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.










Accountability in Recovery

Accountability in Recovery

Accountability in Recovery

Accountability in Recovery

Accountability is thrown around amongst people in recovery a lot-accountability to our friends, accountability to AA, accountability to our sponsors. Meaning what you say and saying what you mean. Following through on promises you make, and showing up when you’re expected to be somewhere.

Of all the spiritual principals we practice in the rooms, accountability the one I see people fall short on most often. Not so much in the rooms. When someone promises to speak or chair a meeting or has some other kind of commitment, they usually show up. Outside, however, in our private lives, sometimes we are not as accountable as we need to be.

Often a drug addict or alcoholic has no concept of accountability when they come into the rooms. We do what we want, when we want to do it. Our thinking and ideas are completely selfish and self-serving. We’ve made so many broken promises to ourselves and everyone else; we don’t even know how to follow through.  Our word means nothing. I’d tell people “Yeah, I’ll be there” or “I’ll call you tomorrow” and in my head that meant that I might show up or call, if I wasn’t busy doing something else. My thinking was so screwed up that I thought other people understood this implicitly, and wouldn’t really expect me to do what I said.

One of the hardest things I ever had to hear in sobriety was something my brother-in-law told me at 30 days sober. In the context of a discussion about how much I had scared my family in my addiction, he reminded me of the many times that I had told my nephew-who was then four years old- that I would come over to see him. What I didn’t know, what I didn’t want to know, was that that little boy would sit by the door all day waiting for me to come over. He believed me when I said I was going to show up. To him “I’m coming over” meant exactly that. It didn’t mean “I might come over, if I feel like it, if it’s convenient for me”.  He took me at my word, even though my word didn’t mean anything at the time.

Accountability is something we must learn in sobriety. Part of the program is learning how to live honorably and with dignity, and be there for the people in our lives. This extends to every part of our lives; showing up on time for work, returning phone calls, and just generally being the kind of person that others can depend on.

Today, I can be there for my nephew. I can show up when I say I will, on time, and give him the love and attention that he deserves. My living amends to him involve never making him wait by the door for me again, and being there for him whenever he needs me. Today I can take care of him, laugh with him, and be accountable to him and every other person in my life.