Sober Living and Halfway Houses in Texas
What Are Sober Living Homes?
Sober living homes are drug- and alcohol-free living environments that promote recovery.1 Varying in size, structure, and target population, sober living facilities are particularly helpful for those transitioning out of drug and/or alcohol treatment, as familiar people and environments may actually act as stressors that can hinder recovery efforts.2
During this transition time, a sober living home may provide enough time and space void of these triggers to support ongoing recovery.3 Although each Texas sober living home is unique in terms of procedures, number of residents, costs, payment options, and more, all sober living homes promote peer connections, support groups, and recovery support services.4
In fact, according to one study involving sober living homes, residents showed significant improvements regarding factors such as drug and alcohol use, 6-month abstinence rates, psychiatric symptoms, arrests, and employment. Plus, residents maintained these improvements through the study’s 18-month follow-up, even though most participants had left their facilities by that time.1
In terms of services and staff, the National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) categorizes sober living environments as Level 2 facilities. As such, there may be a resident house manager on site, but professional counselors and addiction professionals rarely live within the home. Recovery support usually comprises peer groups, outside mutual support groups, and referrals to recovery and clinical services.4
Meanwhile, residents follow a few rules, such as paying rent and house-related fees, maintaining abstinence, completing house chores, etc. And although those in recovery can live in many Texas sober homes indefinitely, the goal of sober living facilities is to transition to an independent drug- and alcohol-free life.5 That said, to best aid recovery efforts, the National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends staying in a sober home for at least 90 days.6
Are Sober Living Homes the Same as Texas Halfway Houses?
In a word, no. The terms “sober living home” and “halfway house” are not interchangeable in most states. But in Texas, the disparity is even more significant.
Throughout the U.S., sober living homes fall under the headers of recovery residences and/or therapeutic communities.1,7 Other facilities under these same headers usually include halfway houses and Oxford Houses, both of which are slightly different than sober living environments in terms of rules, length of stay, payment, funding, and more.
In many states a halfway house serves those transitioning out of both treatment and incarceration. However, halfway houses in Texas only serve former inmates transitioning from incarceration to parole.8
Additionally, regardless of whether they serve parolees or those seeking sobriety—or both—halfway houses are often funded by the government. Sober living homes, however, are typically paid for by the residents. That is, sober homes are rarely covered by insurance and are usually not state-sponsored.9
Sober Living Homes in Texas
According to FindTreatment.gov, which is provided by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Texas has 17 properties that act as sober homes, halfway houses, and/or transitional housing. The site defines these homes as drug- and alcohol-free housing designed to facilitate the transition from treatment to independent living for those recovering from substance use disorders.10
Texas also offers recovery communities that are specific to college students. The Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) represents Collegiate Recovery Programs (CRPs) and Collegiate Recovery Communities (CRCs). Both options help college students find the support they need to maintain their recovery while excelling in their studies.11
American Addiction Centers offers a sober living home—Resolutions Arlington—in a Dallas/Fort-Worth suburb. Associated with our Greenhouse Treatment Center, Resolutions Arlington provides the balance of structure and independence necessary to transition from treatment to independent living. Plus, given its connection to the Greenhouse Treatment Center, Resolutions Arlington can offer those in recovery a smooth and cohesive shift from inpatient care to sober living.
Texas Sober Living Laws and Regulations
Texas sober living homes must maintain compliance with the Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, sober living homes and similar facilities must meet the demands of various Texas Administrative Codes, some of which stipulate that the facilities must:12
- Obtain a certificate of occupancy from the local authority detailing current use as a sober living facility.
- Offer a property that’s structurally sound, clean, free from hazards, and in good condition.
- Ensure that the house is safe, clean, and well-lit.
- Provide enough space, furniture, and supplies for the residents.
- Offer space suitable for private conversations and group sessions.
- Restrict smoking inside the house during structured activities.
- Ban firearms, weapons, alcohol, illegal drugs, violence, and illegal activities.
- Ensure any pets are vaccinated and supervised.
In addition to the state laws and regulations for sober living homes in Texas, NARR has its own quality standards. And as a member of NAAR, the Texas Recovery-Oriented Housing Network (TROHN) offers standards for sober living homes in Texas. Registering as a sober living home in the TROHN network requires that facilities adhere to the following guidelines and more.13
- Establish and abide by a mission and vision focused on recovery.
- Adhere to legal and ethical codes.
- Maintain financially honest and forthright operations.
- Collect data to continue to improve.
- Operate with prudence within the local and national laws.
- Communicate residents’ rights and requirements clearly and immediately.
- Promote peer advocacy and social-based recovery.
- Support housing choice by the resident.
- Protect residents’ privacy in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
- Provide staff and peer governance.
- Promote health, primarily through sobriety.
- Offer a physically, emotionally, mentally, culturally, and socially safe and competent environment.
- Inspire purpose in residents and cultivate community.
How to Find Sober Living in Texas
Texas offers a host of sober living options scattered throughout the state. The following sites can aid your search for facilities:
Since sober living typically follows addiction treatment, your treatment center may also be able to refer you to a Texas sober living home near you. For example our Greenhouse Treatment Center might refer you to Greenhouse Resolutions and to a host of additional Texas sober living options. Other referral sources can include the criminal justice system, a mental health professional, Twelve-Step meeting participants, and more.
Although an Oxford House isn’t the same as a sober living home, there are similarities that can support the transition to independent living. Thus, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission partners with Oxford House Inc. to provide recovery residences and group homes across Texas.14 Search Oxford House options at OxfordHouse.org.
If you or a loved one needs addiction treatment or recovery housing in Texas and elsewhere, American Addiction Centers (AAC) can help. Contact our confidential admissions navigators at . They can answer your questions, explain your options, and help you find treatment and recovery options that are right for your unique situation.