Sober Living vs Halfway House: Making the Right Choice for Your Recovery

After completing supervised detox from substance abuse and an inpatient treatment program, the next step in your recovery journey could include a transition into an aftercare program. There are several forms of aftercare in the world of addiction treatment. In this article, we will dive into two popular types of aftercare: sober living vs halfway house. 

For some people, the thought of returning home and resuming “normal” routines can be too much and still be very overwhelming in the early stages of recovery. In addition, they may not have the support they need at home or could find themselves back in an environment that could increase the risk of relapse. Knowing what to do after rehab can make a huge difference in the overall success of an individual’s recovery journey. Moving into a sober living or halfway house could help you commit to your sobriety further. 

What is a Sober Living Home?

When comparing sober living houses vs halfway houses, it is essential to remember that both types of residential homes require residents to maintain their sobriety. However, beyond that requirement, there are some key differences between the two houses that you need to be aware of to help ensure you decide which home is best for your sobriety and needs. 

A sober living home offers a structured environment where residents have established schedules. For example, your day often starts with getting up, making your bed, eating breakfast, and then heading to work, school, counseling, or some other activity. As your day progresses, you have other scheduled events to keep you busy and focused on your recovery. Additionally, sober living homes can be equipped to handle residents who have completed detox but are just starting their outpatient addiction recovery. So, instead of having to first complete a rehab program, you may be able to move into your new home once you have completed detox. 

What is a Halfway House?

A halfway house, or transitional living facility, also maintains a sober living environment. However, the structure of a halfway house is much different from a sober living home. Most halfway houses are not equipped to handle incoming residents who have not completed either an outpatient or inpatient addiction treatment program. 

Another difference is residents do not have a set schedule to follow. Instead, it is up to them to decide how to spend their day. They are free to come and go as they please.  If you need ongoing rehab support, it is up to you to continue your recovery through an outpatient program outside the home. Although, most halfway houses will have nightly group meetings for residents. 

Furthermore, halfway houses provide random drug testing where residents are tested for drugs or alcohol use daily or whenever returning to the home. If it is discovered they have been using, they are often asked to pack up and leave. This is because halfway houses are generally not equipped to handle relapses and associated withdrawal symptoms. 

What are the Benefits of a Sober Living vs Halfway House?

It is important to understand what you need to support your recovery journey. When considering what your needs are, it helps to understand what sober living residences can offer. The benefits of a sober living vs halfway house include:

More Structure

At sober living facilities, residents are assisted in creating daily schedules to help them follow a structured plan to benefit their sobriety. Halfway houses and sober living environments are both conducive to sobriety, however, the loose structure found in halfway houses can add more variables, risks, or triggers that may lead to relapse.


Unlike halfway houses where men of all ages can reside, sober living homes often have age and gender restrictions. This is to ensure the guys are of a similar age because they will have more in common and be able to better support each other. 

Improved Success Rates

Sober-living homes have much higher success rates compared to halfway houses. Part of the reason for this is sober living homes are designed to support recovery efforts with their emphasis on attending counseling, group meetings, and other options designed to improve outcomes.

Improved Peer Support

Residents often find they receive better peer support in a sober living home because everyone is encouraged to participate in different events and activities, such as movie nights, game nights, etc. 

Feels More Like a Home

A sober living home strives to make your stay feel more like you are living at home, not a temporary stopping point on your recovery journey. Many residents make new, life-long friends during their stay as well. 

No Time Limit on Residence

Residents are not rushed through or only have a set time before they have to move out. Instead, they are given all the time they need to work on their recovery until they are truly ready to leave the home. Plus, if you ever feel like you need added support, like during the holidays, you can always move back in whenever you want, even if your stay is only for a few weeks. 

Helps Prepare You for Independent Living 

Another benefit residents enjoy is learning essential skills to help them live independently, such as cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and budgeting money. Then, when residents graduate from a sober living home, they are ready to live independently. 

New Life House’s Recovery Model

New Life House has been a pioneer in alcohol addiction treatment since 1985, helping young men recover from substance use disorder and build a strong foundation that can support long-term sobriety. Our recovery model is multifaceted, consisting of unparalleled support throughout every resident’s recovery journey. Here are the aspects of our sober living house that set us apart from the rest:

  • New Life House is a structured sober living facility which means all residents are immersed in a productive schedule, staying busy throughout the day in a supportive environment.
  • All residents attend intensive outpatient treatment where they have access to a mental health professional and therapy through outpatient programs.
  • We emphasize involving family members in their loved one’s treatment. Our on-site house manager provides frequent updates on the progress of each resident and we host regular group family therapy sessions.
  • All residents have an opportunity to finish school or pursue an education.
  • Our sober livings are age and gender-specific, limiting distractions and enhancing the bonds that can be built.
  • We have an extensive alumni community that is very involved with the guys who are currently in the house.

Sober Living Homes for Young Men

As you can see, sober living homes offer numerous benefits over halfway houses as you continue your recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and looking for treatment options, call New Life House to learn more about our sober living for men in Los Angeles. Our supportive community has helped countless young men and their families overcome addiction. Reach out to see how we can help you.

Last Updated on February 9, 2024


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