The differences between sober livings, recovery homes and halfway or 3/4 houses

Many people complete a residential addiction treatment program and then wonder what their next step is. With all the information on the internet, it can be confusing whether to look for a sober living home, a recovery house, a halfway house, or…. Are they all the same or different?

The concept of transitional housing post rehab has taken on various names. In example, the term “halfway house” has come to mean different things in different parts of the country – for instance in the East Coast, a halfway house can be a structured residential treatment center, whereas in Florida, for instance, it’s more of a transitional residence following treatment, which is more commonly referred to as a “sober living home.”

The term halfway house can be associated with some stigma. In California and other parts of the West Coast, many people will associate the term halfway house as a place for hardened criminals on parole, or something of the sort.

The term “recovery housing or recovery home” can mean the same as the term “sober living,” referring to safe, substance-free living environments with varied levels of structure. Then again, here in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, such as at Progressive Living, a recovery home is also a high structure sober residence that also provides licensed addiction treatment during the days, which is also referred to as PHP treatment.

While recovery residences, sober livings and halfway houses vary widely in structure, all are centered on peer support and a connection to services that promote long-term recovery from drug & alcohol addictions.

The best bet is to find a location you wish to live in and then research what is available in that area.

Some of the questions you may wish to ask are:
• Does your facility offer random drug and alcohol testing?
• Does your facility mandate attendance at 12 step meetings?
• How may people reside in the household?
• Is there a manager who lives on site?

Many drug and alcohol addicts will seek out the least amount of structure possible which will enable them to do what they want. This is not the best scenario for addicts in recovery, especially new ones, as addicts seem to strive best in a structured environment surrounded by other like-minded individuals.

One big thing to keep in mind is that a number of states have organizations that, in a sense, act as an oversight body for that state or region. That is, they present a list of standards that must be met in order to be listed on their website. Each operates under the NARR (National Association of Recovery Residences) umbrella. For instance, in Florida it’s FARR. In California (from Ventura County south) there is The Southern California Sober Living Coalition, and within it there a smaller chapters broken down by county. In this are we have the Sober Living Association of Pennsylvania.

Do your research, ask questions, visit prospective places, talk to current residents, and always remember that recovery must be #1 in the person’s life.


Progressive Living operates a network of sober living homes and addiction recovery houses throughout Pennsylvania, including; Levittown, Bristol and Morrissville (Bucks County), PA as well as a sober living apartment complex in Ewing, New Jersey — view our locations. Our recovery residences range from medium to higher structure and are available for men and women ages 18 and up that are new in their sobriety from drug or alcohol addiction. Reach us 7 days a week at: (215) 584-0340 or


Progressive Living | An affordable and effective way to change your life TODAY!


Locations in Bucks County, PA and Ewing, NJ

(215) 584-0340



Progressive Living provides structured sober living homes and addiction recovery housing. Our focus is on helping men & women new in sobriety to re-acclimate into life in a manner that is conducive to living as a proactively sober individual. It is often the case that a client at any of our recovery residences will take part in outpatient treatment during their initial stay here. If requested, we are happy to provide clients with information on local outpatient rehab providers based on prior experience and their overall reputation. Information provided however, is not an endorsement nor based on any clinical matter or assessment.

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