Education on the benefits of a Recovery House in early sobriety.

The Recovery House: A Vital Link in The Continuum of Care.

With all of the recent, compelling evidence supporting a full "continuum of care" - that is to say longer and more comprehensive periods of time engaged in drug & alcohol treatment and recovery support programs - addicted individuals, and their loved ones, find themselves faced with a variety of options when looking for a Recovery House, Halfway House, or other Sober Living services.

But many don't know exactly what they should be looking for... or where to find it.

So What Is a Recovery House?

A Recovery House is a group home for people recovering from alcoholism and addiction issues. Recovery Houses often serve as vital complements to continuing care programs – like Partial Hospitalization and Day Treatment Programs (PHP), Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), or Individual Addiction Counseling Services, etc. – and are, for many, essential to establishing a healthy, sustainable foundation in sobriety.

Sober Living programs are part of the “second step” in the treatment and recovery process. Individuals usually complete a traditional “28-day” program, which includes a period of detoxification followed by 3 or 4 weeks of close supervision, stabilization, and structured therapeutic supports. Or put simply: Rehab… which is the first major step.

Strong clinical and scientific evidence, however, continues to support the “Continuum of Care” theory, which proposes that people in the very early phases of recovery benefit (usually to a life-saving degree) from extended episodes of treatment lasting considerably longer than an initial rehab stay – sometimes 3 to 6 months longer.

That's Where the Recovery House Comes In

The best-case scenario is that clients follow through on five core “levels of care”:

  1. Detoxification & Stabilization
  2. Sub-Acute Rehabilitation
  3. Partial Hospitalization
  4. Intensive Outpatient
  5. General (or traditional) Outpatient Counseling

But in the latter three levels of care, clients aren’t housed on-site at their facility once the “treatment day” has ended. Instead they’re given the option to “return home” - which evidence strongly indicates is the less-desirable option - or else they participate in a Sober Living or Transitional Housing program, usually a Recovery House.

From Getting Sober, to Living Sober

Residents in a Recovery House are given guidance, structure and support to help them learn to “Live Sober”. They’re given real life experience (finding and maintaining employment, participating in recovery support programs and 12-step fellowships, etc.), as well as held accountable to identified standards and guidelines (curfews, drug testing, time-management, communication, household chores, weekly community and house meetings, etc.).

In essence, Sober Living is all about the dimensions of life as a sober individual that you just can’t learn in treatment. They’re lessons learned and challenges overcome in living, itself. The true advantage of a Recovery House is the structure and guidance of professionals invested in your future as a person in long-term recovery, as well as the community and support of peers who are “on your level” – people marching toward the same future. A fellowship, in fact, which is the cornerstone of almost every successful recovery experience.


The Nicholas House offers transitional sober living in York PA & Lancaster PA – two of South Central Pennsylvania’s most active recovery communities. If you or your loved one are in need of a Lancaster or York PA Recovery House, or you just need someone to talk to about what the next step is for your recovery, call us at (717) 224 7898 or send us a message at admissions@thenicholashouse.com.