The Risks of Not Attending Sober Living

risks of not attending sober livingThe decision whether or not to attend a sober living program or move into a sober living home after drug addiction treatment can be difficult. There are a number of pros and cons to each choice. Those who just want to go home may de-emphasize the issues that can arise if they try to leave a safe recovery environment too quickly – and ultimately lose all the progress they made in treatment as a result.

There are a number of benefits to choosing to stay in a sober living situation after treatment, including:

  • Round-the-clock relapse support should a crisis arise
  • A guaranteed drug- and alcohol-free living environment
  • Housemates who are supportive of recovery
  • Structure that encourages accountability and continued progress in recovery

But what are the risks of opting out and choosing to return home or move out into the community rather than staying in a sober living home first? These include:

  • Relapse
  • Loss of progress gained in mental health treatment
  • Harming already broken relationships with family
  • Further damaging other prospects (e.g., career, finances, legal issues, etc.)

What is the right choice for you or your loved one?


This is by far the greatest risk of skipping sober living after rehab because it brings with it a slew of other problems that come with active addiction. Health issues, relationship breakdown, increased mental health symptoms, and others can all be expected if relapse occurs without support.

This is not to say that relapse doesn’t happen to those who are living in a sober living home or that those who go to sober living before returning home don’t relapse. But the stats show that those who spend more time in recovery and that the more intensive that time is, the more likely they are to remain clean and sober for the long-term by avoiding relapse altogether or quickly returning to a sober lifestyle after a slip.

Mental Health Treatment

Though a patient can arguably learn how to live without drugs and alcohol in 30 days, when that addiction comes with a mental health disorder, the same cannot be said. Mental health treatment requires care and attention of its own and those who struggle with, for example, addiction and depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder will need to not only choose a Dual Diagnosis treatment program but opt for a long-term sober living situation post-rehab in order to make sure they have their medications under control and continue to grow in their recovery from that issue as well. If not, their mental health symptoms could more quickly lead to relapse and a return to addiction.


Family members are harmed by a loved one’s addiction. It’s impossible to avoid. And though patients may be ready to go home, their relationships with their family members may not have healed enough for that transition. Rebuilding through family therapy and other resources takes time, and it’s often a better choice for everyone involved if the addicted family member lives in a safe sober situation that prioritizes their continued growth in recovery in order to facilitate healing family relationships.

The Rest of Your Life

What would be harmed in your life if you relapsed? Your career? Your ability to support your family? Your legal issues caused by addiction and behaviors under the influence? Your health? The bottom line is that choosing to quickly return home when you’re not ready can mean a return to addiction and all the behaviors that got you into trouble in the first place. It’s simply not worth the risk when there is an option like sober living – and a number of different sober living homes – to choose instead. Call us for more information.