Is Sober Living an Alternative to Jail?

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Depending on the situation there are alternatives to jail. Residing in a halfway house (a state funded sober living facility) for example, may be included in an individual’s sentence in the judicial system in lieu of serving additional jailtime. Although sober living homes and halfway houses are similar in that they are both considered transitional residential facilities, they have many differences. A sober living facility is a group home that offers individuals additional support by providing a drug and alcohol-free environment to continue to practice implementing the lesson learned in treatment. Sober living homes each hold distinct characteristics, are in different geographical areas, offer a variety of wide-ranging amenities, and many specialize in accommodating individual’s nuanced needs. Sober living facilities are not government-sponsored programs. Rather, most sober living facilities are privately owned, and as such will have a distinct set of house rules and regulations as well as corresponding consequences for violations. Unlike halfway home, most sober living facilities do not have time restrictions regarding how long a resident is able to stay.

Halfway Homes

Akin to sober living facilities, halfway houses offer a strictly substance-free environment. Halfway homes are used not only for individuals recovering from substance abuse and/ or addiction, but also as transitional homes for individuals exiting and in some cases in place of incarceration. Most halfway homes impose a time limit for resident’s stay, and many do not allow individuals to reside in the home longer than ninety days (unless a longer duration is mandated by the courts). Halfway houses are often more populated and offer fewer amenities. Halfway houses often involve minimal financial responsibility, and in some cases is zero cost, to the resident. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the length of time an individual spends in substance abuse treatment, including halfway homes, can directly increase her outcome in recovery. The purpose of a halfway house is to help residents take the necessary preparatory steps to fully reintegrate into society and further strengthen a foundation of recovery to enable prolonged and sustained sobriety.  

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-318-3777. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at

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