Many people ask treatment centers the difference between a sober living community and a halfway house. Both settings can greatly support individuals who are recovering from substance addiction, but there are some decided differences between them. By learning about the benefits each has to offer, you can decide what makes the most sense for you and your needs.

Regardless of the best option, one thing is certain, returning home too soon in the recovery process can lead to relapse. By experiencing a stay in halfway house or sober living community, you can focus more exclusively on your recovery and preventing a relapse.

What’s a Halfway House?

A halfway house is a facility that provides temporary living for people recovering from addiction to drugs or substance abuse. People with diverse past experiences can also be found living in halfway houses, such as people with physical or emotional conditions and people who have recently been released from incarceration. The halfway house offers residents the opportunity to develop their skills for leading an independent life in a safe place. Many halfway houses are very strict about keeping drugs and alcohol off the premises. Residents are not allowed to use these substances and may be tested to ensure their compliance.

What’s a Sober Living Community?

A sober living community is a facility or center that is designed specifically for individuals recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Like a halfway house, sober living facilities are also a safe place for recovering individuals to begin to rebuild their lives. Drugs and alcohol use are also strictly forbidden in sober living communities. People living in sober living communities tend to enjoy more independence than residents of a halfway house. In a sober living community, there is a strong emphasis on support, meetings, and lectures. Group counseling sessions are often held there to promote sober living. Some sober living communities feature regular group activities and amenities that halfway houses do not tend to offer.

Which Temporary Living Community Is Best for Me?

While many sober living communities are affordable, halfway houses are often more financially conducive for people of limited means. If money does not restrict your choice, you’ll need to consider what type of environment can best support your recovery. If you find you need more supervision to keep your recovery on track, a halfway house might be ideal for you. On the other hand, highly structured sober living programs also leave residents with less downtime to succumb to the triggers of relapse.

If you have or will complete medical detox and are struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol, the next step in your continued recovery journey is ongoing treatment and finding a place to heal. Both a halfway house and a sober living community can help achieve long-term sobriety. Visit one to determine if its offerings can support your needs.