In my experiences as a recovering alcoholic for 31 months, it has been essential to have at least 2 safe locations I can physically go to without alcohol present.
My definition for a 'safe-place' is a location without any substances that are narcotics or alcohol present or accessible.
My two trusted locations are my personal family house and my parents house. In both places, I have family and friends that I know will not be drinking. At my home, there is no alcohol and at my parents house, there is alcohol in the house, but it is not out or visable.
My success to being a recovering alcoholic and not a miserable, 'dry-drunk' is based first on my willingness to align my actions / behavior with my morals, goals and values. People that are miserable after an extended time without substances, are hanging on by a thread, and it's a matter of time they give into the disease of addiction disorders.
As I have said in my bio, I do not follow a traditional AA program of going to meetings or keeping the 'big book' on my nightstand. At this time, I'm not a visible part of the recovering community in my town/city. However, I educate myself on addiction disorder, bipolar, depression, mental disorders and self help strategies to give give me ideas to implement. Obviously, I do not implement everything I read, but I do implement strategies that align with my wants and needs.
The National Institute of Health (NIH), Preventing Addiction in Children, Understanding the Brain Circuit of Addiction (Chemical Response Reward System), and http://www.ncadd.org/