Halfway House

A halfway house is a therapeutic community to help with recovery after primary treatment (the inpatient, residential, or outpatient program where the individual gets started on recovery). A halfway house is sometimes called a secondary treatment program or extended treatment.

Exteneed treatment

A quarter-way house, sometimes called extended treatment, is close to the structure of primary treatment. Usually residents are in full-time treatment and cannot work during the day.

Halfway House

A true halfway house is about midway between the intensity of primary treatment and the “real world” following treatment. Often residents work during the day and have some group therapy and other therapeutic activities in the evenings, but not necessarily every evening of the week.

Therapeutic Community

A three-quarter-way house, sometimes simply called a therapeutic community, is closer to ordinary living. The residents can usually work, have more freedom, and have little or no professional counseling.

When Needed

Halfway houses are excellent follow-up treatment for those who have significant obstacles for recovery after a primary care program. These obstacles may include inadequate family support, difficult job or social situation, youth, physical handicaps, poor response to previous treatment, or other factors that make recovery difficult in the everyday world.

Most programs range from about three months to over a year, depending on the individual’s needs. Often there is no set length of stay.

It is not difficult to find chemical dependency or even mental illness halfway houses. Unfortunately, halfway houses that specialize in other addictions are far less common. Contact a reputable private practice counselor or primary treatment program for a referral.


Halfway house, see also: Aftercare, Anorexia nervosa, Core functions, Counseling, Dual diagnosis, Employee assistance programs, Half-measures, Impaired professionals, Incest, Intervention, Priorities, Progression, Psychological problems, Relapse prevention, Responsibility, Therapy & treatment, Trust.

Updated 12 Sep 2015

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