Will I Meet Bad Influences at a Halfway House?

Recovering from drugs and alcohol is often a life-long process. While this does not mean that you have to struggle with intense cravings or withdrawal symptoms on a daily or weekly basis, it does mean that staying clean and sober takes maintenance. During inpatient centers with intensive therapy and 24-hour support, alcohol and drug issues can seem under control. Once you have left rehab or an inpatient facility, recovery may seem riskier.

What Is A Halfway House?

Living in a halfway house can symbolize living in transition. While not all halfway houses are the same, they are generally meant for those who have just left an inpatient facility, but are not yet completely independent. Halfway houses serve as an in-between station where less intensive help for substance abuse is available and more support is devoted to residents wishing to transition into a work/home life.

Depending on the halfway house, people from all walks of life can enter. Those who have struggled with alcohol or various other substances may arrive at a halfway house from treatment centers, jails or homelessness. To remain a safe and substance-free household, most houses will require drug screening tests.

What Does “Bad Influence” Mean?

A bad influence simply means there is a person or a way of life that is triggering substance abuse cravings. There can be a variety of bad influences both inside and outside the recovery community. Just as there are bad influences, there are good influences as well.

Common examples of bad influences include:
-People who are still using substances
-People who enjoy partying or visiting old places you associate with substance abuse
-Certain types of music that may trigger substance abuse memories
-Places where substances are available

Not all bad influences can be eliminated from one’s life. Even going to work and living at home can provide uncomfortable situations that may not be avoidable. This is true even in a place that is designated for substance abuse recovery. Since nobody can control everybody around them, a halfway house can teach individuals how to control their cravings when a bad influence is affecting them.

Do Halfway Houses Work?

Halfway houses create a safe shelter for many types of people. Since anyone, regardless of income, gender or ethnicity can become addicted to substances, the population may at first seem unusual. This can be very beneficial in recovery.

Once leaving a recovery center, many people find their old environments to be unrealistic for recovery. One of the reasons for this has to do with the society and culture created around an individual’s substance abuse. Old friends or roommates can often tempt those in recovery without trying to cause a relapse. Regardless of intention, bad influences do not have to come from “bad people”.

Living in a halfway house is an exercise in preparation. Because there are regulations that must be followed in most halfway houses, the freedom to relapse is less likely. This is often very helpful when learning how to live without a full-time support team. However, the responsibility of staying clean and sober is still placed on the individual.

If there are people or places that you know are triggering or may threaten your recovery, it is necessary to take the proper precautions. Alerting staff, attending a group or finding recovery literature can sometimes alleviate the discomfort of a bad influence. If a situation can’t be avoided, finding the right support to guide you through this circumstance is usually a successful coping mechanism. The recovery community can be a very strong and secure network regardless of where you are.


Substance abuse is a strong and powerful issue for people living all over the world. Trying to get clean and sober without a proper support network is usually quite difficult for those who have been using substances. It takes less time than some may think to become addicted to substances. Once the right kind of treatment is underway, nagging thoughts, cravings and substance abuse can finally end.

For most people, the process of going to a treatment center and staying clean and sober, is not a two step process. Recovery from substance abuse usually takes many different types of support. When exiting an inpatient program, life can feel uncertain and unsafe for many individuals who have struggled with substance abuse issues. Transitioning into a fully independent life may take time.

For more information on substance abuse and recovery, our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 844-639-8371 for help recovering from drugs and alcohol abuse.

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