I try to control things is the minute everything falls apart. Just like with my addiction, I need to give it up to a higher power and have faith that everything will work out.

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

Common excuses for leaving a sober house

leaving a sober house

Excuses for wanting to leave sober living

I’ve heard a lot of excuses for wanting to leave sober living over the past year and a half. Let’s face it, sober living kind of sucks sometimes. You have to abide by rules, you have to get along with your roommates, and you have to keep things clean. Break any rules, and you’re on early curfew. It’s like living with your parents again, except your halfway house manager isn’t so easy to manipulate.

However, sober living is really important. It provides structure and can be an essential interim step between treatment and the real world. It can also provide a sober support system which is crucial to early sobriety. A lot of times, when someone makes excuses for wanting to leave sober living, it means they are not ready to leave.

Excuses for wanting to leave sober living: Costs too much

This is one of the excuses for wanting to leave sober living that I hear the most often. Many sober living homes cost more than renting a room in an apartment or a house. Sober living residences have to pay employees to enforce rules, give drug tests, and monitor the people that live there. However, in my experience, there is always a way to pay for a sober house if you want to. Firstly, almost all sober living houses require you to have a job, and I’ve seen even people making minimum wage pay for sober living. Secondly, some sober living houses will let you pay on a sliding scale or are able to take health insurance. Finally, if you are living in a sober house, you usually qualify for some sort of federal financial aid. Always remember, your recovery comes first, so staying in sober living should be your highest financial priority.

Excuses for wanting to leave sober living: Rules are too strict

When someone gives me these excuses for wanting to leave sober living, I automatically think that they are probably not ready to leave. Sober living is about learning to live with others and acceptance of house rules. It may be hard to see sometimes, but the rules are there to serve you and keep you sober.  Usually, when someone complains about the rules, it means they are not doing what they should be doing and they are headed down a dangerous path.

Excuses for wanting to leave sober living: My roommates are relapsing

If your roommates are relapsing, you should tell your house manager. Relapsing residents put everyone else in danger. If your house manager does not do anything about it, and this is common in your sober living environment, you may want to find a new sober living environment. However, this is not an excuse to leave sober living all together. Also, keep in mind that in the real world, you will be around people that are using drugs and/or drinking at some point.  If you have a strong program of recovery, you can stay sober no matter what the people around you are doing.

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

A day in the life of a sober house tenant

A day in the life of a sober house tenant

For those who have never been a sober house tenant it can be hard and even impossible to imagine what it’s like. Luckily we have so here’s a glimpse inside a day in the life of a sober house tenant.

A day in the life of a sober house tenant usually begins as most other people’s days do. You wake up, stretch and think of your day ahead.

Usually sober houses have rules that require their tenants to be out of the house for certain period of times. This is either to look for a job, go volunteer, or go to work. For the tenants who have jobs they don’t need to be out of the house but do need to keep their job and go to work.

8am-9:30am

  • Wake up.
  • Take a shower.
  • Cup of coffee.
  • Breakfast
  • Daily prayer and meditation

10am-3pm

You must be out of the house looking for a job if you don’t have one or volunteering. If you have a job and it is your day off you are free to sleep in.

3pm-5pm

Come home.

Do chores. A day in the life of a sober house tenant requires working with other men or women to keep the house clean. Chores will be assigned on a weekly basis and if you don’t get them done you will get put on early curfew. So you come home from your day out and do your chores whether its cleaning the kitchen, trash duty, floors, bathroom etc. Get it done!

5pm-7pm

  • Eat dinner.
  • Take another shower.
  • Step work with sponsor.

7pm-9pm

Go to a meeting. Most sober house tenants are required to attend one meeting a day at least. Usually if you don’t have a job you can go to meetings early during the day instead of at night but if you have a job or are looking for one or are volunteering you can make your meeting at night. Go out with friends for dinner after, maybe ice cream too!

9pm-10pm

Come home. Usually curfew at a sober house is around 10pm for the first 30 days. So you hang out with the other sober house tenants. This is one of the coolest things about being a sober house tenant, your other tenants become like your family. You talk, you hang out together, you support each other and you stick by each other’s sides no matter what. You can also use this time to get done whatever you havent had time to do yet.

10pm-11pm

House meeting. A house meeting usually happens once a week and it is time for everyone to check in and make sure they have been doing everything they need to do for their sobriety and for their life. The house meeting is a time to get called out for anything you haven’t been putting enough effort or time into. The house manager and sober house owner are usually there and this is where you can voice concerns, positive affirmations, worries, what you need help, schedule time to meet with your house manager etc.

11pm-1am

Hang out.

Get ready for bed.

Listen to music.

Prayer and meditation- prayer and meditation is essential to being a sober house tenant because it is essential to long term recovery.

And then in this day in the life of a sober house tenant you just hit repeat mixed with a little bit of progress. You will get that better job, make more friends, get more clean time and eventually be ready to move out. You will have created a life for yourself by just taking these baby steps towards life again.

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