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.










Cultural Sensitivity in Recovery Coaching

Cultural Sensitivity in Recovery Coaching

Cultural Sensitivity in Recovery Coaching

One of the most important issues facing the addiction and mental health communities is how to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population. People of all types suffer from the disease of addiction. Addicts come from every culture in the world. More and more addicts of different backgrounds are seeking addiction treatment.  This is why cultural sensitivity in recovery coaching is especially important.

Cultural Sensitivity in Recovery Coaching: Culture and Addiction

Cultural differences can play a big part in recovery from addiction. It can be a factor in whether or not a person even seeks help in the first place, and it can be a factor in whether or not a person receives effective addiction treatment. In order to be an effective recovery coach, you must understand the role of culture in addiction and how it may impact recovery. Part of recovery coaching is a mutual relationship of trust and respect, and this is sometimes impossible without cultural sensitivity in recovery coaching.

Cultural Sensitivity in Recovery Coaching: Common Mistakes

There are a few common mistakes that recovery coaches make regarding cultural sensitivity. Even recovery coaches with the best intentions can undermine a relationship with a client.

1. Ignore the possibility that culture is one of the defining characteristics of some clients:  For some clients, cultural identity may be a big part of their addiction. Ignoring this possibility could be disastrous for a relationship with a client.

2. Assume that culture is a defining characteristic of all “minority” clients: If your client views him or herself outside the context of any cultural identity, it’s important for you to view him or her that way as well.

3. Assure a client of a different culture that you “understand”: This is an important rule of cultural sensitivity in recovery coaching. Making comments like “some of my best friends are…” can come off as condescending. Rather than trying to prove how much you know about a client’s culture, demonstrate your willingness to learn from your client.

4. Treat a client as a member of a group rather than as an individual: Cultural sensitivity in recovery coaching is important, but remember that your client is an individual. Accept whatever size and space culture takes up in your client’s life. Don’t assume that the client has all the characteristics that are common of his or her culture.

5. Assume you have an advantage with clients of the same culture as you: It may be easy to think that because you come from the same culture, you will have an insight into your client’s cultural background. However, your own feelings about the culture can hinder as much as it helps. You may unknowingly force some of your own beliefs on your client.

6. Overlook more obvious interpretations, and interpret every client action in the context of culture: A common mistake in cultural sensitivity in recovery coaching is assuming every action has to do with culture. Remember that human beings are more alike than different, and that we all want to love and be loved.