Close this search box.
Livingstone House Building

What’s the difference between rehab and a halfway house?

There are different stages to everyone’s rehabilitation journey. And everyone’s experience looks different. But, there are some standard facilities available to help people on their road to recovery that are helpful to understand so that you, or a loved one, can make informed decisions about the best place to seek support. 

Residential rehabilitation is the professional name given to a facility that most of us call ‘rehab’. It describes a drug and/or alcohol treatment facility where people take part in a residential programme. 

Next, is the option of a halfway house – also known as dry houses in the UK. Halfway houses are transitional residential places for people recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. 

What is rehab?

Residential rehabilitation provides an intense programme of support and care. It is for people who have difficulty becoming drug or alcohol free. 

Who needs to go to rehab?

Some people try to quit alcohol or drugs on their own. But, it is very difficult to break an addiction without professional help. 

To break an addiction for good, a structured alcohol or drug rehabilitation programme is the necessary first step for permanent recovery. 

When is enough, enough? 

You might want to look for a rehabilitation programme if you see any of the following signs in your life, or in the life of a loved one: 

  • You’ve tried to stop drinking or using and haven’t been able to stop 
  • Your use of alcohol or drugs is affecting your physical and mental health
  • You choose alcohol or drugs over other things in your life, like family, work and friendships
  • You need to take a higher dose, or drink a lot more, to feel the effects you want to feel

If you are concerned about someone you know who may be showing signs of addiction or may be in need of urgent help, please get in touch for help.

Stages of rehab

Stage 1 – is usually a rehab programme. These programmes can vary in length. There’s a short-stay rehab programme of up to 12 weeks, which focuses on intensive interventions, one-to-one therapy and the immediate side-effects of becoming alcohol or drug free. 

Stage 2 – is the later stages of a longer stay programme. At stage two the focus is on things like learning life skills, further education and employment options. 

Stage 3 – offered by some facilities and organisations is a halfway house… 

What is a halfway house?

A halfway house is supportive housing for people trying to end addictions to drugs or alcohol. 

The house is still residential, like rehabilitation facilities, but the people who stay in the house have more freedom than in rehab. It is still a controlled environment designed to help you recover, stay sober and grow in confidence and skills to resume your life. 

Dry housing is different to rehab in some key ways:  

  • Residents stay alone at night in the house
  • Residents have their own key to come and go during the day
  • It is possible for residents to attend education classes or volunteer outside of the premises
  • Residents usually have their own room in a halfway house

Who needs to stay in a halfway house?

A halfway house is most useful for people who have been trapped in addiction for a long time, or do not have a secure home to return to following rehab. 

Other people need more time to readjust to life before they leave rehab. They need to learn new skills and habits to make sure they can make the most out of relationships, work and family. 

How long can I live in a halfway house?

The amount of time people stay at a halfway house is different for everyone. Most stays are between three and twelve months. This is enough time to develop life skills, form good and healthy habits, and to feel confident in your future sobriety. 

Benefits of halfway houses

A halfway house gives you people time to transition, while providing a reliable support system of sober friends to journey together. 

  • Structure & Routine: the daily routine at a halfway house isn’t as rigid as a rehabilitation schedule, but it provides structure for people to form good habits and know what to expect.
  • Support & Community: Living with other people who have similar goals to you will help you stick to your sobriety. At Livingstone House you’ll work together and create a community based on trust and respect.
  • Cost: Typically dry houses aren’t as expensive as rehab facilities.

How much does staying in a rehabilitation centre or halfway house cost?

You can expect to spend around the same amount of money you’d spend on rent for an average apartment.

Don’t let cost be something that puts you off finding a rehab or halfway house facility. There are public funded and private options to help with costs: 

  • Insurance
  • Scholarships and grants 
  • Payment plans with rehab and halfway house living facility
  • Housing benefits – in some instances

Get in touch to find out more about the costs of rehabilitation and halfway house facilities at Livingstone House

How do I find halfway houses near me? 

There are a few different ways to find a halfway house that’s right for you, or for your loved one: 

  • Talk to your doctor or therapist and ask them for recommendations. 
  • If you attend a 12-step programme you can ask people in your group if they have recommendations. 
  • Google search to find halfway houses in your area.

Read about Livingstone House’s residential facilities in Birmingham. You can see photos of all of our residential facilities and learn more about our programmes. 

Are you ready to commit to sobriety? 

If you are looking for rehab in Birmingham, get in touch today. See if Livingstone House’s facilities are the place for you to take steps to sobriety – making the most of relationships, career, education and life.

Scroll to Top

Receive a free call back from us

If you would like more information or advice, please fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

I need help now

If you or someone you care about needs urgent help now, you can:
Call your GP and ask for an emergency appointment
Call NHS 111
Contact your mental health crisis team (if you have one)
Call Samaritans free on 116 123 or email
If you are in a life threatening situation right now please call 999