As you approach the end of your addiction treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, you will undoubtedly begin preparing for your transition back into “normal” life. For many people this is a frightening concept because it means leaving the structured, simple environment of supervised care. Others just feel like they want a little more help mastering the tools and skills that they learned. In either case, you might want to start asking yourself what are some of the rules and regulations a halfway house must follow, and consider moving into this kind of transitional residence. Halfway houses offer similar treatment options to the ones that you are used to, and they provide just enough supervision that you will keep yourself in check. More importantly, you will have the freedom to test your new skills on your own, while knowing that you have supportive, experienced people waiting for you at home to help you learn from your new mistakes and successes.
You are probably already emotionally prepared to accept the rules of a halfway or sober home. They aren’t ridiculously strict; in fact, they are pretty much everything you would expect them to be. Of course, you will be asked to follow a reasonable curfew as well as drug and alcohol testing. As a member of the house you will take on chores that rotate among roommates. Obviously, you will also have to consistently attend 12-step meetings either in-house or locally as well as obtain a sponsor and gather contact information on other attendees who you can lean on for support. Finally, the most important requirement is one-hundred percent abstinence from the use of substances. These rules are very basic and just restrictive enough to keep you from relapsing out of bad habits you formed while you were using.
Some houses might also require that you pay rent. Since not all recovering addicts can get a job right away, or are even able to hold down a job long enough to receive a consistent income, this is something that can sometimes be negotiated. Regardless of how the house is maintained learning the rules is expected and you must adhere to them. This is also another skill or technique that you need for many of the things you will do outside of the facility. At a job, you will need to learn how to follow their rules and regulations, even if you do not particularly enjoy them. You may also attend school at a local university extension or even a major campus, within which you will also have to follow their particular guidelines for behavior. While rules are not always pleasant or easy to follow, they are a large part of civilized life. After all, the first rule you must follow on the road to recovery is the one you make for yourself: complete abstinence from drugs or alcohol.