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What Places Should I Avoid in Early Recovery?

Early recovery can be a challenging time for some people. Treatment provides a sanctuary away from drugs and alcohol. However, being outside of treatment can present difficulties that weren’t present before. There are some places individuals should avoid when sobriety is still new and they are still in the beginning stages of growth and self-discovery.

Why Should Individuals Avoid Certain Places in Early Recovery?

In early recovery, individuals may be more tempted by the presence of drugs or alcohol or certain behaviors. Specific locations can be triggering. Avoiding such places can help individuals prevent relapse and stay on the path of recovery.

Places to avoid in early recovery include the following:

Bars and Clubs

Invitations for nights out don’t stop because just someone is in recovery. While those closest to an individual may consider locations that are safer for a sober outing, those who aren’t aware of someone’s sobriety may invite an individual to a bar or club. For example, many people invite their coworkers for a drink after a long day at work.

Individuals in recovery may not want to miss out on social opportunities. They may also want to feel “normal” and go out with their friends. However, individuals in early recovery should avoid bars and clubs. In these environments, people are surrounded by alcohol and those using. A bad day can lead to the temptation to have a drink.


Avoiding the casino is not just a suggestion for those in recovery from substance abuse; it is also a suggestion for those in recovery from gambling addiction. At a casino, individuals are not only surrounded by alcohol but they are also surrounded by slot machines, poker tables, and other ways to gamble.

For those in early recovery, casinos can be dangerous. It can be all too easy to get sucked into a behavioral addiction to replace substance addiction. The feeling an individual gets from gambling is similar to that of substances, making it a dangerous activity to engage in during early recovery.

Places Substance Abuse Occurred

In recovery, professionals encourage people to change places they frequent. If an individual is consistently going back to the places they used drugs or alcohol, they may be triggered to engage in that behavior again.

In early recovery, it’s normal not to feel emotionally stable. Taking away drugs and alcohol leaves an individual with difficult-to-process emotions. As a result, visiting places where they used to use can lead to relapse.

Early Recovery Is a Precarious Time

While certain places should be avoided in early recovery, that doesn’t mean they have to be avoided forever. As an individual progresses in their recovery, works through triggers, and develops new coping skills, they may be able to safely attend outings at places that could be triggering in early recovery.

Early recovery is a time of discovery of growth. When sobriety is new, you are emotionally vulnerable. This means temptations can easily lead to relapse. As a result, certain places should be avoided to help you prevent relapse. If you are struggling in early recovery, The Guest House is here to help. We offer outpatient programs to help you transition into everyday life after inpatient treatment. Our evidence-based and holistic treatment options can help you find the healing you deserve. Call The Guest House today at (855) 483-7800 to learn more about our program.