Sober companionship has become extremely prevalent in the last decade, offered by many rehabilitation services and non-residential drug treatment programs as an additional means of support to primary care. But what purpose do they serve and how do you know if you should have one?
What is a sober companion?
Sober companions help provide companionship and advice to newly recovering addicts and alcoholics, giving them one-on-one support. This is ideal for those who are newer in recovery but are not in a residential treatment facility. The goal of a sober companion is to help the client maintain complete abstinence from alcohol and drugs while helping the client establish a healthy lifestyle outside of a treatment facility.
Sober companions are available to stay by their client’s side usually between 12-24 hours a day. A relationship between a client and sober companion can last for days, weeks, or months depending on a client’s needs. A sober companion typically helps their client by spending entire days by their side, helping them navigate the ups and downs of life and developing positive habits, assisting in the divergence from their old lifestyle.
Sober Companions vs. Sober Coaches
Sober companions can also be referred to as recovery or sober coaches. One key difference between a sober companion and a sober coach is that a sober coach is a direct descendant of the Alcoholics Anonymous “sponsor”, a significant difference being that the sober coaching is done for payment while a sponsor works for free, carrying the message of recovery from the twelfth step of progression.
Why is a Sober Companion important?
A sober companion understands how crucial acclimating to a sober lifestyle is. They assist by providing intimate recovery support and have years of experience in recovery, understanding the challenges associated with being new in recovery and not residing in a treatment facility.
Most, but not all, sober companions are recovering addicts or alcoholics themselves. This is crucial to help the client be able to relate to their companion with a modicum of humility and respect, knowing that their sober companion can relate to the emotional ups and downs that come along with being new in sobriety.
Remember, having a sober companion is not a substitute for therapy, rehabilitation, a 12 step program or a sober community. Though they can be immensely helpful when it comes to adapting to a new sober lifestyle, they should never be taken for granted or used as a crutch to stay sober.