What is a Sober Companion?

What is a Sober Companion?

What is a Sober Companion, Sober Coach, or Recovery Coach?

A sober companion, sober coach, or recovery coach provides one-on-one assistance to newly recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. The goal is to help the client maintain total abstinence from alcohol and drugs, and to establish healthy routines outside of a residential treatment facility. Sober coaches assist with the transition from treatment back to everyday living. The sober coach will meet the client at discharge, accompany them on their trip home, and within 24 hours, attend with them their first AA or NA meeting.

What are the Duties of a Sober Companion?

The sober companion’s duties encompass a wide variety, from ensuring that the client remains abstinent to serving as a resource broker and advocate in the client’s home community.

The primary duty of a sober companion is to ensure the recovering addict does not relapse. They may be hired to provide round the clock care, be on-call, or to accompany the recovering addict during particular activities, such as taking them to fellowship meetings at which the recovery coach encourages them to meet people and get phone numbers. They work together with the client in making their home a clean and sober environment, as well support the client in following through with their recommended discharge plan.

A sober companion also acts as an advocate for the newly recovering person and provides new ways for the client to act in their own living environment. Many companions use techniques such as chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, meditation, distraction, massage, diet and proper nutrition, exercise and even prayer and affirmation of sober choices. A sober coach either completely removes the addict from his own environment of hidden stashes, or may search for hidden drugs in their own environment, in an effort to make the living environment safe for the client and to prevent them from relapsing

How Long Does Sober Companion Services Last?

Companions are available to assist clients for as long as support is deemed necessary. Sober companion treatment usually lasts for 30 days however, oftentimes, much longer. The time required to effect a meaningful change varies greatly depending upon the client, their co-occurring disorders, and the family life at home. Ideally, a companion’s presence in the client’s life will decrease as the client’s ability to confront family, work, and legal issues without relapse is proven. Some providers stay with their clients for many months, and some offer only transportation services.

The Benefits of Having a Sober Companion

The first few days outside of the structured treatment setting are typically the most critical – and most trying for the newly recovering alcoholic/addict. This transitional period is often awkward and uncomfortable for the recovering person therefore, sober companionship and coaching offers support, encouragement, and camaraderie during this crucial time.

Other circumstances for which having a sober coach is beneficial are cases where an actor or musician will not attend treatment, but must remain abstinent to complete a film or recording project. Another circumstance might be that the newly recovering alcoholic/addict is in school and thus needs to be back in their own living environment.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org

http://www.soberescorts.com/

 

 

Practice the Principles: Step 3

step 3

 

Step 3: We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Being a self-proclaimed agnostic and some-time science nerd, it was initially difficult for me to accept and adhere to the 12 Steps, what with all the “God talk” throughout. Step 3 is the first to explicitly use the word “God” and this was off-putting to me. But I was in the business of saving my life and, having the gift of desperation, I was willing to try anything. Even Step 3.

At about thirty pounds under weight due to a steady diet of opiates, crack, and benzos I had the willingness to try something new, something different because I had tried everything I could think of to stop drinking and drugging. There was the moving from place to place (states apart), psychiatry, medication, acupuncture…you name it. But I couldn’t stop.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous tells me that this way of thinking and behaving is typical for people like me: the addict/alcoholic. It also tells me that sheer willpower alone will not get and keep me clean and sober; that I lacked a spiritual foundation without which, I would never get what I was seeking: a life without dependence on alcohol and other drugs. Steps 1 and 2 speak of our powerlessness over substances and mention the existence of something greater than ourselves that could save us from ourselves. Step 3 is the first step to suggest seeking God as that power “greater than us.”

Allow me to shed some light on my resistance to subscribing to a program that emphasizes the word “God.” I am that kid who, as early as elementary school, would be scolded daily for refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance. My reasoning: because it includes the word “God” and, even at the young age of seven or eight, I was a firm believer in Separation of Church and State. I was that kind of rebel.

Now, I have for a long time made the distinction between being spiritual and being religious. I always thought of myself as a spiritual person but not a religious one. And there certainly is a difference. But, it wasn’t until I decided to get clean and become willing to follow the 12 Steps that I really got to test my ability to distinguish between the two. And Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him, was where the real test began because it is the first of the 12 Steps that uses the word “God.”

 

The Big Book’s authors did a huge service to the atheist/agnostic by preceding the Step 3 Principle with a chapter called, “We Agnostics.” In it, Bill W. and Dr. Bob acknowledge those of us who do not believe in the traditional concept of God. But our predecessors were even more understanding and respectful of the agnostic when writing Step 3; they explicitly included “as we understood Him” in the wording.  Aha! This sort of loophole is perfect to the alcoholic/addict who likes to manipulate words and meanings. And it was intentional. It allows those of us who do not believe in “God” per se, to create our own version of a power greater than ourselves when working Step 3.

Once I surrendered and worked Step 3 along with the rest of the 12 Steps, I was finally able to get and stay clean and sober.

 

 

Where can I find a list of AA meetings in my city?

You can find a list of AA meetings in your city at numerous places. The most common and easily accessible place to find AA meetings in your city is the Internet. The Internet has a wide variety of tools you can use to find every AA meeting within the limits of your city. Multiple sites including alcoholics anonymous own site has a list of meetings for you to look at.

You can also find a list of AA meetings in your city at a meeting. If you find an AA meeting in your area that you attend, ask if they have a meeting list. Chances are the meeting you attended will have a list of more meetings you can go to throughout the week. AA meetings are all over the country and the world, so it doesn’t matter if you are in Paris, France or in some little town in Wyoming.

Along with getting a meeting list from a local AA meeting in your city you can also call the general services office of AA or the intergroup. Those numbers can be found on the official AA website.

Here are some links you can use to find AA meetings in your city:

http://www.aa.org/lang/en/central_offices.cfm?origpage=373

http://www.alcoholicsanonymous.com/

http://alcoholism.about.com/od/meetaa/A_A_Meetings.htm

 

These three websites should get you started on finding a list of AA meetings in your city. If you type AA meetings and the name of your city into a search engine you should come up with quite a few AA meetings in your area. Some people live in areas where there are more AA meetings than others. The fact of the matter is, is there is no shortage of AA meetings around the United States and you should be able to find an AA meeting in close vicinity to you within in your city.

With all the resources at our disposal today it is much easier to find AA meetings in our cities than it ever has been. In fact in the recent years that has been an increase of online AA meetings. So if you find yourself unable to actually get to an AA meeting in your city, you may be able to attend an AA meeting right online and with video chat, even face to face. There are online AA meetings going on 24/7. So if you ever find yourself struggling to make that next meeting use what you already have in front of you and chances are, that’s a computer. AA meetings are only growing in numbers and attendance, as they have been since AA’s formation over 70 years ago. No one should need to struggle to stay sober with ease and accessibility of finding a list of AA meetings in your city.

If you are trying to find AA meetings in your city start with most common place to look for them! The same place you look for everything else! Utilize it and get your butt to a meeting!