What is the difference between a Sober Living House and
a Half-way House?
These days there is a huge difference between quality sober living houses and half-way houses, just as there are huge differences between treatment facilities. South Florida, known as the rehab capital of the nation, distinguishes itself for the many treatment facilities and sober living/half-way houses available. Quantity does not mean quality!
It should be noted that addiction treatment and its associate facilities, such as half-way and/or sober living communities are big business. Sadly, many who go into the business of substance abuse treatment and transitional houses for men have no experience or expertise with addiction. To distinguish one treatment facility from another and to find the appropriate men’s sober house after detox and/or treatment can be daunting.
The name half-way house encompasses many populations: those newly released from a mental hospital, those newly sober, those just out of prison, and those who are physically or mentally challenged in need of a living in a community-all define the variety of half way houses.
The term sober living house defines an environment. It is a house where drugs and alcohol and other addictive behaviors are not tolerated or allowed—at least not in a credible facility.
First, sober living homes and half-way homes for recovering addicts and alcoholics are NOT state or federally regulated. There is a national and state movement to regulate and standardize these facilities to protect clients. We believe strongly in providing quality living environments for those in recovery. We are part of the national and state organizations seeking guidelines for sober living houses. After all, a person newly sober is vulnerable.
Second, not all sober living homes or half-way houses offer the same structure, supervision, or professional support. Therein lies the difference between a quality facility and one that is structured just for profit –not recovery.
Boca House for Men in Boca Raton, Florida offer the newly recovering person a safe, secure, warm, compassionate environment in which to integrate back into society as a productive human being. Substance abuse alters ones behavior and thinking. Such behavior does not work in the everyday world. Learning how to be responsible and accountable requires structure and time. Some individuals require more time than others to emerge out of the mental fog and chaos created by substance abuse.
Boca House for Men is designed to address the needs of recovering individuals based upon scientific data. Newly sober men do better in a structured, supervised environment when they stay in a quality structure for at least 6 months. Studies have shown that the longer a newly sober man lives in a sober community with other recovering men, the stronger his foundation for long term recovery grows. That increases his chances of maintaining long term recovery. Such a structure should provide:
- A curfew (changes at different levels of recovery)
- A productivity goal – work, school or volunteerism
- Drug and alcohol testing on a regular basis
- Payment of rent to build self-discipline and responsibility
- Attendance at 12 Step meetings
- Attendance at community meetings
- House rules on behavior and conduct
- Daily facility inspections (apartments)
- Attitude adjustments
These are the minimum requirements that help men re-enter productive lifestyles. Unfortunately, too many half-way houses and sober living communities for newly clean and sober individuals are just flop houses. These places are dirty, warehousing men into small living spaces, without a monitored structure and, worst of all, subjecting newly recovering men to open use of drugs and alcohol without consequences. Can anyone stay clean and sober if they are confronted with a filthy environment, in which other people are using or dealing?
A quality transitional home is as important as detox and substance abuse treatment. Each phase builds upon the last. The quality of a men’s sober home will help or hinder his ability to overcome triggers, resist negative behaviors, and maintain personal responsibility.
Do not short change yourself or your loved one by entering a sober living house that is not truly designed to support recovery, assist in an employment search, insist upon personal responsibility, or has no regard for appropriate behavior. Recovery is about moving forward. The living environment and the new habits formed in early sobriety matter.
To arrange a place at Boca House for Men, a superior residence for men in recovery