When we hear the word "home," it brings to mind so very many things. The warm embrace of family. A refuge from the rain. Four blessed walls where you can let down your guard. But for people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, a stable home can actually mean something very different. It can mean the difference between relapsing on the street and re-entering society. It can mean the difference between getting high and getting clean. And it can mean the difference between wasting a life and walking boldly towards the rest of your future.
For people struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, halfway (or "transitional") housing is usually the first step after being released from inpatient treatment. It serves as a residence, but it also provides many of the social, medical, psychiatric, and educational services that drug abusers need to resist temptation and keep their sobriety. These crucial dormitories are a place for them to stabilize their life, and to become accountable for staying sober to others struggling with the same demons. For many former addicts this brand of housing is an absolute lifeline back into the community.
Halfway houses, in addition to providing a safe transitional step between treatment and real life, provide crucial supportive services to help people address any co-existing conditions that may have contributed to their drug addiction in the first place, such as mental illness, childhood trauma, and past homelessness. These services can include drug screening, important life skill development, vocational training, and mental health counseling.
Designed to be only temporary stops along a person's journey, transitional housing time limits vary, but they usually involve a temporary residence of up to 24 months. Some halfway houses are owned and operated by nonprofit entities, while others are run by for-profit providers, and thus rules of the house can vary. But typical rules include respecting others in the house and doing house chores. Residents usually have to maintain regular employment or show proof that they're searching for employment, and curfews are often enforced, as are regular house and group therapy meetings. This sort of "soft structure" gives adults who've struggled with addiction and been through treatment the structure that they need, exactly when they'll be most tempted to relapse.
If you or someone you love is transitioning out of treatment, there are multiple resources at your fingertips to help you find the right kind of stepping-stone housing. Choosing the right transitional living situation will help you to stabilize your life and learn how to resist the temptations of living back in the "real world" again. You may want to jump straight back into your "normal life" but remember that considering a structured transitional housing option—an oh-so-crucial step on the road to recovery (and to re-entering society)--will greatly increase the chances that you will stay clean and be the master of your own life once more.
We have addiction treatment specialists available 24/7, ready to help you find the right treatment choice that meets your financial ability.