Are There Risks to Keeping Non Sober Friends?

Friendships come and go but some seem like forever friendships. Until, that is, one of the group becomes sober while the rest continue partying, drinking and having a good time. Some inherent risks go along with continuing to socialize with individuals or a group of friends who are not sober. It helps to find out what those risks and pitfalls are to understand why it matters.

Getting Sober

The path to getting sober is not easy to begin with. An individual may go through treatment programs, protocols, drug therapy and many other means to sober up. One of the first things a person learns about sobriety is to find new people and places to hang out with if he or she does not want to risk relapse. It is a fact that some people are just bad influences on those around him or her. Others may be able to control drinking while in the presence of a sober friend. However, this is not only unlikely but it is not usually possible to expect friends to not drink just because a person is sober. Many people drink in the world and it should not be expected others will not just to please someone who is sober.


When taking on the challenges of sobriety, a person must understand the first key is to let go of people who are toxic and bad to be around. This includes anyone who does not honor a person’s sobriety or puts his or her sobriety at risk. It is really up to the person who is sober to cope with the feelings associated with sobriety and decide best course of action. Some of the inherent risks of continuing to hang out with people who are not sober include:

  • Higher risk of relapse
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Coerced into trying other drugs
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Vulnerability

Many feelings and emotions can lead a person to feel like falling off the wagon, even if it does not occur in that moment. Friends who are not sober do not have to be cut out of a person’s life, it is entirely up to that individual to decide what is worthwhile and what is not in terms of sober living.

Take a moment to think about who and what is around before determining whether it can remain in one’s life. It is a personal choice and decision but, ultimately, sobriety is up to the individual and it is up to him or her to make good, healthy choices if he or she is to remain clean and sober for the long haul.


The Villa believes each person has the power to stay sober and clean from drugs and alcohol. If you’re struggling with sober living, call us. Let us help guide you towards success in making a recovery that sticks.