What Is a Sober Companion? – Completing an addiction treatment program and returning to the real world can be terrifying. Many people in treatment fear going from a secure and well-supported environment back into the same circumstances they were in when they became addicted to drugs or alcohol in the first place.
Sober companions, sometimes referred to as recovery coaches, are used by many to facilitate the transition process between rehab and readjusting back into their lives. Although sober companions may not be right for everyone, they can be incredibly helpful for many people in recovery.
What Does a Sober Companion Do?
A sober companion is a person who helps those in recovery reacclimate to life, and works to keep them sober by providing both emotional and physical support. Their job is to prevent a person from relapsing during this critical and challenging period. For some, a person who fosters this level of accountability may be vital to keep them on the right path in the weeks or months following rehab.
Sober companions may be ideal for those who live alone, are estranged from friends or family, or who would otherwise lack emotional support out in the world. A sober companion will have meaningful conversations with you about your current mental health status, help you through cravings, and offer companionship. This also includes emotional support when you encounter triggers and stressors, as well as advice when you need it most.
Sober companions also actively work to help you avoid relapse. This may include monitoring your home and surrounding or drugs, alcohol, or potential triggers. It may also entail accompanying you when you go out to prevent you from buying substances.
Sober companions may also accompany you to 12-step meetings and will help you say no when conditions that may facilitate relapse are present. For the most part, a sober companion will remain by your side and work to prevent you from relapsing. They will take you to meetings, to see counselors, and generally act as a valuable friend and supporter.
Types of Sober Companions
There are three main types of sober companions to choose from, which include the following:
Live-in companions move into your residence or sober living home with you as you leave inpatient care and/or begin outpatient care. Your sober companion will immediately search your home for substances and dispose of any if found.
Depending on the companion, they may offer additional services. A companion may create a personalized daily schedule for you that includes nutrition, exercise, meditation, and self-care, which they will help you to develop into a habit.
Some people are not able to have a live-in companion due to time, money, insurance, room, or other constraints. Others may not want to have someone in their business 24/7, regardless of whether it would be best for them or not. For these reasons, on-call companions are also an option.
On-call companions are available on-demand, and you can contact them to request that they talk to you or visit you. This kind of sober companion may be ideal if you mostly need help coping with occasional cravings or triggers but don’t necessarily need someone sharing your personal living space.
Escort-based sober companions mainly serve to prevent people from buying substances as they travel for work-related business, vacation, social gatherings, etc. This type of sober companion is excellent if you do not trust yourself not to relapse if left to your own devices but also don’t really require support outside of your friends and family.
12-Step and Other Sober Companions
If you are participating in a 12-step program, you may be able to find a sober companion that is a member of your fellowship. In this case, your sober companion will be clean and sober, will help you to integrate into the group, and escort you to and from meetings. Other sober companions outside of 12-step programs are more likely to be associated with a rehab center or halfway house.
Benefits of Obtaining a Sober Companion
Sober companion companies can offer many benefits and help you to recover faster by preventing relapse. However, services provided by your sober companion may vary significantly depending on the person, as will their training, skill level, and qualifications for the role.
You can rely on a sober companion for:
Receiving emotional support is a crucial part of feeling motivated and willing to push through difficulties such as cravings and triggers. By having someone to talk to who can listen in a non-judgmental way can considerably improve your outlook and ability to overcome temptation when things are difficult. Sober companions can serve this role well, and many will be qualified to offer basic counseling or psychoemotional support.
A sober companion will hold you accountable for staying clean. They may stay with you for up to 30 days and sometimes longer, and will often become a true friend. This connection will make relapse harder, simply because you will feel accountable and likely guilty if you relapse. You will, therefore, have increased motivation to stay sober.
Accountability is an essential factor of recovery, and one of the reasons 12-step programs are successful. Being accountable for sharing your results motivates individuals to stay on the up-and-up not just for themselves, but also for others who have worked hard to keep them sober.
Preventing Drug Use
Sober companions may offer physical support as well. This kind of support can range from confiscating drugs and alcohol to providing an escort when you leave the house. Overall, this makes relapse less likely.
Sober companions are often used when recovering patients do not have much real motivation of their own to recover. Most importantly, you should choose and/or hire your sober companion with care. Make sure you find a person who is qualified and who will offer you whatever assistance you need to recover.
Note About Insurance
Your insurance may not cover the cost of a sober companion. You should call your insurance company in advance to determine which rehab facilities are in-network or ask your treatment center for assistance.
Level of Service
Sober companions can offer anything from full maid and cooking services to very basic and minimal support. You should look for a solution that meets your individual needs while permitting you to grow and progress through your recovery somewhat on your own.
A sober companion can help tremendously during the transition between first getting sober and going back to your life. He or she can also be crucial in preventing relapse during outpatient treatment.
Importantly, you must realize that sober companions are never a replacement for professional treatment. A good companion will offer emotional support and help you to stay clean while you adjust, learn to deal with everyday life again, and continue your journey into recovery and beyond.
The first step to sobriety for many is professional treatment in a rehab facility. At Harmony Treatment and Wellness, our center offers comprehensive care and programs that feature evidence-based services, including psychotherapy, counseling, and group support. We aim to address all aspects of a person’s mental and physical health as well as their addiction(s).
Contact us today if you are ready to break free from the shackles of addiction and reclaim the healthy and fulfilling life you deserve!