Do’s & Don’ts of a Halfway House

While all transitional living houses have individual rules, the main thing residents must do is not drink or use drugs and go to meetings of either AA or NA that are likely near the house. The more meetings you can go to the better. Be on the look out at meetings for people who you can relate to. If someone shares something you particularly like, make a point to say hello to them after the meeting. Be upfront and tell them where you are staying and indicate to them that you’d like to go have a coffee with them sometime. Focus on those who have a year or two or more of sobriety or clean time.

There is an old saying “stick with the winners.” If someone has 10 or 15 years of clean or sober time, they are doing something right. You’ll likely encounter people with as much as 25 or more years of continuous sobriety or clean time at meetings outside the house. Their experience, knowledge, and understanding of how to be successful in the program are yours for the asking. It is the inherent nature of an alcoholic or addict to want to help another alcoholic or addict. You receive not, because you ask not.

Location, location, location.

These are the only things you need to know about real estate. Make sure the house is located so that you can easily get to meetings of either AA or NA. It is unlawful to discriminate in housing. The Supreme Court has ruled that recovering alcoholics and drug addicts are a protected class under the handicapped provisions of the Federal Fair Housing Act Amendments of 1988. If you seek a house in a good neighborhood, you’ll find it.

Most houses have random alcohol and drug tests and will expel those who cannot pass. If the house you are considering doesn’t have such a policy, look elsewhere. It is also very important to not be disruptive and to pay what you have agreed to. In recovery, we are self-supporting. Be certain that you are clear on what is expected from you. Understand what cleaning chores are yours and always make sure to make your bed and keep things tidy. Some houses have curfews.

Choose a house near public transportation if you don’t have access to a car.