Admittance and the completion of an inpatient drug rehabilitation program is often seen as the beginning of the recovery process for the addict. While it is an important step, the process of recovery does not end with completion of formal drug treatment. The recovering addict must learn to reintegrate back into society and adopt proactive and useful living skills in order to adequately cope with the outside world in a healthy manner. Transitioning from a drug treatment facility to a halfway house can provide the recovering addict can provide that place of support and stability the recovering person needs.
While studies do show that halfway houses lessen the chances of relapse for those who choose to live in them, not all halfway houses are the same. Before the decision is made to attend a halfway house, there needs to be some research and thought regarding the quality of support, service and discipline of the halfway house in question. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when looking for a quality halfway house.
At the foundation of a quality halfway house, there are firm and concrete guidelines that are adhered to and implemented by staff. These quality ground rules are put into place in order to ensure sobriety. For example, a few of these ground rules are the following:
- Being under the influence of any mind or mood altering substances—there should be a zero tolerance policy in effect. If anyone is found to be under the influence of mind or mood altering substances, they are removed from the premises are not readmitted.
- Possession of drugs or alcohol
- Possession of any weapons or firearms
- Fighting or other forms of physical or verbal threats
- Damage to property
Other ground rules to consider is if the halfway house in question has solid policy regarding sexual acts or relationship while residing in the halfway house. There should be separate halfway house facilities for men as well as women. There also should be strict rules against refusal to submit to breathalyzer or urine analysis, failure to follow and violation of curfew as well any instance of dishonest behavior such as lying, stealing or involvement in criminal activity.
The Features of a Quality Halfway House
When choosing a quality halfway house, they should have close proximity to twelve-step meetings and attendance to these meetings should have a daily requirement. Meetings should also be offered onsite as well. Those who are living in the halfway house should also have a requirement to obtain a sponsor within a week or so of entry and as well finding their own home group to attend. Those living in quality halfway houses should also be either gainfully employed or actively seeking employment and employment should not be at bars, clubs or other places which encourage drinking and drug use.
There also needs to be strict compliance in following house rules such as cleaning, laundry and cooking. Those living in quality halfway houses also are required to meet with their house leaders or halfway house manager to discuss their program of recovery. Ultimately, the halfway house enforces the above guidelines and rules while promoting a safe and secure environment that promotes both recovery and healthy lifestyles.