Once you complete a drug and alcohol rehab program, you’ll want to do everything you can to increase your opportunities for continued success in your sobriety. For some individuals, this may include seeking out a stable, sober place to live after rehab. A halfway house, ¾ home, or another type of recovery residence may provide the necessary assistance and support you need to maintain your sobriety after rehab.
Over the last decade, transitional housing has taken on numerous different titles from “recovery homes,” “¾ houses,” “sober living homes,” and “halfway houses.” So, if you’ve ever wondered about the difference between these various types of recovery residences, you’re not alone.
Whether you’re doing research on treatment for yourself or a loved one, it’s beneficial to understand the different types of recovery residences that are available and what they offer. Learning about the differences between these types of housing options may also provide greater clarity about which one is the best choice for you.
Types of Recovery Residences
Many different terms are often used interchangeably to describe transitional housing for addicts in recovery. Some of the most common terms include:
- Sober living house
- 3/4 house
- Halfway house
What is a Sober Living House?
Sober living houses are transitional, alcohol and drug-free living environments for individuals who are attempting to maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol.1 Unlike many halfway houses, they are sustained with resident fees and clients are typically allowed to stay as long as needed.
Sober living homes are different from residential inpatient treatment centers because they don’t provide formal addiction treatment. Instead, they do provide recovery-focused housing programs to assist residents in their recovery journey. Some examples of such recovery-focused programs include:
- 12-step program participation
- Resident monitoring programs
- Phased recovery programs
- Life skills and relapse prevention education
- Outpatient therapy
In many instances, sober living homes are also members of coalitions and associations that provide quality control and ensure that the well-being of residents is protected, and they experience a safe, healthy, and high-quality program.
What is a 3/4 house?
A ¾ house is a type of recovery residence that is similar to a halfway house or sober living home.1 They are designed to help individuals transition from rehab and into a life of sobriety on their own by providing a stable environment, structured living, and recovery support services that will help them adapt to a substance-free life.
¾ houses are an excellent resource for people who have recently completed a drug and alcohol rehab program but do not want to return to an unstable home environment, do not have a home to return to, or who need some additional support before they can feel comfortable returning to an independent lifestyle.
If you need a stable sober living environment to return to after completing your rehab program, a ¾ house, also referred to as a sober living home or transitional home, may be a great fit for you.
What is a Halfway House?
The definition of a halfway house is somewhat relative. “Halfway house” is a term that is often used interchangeably with the terms ¾ house and sober living house. Halfway houses are defined as an accessible transition between hospitalization and life in the community. The main objective of a sober living halfway house is to promote social support and structure within a sober environment.2
For residents living in a halfway house, recovery programs offered (if any) tend to range in diversity, and while some may focus more on 12-step involvement, others may focus on life skills such as budgeting, maintaining employment, and preparing healthy meals.
Texas halfway house rules will vary and largely depends on the organization running the home. The same is true for halfway houses in other states. If you’re looking for a halfway house in Austin, Eudaimonia Recovery Homes offers several homes and sober living apartments for men, women, and LGBTQ individuals.
How are Sober Living Houses, ¾ Houses, and Halfway Houses Different?
Although the differences between halfway houses, sober living houses, and ¾ houses are often muddled by a lack of intentional language in the substance abuse treatment industry, the National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) has developed a single term to encompass all transitional housing: recovery residence. The NARR has also developed a standard of levels by which these sober residences can be more easily classified.
Recovery Residence Levels
The NARR established the term “recovery residences” to encompass all types of sober living, transitional living, and sober living halfway house models.3 Types of recovery residences are divided into four different levels based on the following criteria4:
The four types of recovery residences, as classified by the NARR are as follows:
Peer-run recovery residences (level one) are democratically run by the residents in the home. The residents of these homes have made a commitment to maintain abstinence from addictive substances and their behaviors are self-monitored. Residents keep each other accountable with drug screenings and house meetings. Therapeutic sessions are also recommended but not required. Peer-run recovery residences are usually single-family homes and the staff is comprised of volunteers.
Monitored recovery residences (level two) are run by a house manager or senior resident and require all residents to adhere to established policies and procedures. These types of residences provide structure and accountability with drug screenings, house rules, house meetings, peer group sessions, and involvement in recovery treatment services. Monitored recovery residences are typically single-family homes but may also be apartment complexes or similar community environments.
Supervised recovery residences (level three) are managed with an organizational hierarchy and follow a strict set of policies and procedures. They are run by a facility manager and certified staff or case managers work with residents one-on-one. Supervised recovery residences are licensed facilities, but the type of license may vary depending on the state. These residences can be residential homes, apartment complexes, or other similar types of living environments. Services at a level three recovery residence emphasize the development of life skills and clinical services from the outside community. House service hours are also provided.
- Service Provider
Service provider recovery residences (level four) incorporate clinical and administrative supervision, a managed organizational hierarchy, and strict policies and procedures within the sober community. Residential services are focused on life skill development and clinical services and programs are provided in-house. Service provider recovery residences are licensed, although the type of license may vary from state to state, and the staff has the appropriate credentials to provide residents with professional recovery services. Level four residences are often part of a continuum of care program that starts with detox and residential inpatient treatment and carries the client through into a structured sober living program.
Benefits of Sober Living Recovery Homes
Sober living recovery homes provide residents with a safe and welcoming environment, protected from the availability of drugs and alcohol. These facilities offer many other benefits:
- They bridge the gap between treatment and everyday life. After leaving inpatient treatment, the road to recovery can be a bit bumpy, and many people experience a slip-up or two while they’re transitioning back to daily life. Sober living homes make the transition easier, giving residents a safe space to navigate the challenges of post-treatment life.
- They provide a positive and supportive social network. Without a strong network of supportive family and friends, your recovery journey can feel quite lonely and isolating. Sober living recovery homes can provide a positive social environment as well as convenient access to 12-step meetings and other support groups. At sober living recovery homes, fellow residents and staffers are always nearby and able to offer support when you need it—a critical advantage during the challenging early days of recovery.
- They offer a structured environment with firm rules. Sober living recovery homes have many policies for residents, which helps facilitate a stable environment for the people who stay there. You’ll never find drugs or alcohol in one of these facilities; in addition, there’s typically a curfew for residents, and everyone is expected to help with everyday chores.
- They reduce the risk of relapse. People who have completed addiction treatment face discouraging odds regarding relapse. Typical relapse rates range between 40 and 60 percent.5 However, sober living recovery homes can help residents lower their risk of relapse, and numerous studies confirm their effectiveness. People who spent time in sober living recovery homes improved their professional and personal outcomes. They were more likely to stay continuously employed, maintain sobriety without interruptions, and avoid legal trouble.6
Important Recovery Support Resources at Sober Living Houses, ¾ Houses, and Halfway Houses
Recovery support services are also an essential part of any transitional housing program. These services support a person’s sobriety by providing a number of benefits that will decrease their likelihood of relapsing and help them become productive individuals at home, at work, and in society.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery support services as services that assist individuals and families who are working toward recovery from mental and/or substance use problems.5 They incorporate a variety of different services that facilitate recovery and wellness while improving the quality of life for people in treatment or who have recently completed a treatment program.
While all sober living and halfway house rules and environments may vary slightly, residents typically receive much more support at a recovery residence than they would at home. This is especially true if family members at home are still abusing drugs and alcohol or they are not supportive of the decision to get sober.
Recovery support services frequently found in ¾ houses or sober living homes include:
- Random drug and alcohol testing
- Peer-guidance and support groups
- Structured living
- Personal monitoring programs
- Employment and education assistance
- Life skills development
- Clinical counseling services
- Family support
If you choose a sober living home that offers recovery support services, such as those offered by Eudaimonia sober living homes in Austin, Texas, you will decrease your risk of relapsing and have the sober living experience you need to feel confident maintaining your sobriety on your own when you’re ready.
Requirements for Residency
At Eudaimonia Recovery Homes, most of our residents have already completed an inpatient or outpatient drug and alcohol rehab program. Although we do not require that you have been sober for any particular amount of time before enrolling, we do require that you are currently sober and not abusing any addictive substances.
As a resident of a sober living home, you must also agree to adhere to the guidelines and regulations of your sober living community and commit to regularly engaging in your recovery programming.
You may continue living in a Eudaimonia recovery home for as long as needed. We can provide varying levels of support to best meet your needs as you progress through your sober living program. If we feel as though you may be ready to live independently on your own, we may recommend a particular course of action to help you transition back home and assist you as you begin to take the necessary steps to achieve that goal.
Sober Living and Halfway House Rules
Sober living and halfway house rules generally are very similar. These most often include:
- Drug and alcohol-free living environment for all residents attempting to abstain from addictive substances
- No formal treatment services but either mandated or strongly encouraged attendance at 12-step self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
- Required compliance with house rules such as maintaining abstinence, paying rent and other fees, participating in house chores and attending house meetings
- Resident responsibility for financing rent and other costs
Eudaimonia Recovery Homes has its own set of community rules and guidelines for residents which were developed to ensure that all residents had access to a welcoming, safe, and accountable environment. Without organized rules and expectations, a sober living home would not be able to maintain a healthy, substance-free environment for staff and residents.
Facts and Stats About Sober Living Transitional Housing
Recovery residences such as ¾ houses play a very important role in promoting long-term addiction recovery. The National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) recently published a report detailing these facts and statistics about them.6
- The exact number of recovery residences in the U.S. is unknown but it is estimated that thousands of recovery homes are in operation across the country and exist in nearly every state.
- Most people who live in recovery residences are currently or have previously been enrolled in addiction treatment and participate in 12-step or similar organizations while living at the transitional home.
- Residing in a ¾ house, sober living house or another type of recovery residence provides a number of benefits, including decreased relapse rates, increased sustained abstinence rates, improvements in overall wellness and social functioning, and high rates of employment.
- The benefits provided by recovery residences extend to a large population, including women, mothers, African Americans, and individuals with co-occurring mental illnesses.
- Research has not shown that recovery residences negatively affect the neighborhood in which they are located. Conversely, some recovery residences may provide benefits to their communities.
How Much Does Sober Living Cost?
The cost of a sober living home or halfway house can vary greatly depending on a few different factors:
- Type of recovery program
- Recovery support services offered
Generally speaking, sober living residents usually have roommates and share living spaces with other people in recovery, so the cost of living is typically much lower than renting an apartment or house on your own. Additionally, things like furniture, kitchen appliances, washer and dryer, and Wi-Fi are provided for residents so there is no additional cost.
For instance, we have seven different room options for residents at our men’s sober living apartment complex in Austin.
- 8 residents
- 1,200 square-foot apartment
- Two bedrooms
- Two bathrooms
- 3 male residents
- One-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment
- One single bed, one bunk bed
- Two-story unit
- Gorgeous living, dining, and kitchen area
- Spacious bedroom
- Adjoining bathroom
- 2 male residents per room
- One-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment
- Or two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment
- Modern living, dining, and kitchen areas
- 2 male residents
- Designed for residents with pets
- One-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment
- Secluded area with a dog park
- Reserved for clients sober for less than 30 days
- Or clients returning after a recent relapse
- Onsite community manager
- Support staff available 24/7
- 1 resident
- One-bedroom apartment
- Private bedroom
How to Choose a ¾ House, Sober Living Home, or Halfway House
When choosing a ¾ house or sober living home to continue your recovery journey, there are a few important things you should consider.
- Safety – A high-quality transitional living program should prioritize your safety at all times. You should look for transitional programs that provide on-site staff, house managers, experienced program coordinators, and community rules that are consistently enforced.
- Structure – A great transitional living program will provide organized recovery programming for its residents, maintain accountability at all times, require sobriety check-ins or drug and alcohol testing, and provide scheduled daily routines for its residents.
- Support – Recovery residences should provide recovery support on a group and an individual level. You should have access to a support circle that encompasses your sober coach, sponsor, counselor, peers, and family members. Transitional living programs should also encourage or require your involvement in 12-step groups or similar support organizations.
- Location – A great recovery residence is located in a city or town with abundant opportunities for employment and education. It should also be located in a safe, well-populated area where you can have sober fun, meet other individuals in recovery, and develop and grow on a personal level.
If you’re having trouble finding a reputable ¾ home or transitional living program, ask your addiction treatment provider for recommendations. They should be able to help you find a transitional living program that meets your needs and may even be able to help you enroll.
A Personal Experience With Sober Living
“My personal experience as a resident in sober living spanned over 9 months. After my stay at a 90-day drug rehab facility, the counselors recommended that I move into a sober living house in Austin, Texas. They explained to me that entering the continuing care program after leaving would help me stay sober, and I really wanted to be sober so I did it.
I filled out an application for sober homes in Austin, TX and was one step closer to living back in the real world. I knew that going right back into my old life after a drug rehab program clearly seemed more dangerous than transitioning into a controlled sober living environment.
I packed my bags, loaded them into one of the infamous white rehab vans, and was transported to an office in north Austin. There I was greeted with smiles and open arms, the staff asked me how I was doing and I remember feeling nervous. I was soon transported to the sober house that I would be calling home for the next nine months.
I was greeted at the door by the house manager who was in charge of my recovery services, who explained what was expected of me during my stay and showed me to my room. The house was full of other people that were just like me, drug addicts who were seeking recovery and a new life. There, I made friendships that have lasted to this day.
I know that moving into a sober living environment early in sobriety played a pivotal role in my recovery. The sober home in Austin, TX was amazing! It was located very close to the city, so job opportunities were right outside my front door. I was employed quickly and maintained my recovery while learning how to balance my new sobriety with my new career.”
What Do Eudaimonia Recovery Homes Offer?
Instead of the terms “halfway house” or “sober living halfway house,” we use terms like sober living homes and transitional housing to refer to our services at Eudaimonia Recovery Homes. The services we provide include:
- Safe, substance-free homes and apartments (gender-specific)
- Alcohol and drug testing program
- Community rules and expectations
- Recovery support programs
- Intensive outpatient program
- Individual therapy
We are affiliated with and/or recognized by the following professional organizations:
- NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals
- National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers
- Texas Department of State Health Services
- National Alliance for Recovery Residences
- Texas Recovery Oriented Housing Network
- Texas Association of Addiction Professionals
Finding a halfway house in Austin that provides the recovery support and drug-free environment you need to thrive is easier than you might think. Our sober living homes offer an all-encompassing care program that addresses the many challenges and needs of those in early recovery from addiction.
If you’d like to learn more about what we offer, please call (512) 363-5914 to speak with an admissions representative. We can help you determine if a Eudaimonia sober living home is the right choice for you.