Moving out of a sober living environment can be an intimidating and scary thing, especially if you have undergone multiple addiction recovery treatments. Once you leave sober living, you may decide to move back home or move away to a different city, both of which are difficult decisions. What you choose will depend on you, your circumstances, and your individual needs. You will have to decide if this move will offer you opportunities to make friends, find a therapist, and maintain contact with your support groups. You will also need to consider whether you are ready to undertake the responsibilities to handle life’s challenges while managing your recovery. Moving can seem a daunting task. However, there are ways to prepare yourself so that you feel confident and motivated to move.

Are You Ready to Move? 

To reach new heights in recovery, you may need to take risks. However, when leaving a sober living home, it is wise to be sure that this is what you want. Don’t base your decisions on what you think you should do. Leaving treatment before you are ready can be detrimental to your overall recovery. Don’t try to set your pace with another. If someone moved in after you and is moving out before you, don’t sweat it. You need to follow your timeline. It is ultimately better to stay longer than you need rather than leave before you are ready.

Have a Strategy

Planning is essential in any walk of life, recovery, or otherwise. While you cannot create a plan that will defend against all challenges, nor should you try, having a strategy in place before moving will make your transition a little easier. Focus first on addressing any issues discussed in treatment. Implement any coping skills that you have attained to help you navigate these issues. 

You should also consider and pursue any employment opportunities before leaving, as financial duress can be among the top stressors for hindering recovery. Consider the pandemic and be reasonable about your expectations. It is a unique time, so do not take it personally if finding a job proves difficult. You might also seek online opportunities where you can work safely from home.

It may be helpful to look into aftercare programs. Through treatment centers such as True Recovery, an aftercare program will further help you transition back into the world. You will have the opportunity to adjust to life on your own as you gain more independence. Support groups are a part of aftercare as well. Just because you are moving away from friends in sober living does not mean you have to lose touch forever. Keeping your peer support is just as essential to hold you accountable outside of sober living. However, you should not limit yourself to the support you receive. Consider seeking out other support groups in your community or online.

Moving Back Home

Moving back home can be a favorable option. It can allow you time to get on your feet while surrounded by loved ones that help manage your recovery needs. However, moving back home can present challenges. Particular family and friends might trigger your impulses to drink or use. You might have used with them in the past or feel shame from how you treated them. Moving back home might also be the same environment you used to use in, posing a significant risk to your recovery.

Moving home can also create an atmosphere that allows you to develop relationships built on enabling instead of empowerment. You may find yourself not wanting to find a job or losing touch with peers from recovery. 

If you decide to move back home, consider the risks, and prepare for them. Keep proactive in your recovery. You will want to consistently look for work, saving any money you do make, and eventually get a place of your own. Work with your therapist and peers to set goals and hold yourself accountable. 

Moving Does Not Relinquish Problems 

Recovery is a daily commitment. Moving away from the places where you once used does not erase your substance use disorder. Understand that certain places are not to blame for your behavior, just like other people aren’t. You need to hold yourself responsible and accountable and know that you can slip in any town or city if you do not stay proactive in managing your recovery. 

People from your past might try to guilt you into coming back to live around them. They might go to lengths to suggest that you are leaving them behind. However, understand that you are not abandoning them. You chose to get help; therefore, you abandoned your past of abusing drugs and alcohol. Any true friend or family member won’t hold any judgment for your decision to get sober. Instead, they will help and support you.

Use your support groups such as your peers, therapy, counseling, and support meetings to help you through the process of moving. Focus on the purpose, which is gaining independence, confidence, and empowerment within. The skills and motivation attained from practicing ways to manage the challenges of living outside of sober living will continue to develop and create new tools to handle different challenges that will occur.


Relapse is always a possibility during recovery and is most common in the weeks following treatment. However, relapse is not the end of recovery and does not erase the progress you’ve made. Any slip or mistake can be a powerful tool to refocus what is important to you and, therefore, motivate you to reassess your approach to managing sobriety. Understand your causes for the relapse and move forward.


While leaving sober living can be intimidating, it is also exciting. It is a new chapter in your life. You are entering back into the world with a fresh perspective, great friends, and the gift of sobriety. When you put your recovery needs first by utilizing self-care practices and reaching out to others, you set yourself up to have a long-lasting and meaningful life of recovery. Understand that you might need help at different points, and this is nothing to worry about. People who have managed recovery for years need help at different points of life. At True Recovery, we are here to meet you at any point in your recovery. We offer both conventional and alternative approaches so that you can attain the most meaning out of your recovery experience. If ever you feel that you need help, reach out immediately. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528