Sober Living Residence vs. Recovery Home vs. Halfway House
They go by many names here in Clark County, NV : “sober living homes, halfway houses, addiction recovery housing, etc”…what’s the difference between them?
Are all addiction recovery houses the same?
Whether you live here in the Las Vegas or greater Clark County, Nevada region or elsewhere around the nation, you’ve heard them being referred as; sober living homes, addiction recovery houses or even halfway or 3/4 houses. We are commonly asked what the difference between them is, and whether or not they can be utilized as an affordable alternative to an inpatient drug rehab program.
The first thing to understand is that the term used can be based on region. For instance, here in Las Vegas or Nevada in general, and even throughout the west coast in fact, the terms sober living or transitional housing are more commonly used than recovery home or halfway house. While west coast people might associate the phrase halfway house as a transitional residence for criminals on parole, further east it can actually refer to a licensed treatment program. Interestingly, the term can even vary within a state. For instance, up in the San Francisco Bay Area the term “SLE” (sober living environment) is quite common, yet down in Los Angeles or San Diego they’ll likely have no idea what you’re talking about.
As for here in Nevada, specifically the Las Vegas – Henderson area, the terminology generally goes along with the west coast jargon. Then as you make your way through the mid west and southern states you will tend to hear less sober living talk and more references to recovery homes, transitional housing and halfway & 3/4 homes. It seems, however, that when using recovery home often it can be an actual treatment program or a residence that is tied to a treatment program and provides housing for the clients. This is referred to as PHP and it can offer a very affordable alternative to traditional inpatient-residential drug treatment.
Sober Living Homes
* The descriptions and definitions on this page are based on personal experiences, however, different terms are used by different people in various parts of the country. What may mean one thing to this person will often times mean something different to that person. The point is, nothing here is written in stone and you should always ask questions. Be inquisitive and don’t settle! After all, this is your recovery and your life we’re talking about…
A closer look at Las Vegas sober living homes
Clark County, NV has seen rapid growth in sober living housing over recent years. Many of these residences are considered to be low-cost or economy homes, at times charging as little as $100 per week or $400 per month. These sober livings are generally known for having 4 or even 6 people per room in bunkbed style, as well as low structure and a somewhat rundown environment. This isn’t to say that people don’t get sober and/or remain sober while living there, but probably a lower percentage as compared to recovery residences providing greater structure, at least that’s our experience as well as the experiences of others we know in recovery from drug & alcohol addiction.
A few basic must-haves (if the sober living home doesn’t at least have these basic elements we would suggest not living there)
- A sober and trustworthy on-site manager present, at least from evening through the morning
- Random drug & alcohol screening
- Actual enforcement of primary rules, i.e., no violence, no drink or drugs, no theft, etc.
- A clean environment
- Some level of recovery encouragement such as, in-house AA meeting, mandatory outside meetings, etc.
As you make your way into Las Vegas’ higher-income areas, including Henderson, the sober living home environments change for the better. Such areas would include; Summerlin, Paradise, Spring Valley, and several others. It is generally throughout these types of towns & neighborhoods that we see the more upscale and high-end recovery residences. These types are different in several ways. The residences as well as furnishings and amenities will range from nice to luxurious. These are almost always higher structure than the economy-type sober livings, as well as in many cases offering ancillary services, such as: court/probation documentation, life & recovery coaching, transportation services, clinical services through an outside network (therapy, outpatient treatment, medication mgmt and so on).