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How Long Should You Stay in a Halfway House?

answered 10:18 AM EST, Fri March 29, 2013
anonymous anonymous
How long should a recovering alcoholic stay in a halfway house after rehab? She is a girl who is 25 who fell in with a partying crowd when she left home at 18 and things got way out of control for her. This was her first stay in rehab.

Anna Deeds Says...

Anna Deeds A. Deeds
MSED, NCC, LPC

Thank you for your question. First, I'd recommend speaking with the staff at the halfway house. If this is your daughter or another family member that you are asking about, they may be able to meet with you to discuss her length of stay, providing she signs consents for the staff to speak with you. The staff at any drug and alcohol facility is not allowed to speak about the client without the client's consent. The reason I suggest this is because every alcoholic is different and may need different lengths of treatment.

How long a person needs to stay in a halfway house is less about a certain time frame and more about the person meeting certain goals before leaving. For example, it's important that an alcoholic understand the importance of support and begin developing a support network. Other goals in a halfway house may be rebuilding self-esteem, learning about recovery, learning how to live substance free, developing coping skills, learning daily living skills, being financially responsible, having a plan for education (getting a GED, going to college or trade school), finding housing, etc. It is important that she meet her goals before leaving the halfway house.

I hope this helps you understand why the length of stay at a halfway house varies per person. It's important to realize that the problems created by the alcoholism took a long time to develop and may take awhile to undo. I believe a person should stay long enough to develop life skills and meet important goals but not so long that they become dependent on living in a safe environment. A recovering alcoholic needs to become independent from treatment while continuing to rely on support systems.

I wish you and the recovering addict who you wrote about the best of luck.

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Page last updated Mar 29, 2013

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