Halfway House or Recovery House: Which is Right for You?

Aftercare planning is one of the most important components of a person’s inpatient stay. It involves making plans for where a person will attend outpatient treatment and where they will live after being discharged from inpatient treatment. Through my work as a substance abuse counselor, I’ve encountered many clients and family members who often confuse the terms “halfway house” and “recovery house.” Where a person chooses to live during their recovery process is incredibly important, and because of this, I want to take the time to educate readers on the differences between a halfway house and a recovery house.

What Is A Halfway House?

A halfway house is a state-funded facility that provides residents with more than just a place to live while they work on their sobriety. Halfway houses also provide residents with group and individual therapy, psychiatric services, and medication management. While they do offer many services under one roof, they are different from inpatient facilities in that residents are allowed to leave the halfway house for things like work and 12-step meetings. Because they are state-funded, residents must be on Medicaid in order to reside in a halfway house.

How Are Recovery Houses Different from Halfway Houses?

Recovery houses are different from halfway houses in several ways. For one, they are privately owned and operated. As a result, residents living in recovery houses pay a weekly rent to live there. Recovery houses provide residents with a living environment that is free from drugs and alcohol. They do not provide any form of treatment or medication management, but residents are usually expected to participate in outpatient therapy at a local agency.

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Recovery houses also have expectations for residents to obtain employment within a certain amount of time to help increase their involvement in healthy lifestyle choices.

I hope that this explanation of the differences between halfway houses and recovery houses has been informative to you, and that this information can help you determine which environment is best for your recovery. Remember, where a person lives after inpatient treatment can have a huge impact on their success in recovery. As a result, I strongly encourage you to take some time to weigh the pros and cons of each living environment and make the best choice for you.

If you are planning for outpatient treatment, consider Rehab After Work. Our programs fit with your schedule, so you can continue working or attending school while receiving the treatment you need. Contact our admissions department to learn more.


Article Written by Shaylyn Forte, LPC, CAADC