Contrary to the common misconception, recovery isn’t complete upon one’s graduation from the initial inpatient or intensive outpatient addiction treatment program. Recovering from addiction is a lifelong process that involves continuous, sustained effort on the addict’s part.
However, the good news is that over time, sobriety and abstinence become easier and easier as individuals get acclimated to refraining from substance abuse. Over the course of addiction treatment, recovering addicts learn a variety of skills that make sustained recovery an achievable goal. This includes learning one’s triggers—people, places, and situations that cause cravings and tempt an addict to relapse—and how to avoid circumstances that pertain to harmful addictive behaviors, learning coping mechanisms and strategies for managing stress or anxiety, and learning how to be an independent, self-sufficient, productive member of society.
The period after an addict finishes an initial inpatient or intensive outpatient program is widely considered to be the most delicate part of recovery. It’s during this period that many addicts will experience the strongest temptation to relapse, which also happens to be a large part of the reason why the success rate of addict treatment is surprisingly low and often involves more than one round of treatment for many addicts.
In order to ensure one’s success, it’s important to have a thorough plan in place for post-treatment relapse prevention. This can include things like aftercare, transitioning from an inpatient to an outpatient program, and often includes joining a twelve-step program and other support groups. However, some communities in Florida, such as Delray Beach, offer a large number of transitional living facilities for individuals who have completed an inpatient or residential treatment program, but who feel they need a period to ease back into the community before returning home.
In “Halfway Legal, Part 1,” the potential danger that some transitional living facilities and halfway houses pose was described. Some of these illegitimate sober living homes—which are found not only in Florida but nationwide—are often scams that seek to profit from and take advantage of individuals in early recovery. However, this second and final installment will describe the purpose of a halfway house, identify the characteristics of a quality halfway house, and explain how transitional living is a beneficial stepping stone for individuals recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.
What is Transitional Living?
Also called sober living facilities and halfway houses, transitional living facilities allow individuals to hone their independence while finding employment and making arrangements for a permanent residence. After completing the detox and inpatient treatment phases of a residential program, recovering addicts must decide if they’re to fully integrate into the community by returning home immediately after treatment, or if they would prefer a midway point between residential treatment and returning home, which is what transitional living is designed to be.
Many halfway houses have a minimum period during which individuals to commit to living in the facility. This can be as little as three months or as many as six months or possibly more, but many sober living facilities allow recovering addicts to remain in residence for as long as needed, even if that means living in a halfway house for a year or more.
Halfway houses are often compared to college dorms in that these individuals pay to live in the facility for a period of time while abiding by mandatory sobriety—enforced via regular drug screens—and the “house rules,” which often entail curfews, participating in chores, maintaining employment, and so on. While in a transitional living facility, it’s often common for individuals to be required to participate in some level of recovery treatment, whether that means an outpatient program or merely attending local twelve-step support groups.
How Does Transitional Living Work?
When an individual is ready to move into a sober living facility, he or she will often have to pay for one or more months of rent upfront, sometimes with an additional security deposit much like what would be required when renting a residence. However, there are a number of facilities that will refund the deposit—assuming there has been no destruction to the property over the course of one’s residency—when leaving the facility. Facilities require the deposit so that the funds remain secure for the express purpose of having the money needed to obtain their own residence, making this a very helpful policy. Additionally, most
Facilities require the deposit so that the funds remain secure for the express purpose of having the money needed to obtain their own residence, making this a very helpful policy. Additionally, most transitional living facilities are managed by the residents with the longer-term residents who have seniority delegating chores to individuals who haven’t lived in the facility for as long. The hierarchy also serves as a mentoring program in much the same was as residential advisors are for college dorms, helping new residents to get acclimated to the facility while also being a peer resource.
It’s become increasingly common for halfway homes to offer some level of counseling as part of the residency package. The basic tenets of this counseling involve skills-building and career counseling, helping residents to find appropriate work by identifying relevant skills or helping with résumés and interview skills. However, some facilities have begun to offer a level of recovery treatment as well. This is done for a number of reasons, which include making the time spent in a halfway house more valuable to one’s recovery and to make transitional living a service that can be paid or partially covered by one’s insurance provider or government health plan, making sober living facilities less costly and more viable to those who need them.
However, some facilities have begun to offer a level of recovery treatment as well. This is done for a number of reasons, which include making the time spent in a halfway house more valuable to one’s recovery and to make transitional living a service that can be paid or partially covered by one’s insurance provider or government health plan, making sober living facilities less costly and more viable to those who need them.
The Benefits of Living in a Halfway House After Treatment
There are a number of benefits to transitional living in halfway houses after completing an inpatient or residential treatment program. These facilities provide a sort of stepping-stone between inpatient treatment and reintegrating in the community, offering a period during which recovering addicts can continue to acclimate to their newfound sobriety while adjusting to an incremental increase in independence and learning to take care of themselves. It’s also an opportunity for individuals who have completed treatment to have a stable place to live while finding employment and making more permanent plans for residency. What’s more, many sober living facilities offer valuable career coaching, helping individuals prepare for interviews, create résumés, and to make employment plans by matching their skills to appropriate vocations.
It’s also an opportunity for individuals who have completed treatment to have a stable place to live while finding employment and making more permanent plans for residency. What’s more, many sober living facilities offer valuable career coaching, helping individuals prepare for interviews, create résumés, and to make employment plans by matching their skills to appropriate vocations.
Although the benefits of transitional living are numerous, it’s important to remain aware that there are a number of scam houses out there who are looking to profit off the vulnerability of individuals who are still in the early phases of recovery. By making sure to look for some key characteristics, those in need can find quality sober living facilities that will afford them a safe, drug-free living environment after an inpatient and residential treatment program.
If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction or in need of a transitional living facility, Drug Treatment Center Finder is here to help. We have a team of knowledgeable recovery specialists who have guided numerous addicts into recovery by finding the best addiction treatment programs for their needs. Call today so we can help you, too.