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General Guidelines You Can Expect in a Halfway House 12 May 2017

General Guidelines You Can Expect in a Halfway House

After deciding to change our path and transition into sobriety, one thing is for sure, we are going to be uncomfortable at times. It’s like learning everything for the first time. The one thing we know best, (using) is gone and we have a bright future ahead as long as we continue to work. If we want to experience happy destiny we must experience a lot of discomfort.

Halfway is something that helps us integrate back into life after treatment.  The transition into a halfway house can be very intimidating. What is to be expected? What is required of me? What will the people be like? After leaving treatment we now have the step down to halfway where we can integrate back into a more independent environment.

What’s the Point of a Halfway House?

The entire point of halfway is to be in a safe place, where you will be held accountable. When you are newly sober and faced with the inevitable task of changing your thinking and habits, one of the best options is to place yourself into a safer situation. Although halfway houses alone will not keep you sober, it is incredibly beneficial to have structure.  All halfway houses are generally the same. Their objectives are to help you learn skills and self-discipline for your future. Even though some rules will seem useless in your eyes at first, it is a stepping stone towards a more productive future. Living in a safe place around supportive parties, and having access to meetings, having free time to work and create relationships with sober supports will help immensely along your journey. Just like every obstacle in early recovery can be a sink or swim situation, a halfway house gives you the floaties, it’s up to you to use them.

What is Expected of Me?

While some halfway houses are more strict than others, there are general guidelines throughout.

  • Of course maintaining sobriety.
  • You can not use in halfway houses.
  • It is a place where you are drug tested regularly and randomly if they have cause for suspicion.

This is something that keeps us accountable for our actions. It provides us with consequences for our actions, like uhh, losing our house if we get high! It also teaches us to be responsible for our sobriety by calling a sober support rather than using.

This is an extremely important part of the halfway house and helps with self-discipline. In any legitimate halfway house, one of the most important rules is don’t drink or use. Not only can it affect your living situation but even more importantly your life.  

it's your responsibility

Getting Back into the Real World

Halfway houses 9 times out of 10 require you to find employment. Possibly one of the best things that happened to me in sobriety was finding a work ethic, which was only instilled in me after my first halfway house experience. First of all, who wants to sit around all day when you aren’t getting high or drunk? If you go to a halfway house and there are people there who hang out at the house all day, chances are you don’t want to hang around them. Working teaches you discipline, responsibility, makes you money, and fills your time. It helps to get you on a schedule and boosts your productivity. Working gave me purpose in early sobriety, I felt so lost and although I still haven’t found my career, I’ve had a schedule and woke up with a plan every day. Those who did not work in my first halfway would receive consequences for not having a job or would end up using.

Halfway houses give you that structure that you need to integrate back into a type of normalcy after using for years, of course, a job is an important aspect. It also makes you feel good, getting your own paycheck and not having rely on your parents to buy your cigarettes and red bulls.


“A messy bed is a messy head.” A majority of halfways have a chore list to be done every week, often referred to as GI day. Each person is expected to keep the house clean throughout the week but there is one day usually reserved to have all the deep cleaning done.

I learned how to sweep and mop floors, clean bathrooms, do dishes and laundry. Which may sound unimportant, but I learned that keeping my space clean makes me feel better.

Who wants to come home to a trashed apartment or house? Once things in my place start to get out of order it is usually because I am not keeping my house clean.

The Dreaded Curfew

Another guideline that used to drive me crazy at the beginning was curfew. At first, I didn’t see the point as I was an adult, but after a couple months not only did I realize that I had nothing good to do after 11 PM, but it was more of a reason to stay sober. Every night we would have to check in with staff. This taught me yet another way to be accountable. Clearly, when the time comes to move out, your own place isn’t going to have someone to check you got in, but it helped me delegate my time properly.

Halfway house guidelines change from place to place but those are the primary rules you’ll find. Curfews, requirements for the house to be clean and the time period in which you need a job all vary. (Those three things will be required, it just varies in strictness). But one thing is for sure, you can not use or drink in any LEGITIMATE halfway house. And all of the rules,  no matter how pointless you think they are, have a greater purpose for your life. They all instill personal responsibility and teach you useful life skills.

Freedom From Addiction

If you have found yourself or a loved one suffering from alcoholism or addiction, you are not alone! If you are ready to change your life and live free of addiction, then Holistic Recovery Centers can help. We give you the jump start to recovery you need. Our holistic program is unique in that it doesn’t just treat the addiction, it treats the whole person. For more information on our program, call 1-877-723-7117 today.

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