What Exactly is a Halfway House?

Residing in a halfway house or sober living home is a strongly recommended component of an earnest recovery program. For those attempting sobriety for the first time, you have likely heard terms such as halfway house, three quarter house, and sober living in conversation with others at your treatment center. However, you may still be unclear as to what these residences consist of, and the differences between them. Here is a brief overview of the more common types of residences designed for those in early sobriety.

The most common residence recommended for those departing from inpatient treatment is a halfway house. A halfway house is a structured, sober environment in which those in early recovery have the necessary accountability and support to grow in their sobriety. A quality halfway house will hold weekly meetings on-site for its residents, attendance at which is mandatory. Regular drug screenings are performed by the house manager, some of whom live on site while others make random house visits throughout the week to check up on residents. The goal of a halfway house is to provide enough structure for clients so the transition from inpatient treatment to halfway house is not overly jarring, facilitating the formation of a routine in order to avoid a glut of unscheduled free time which is dangerous in early sobriety.

The next step down in terms of structured recovery residences is known as a three quarter house. A three quarter house is designed to provide a safe, sober environment with more freedom for residents than is available in a halfway house. While regular drug testing and a curfew are still components of a three quarter house, there is little structure beyond those rules, leaving residents free to pursue their own interests and broaden their recovery foundation. A three quarter house is an excellent option for those looking to depart from halfway house living while retaining some accountability and structure.

Sober living is a fluid term often encompassing any residence which is designed to provide a safe, sober environment. The only consistency among all residences which fall under the term sober living is a requirement for residents to maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol, a rule which is enforced via random drug testing. A residence described merely as “sober living” is fine for those with a well-formed recovery routine and some sober time under their belt, but should be avoided by those early in their recovery coming from inpatient treatment.

Finding and securing safe, sober housing is an important part of your discharge plan from inpatient treatment. At Evolutions, we understand how this step is a major contribution to securing your sobriety. This is why we have established a licenced and accredited transitional living facility, eliminating this anxiety inducing decision from the equation for those who choose to stay within the Evolutions continuum of care. If you are in need of quality, structured sober living, call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 and inquire about availability at our transitional living facilities!


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visit www.evolutionstreatment.com