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  • Writer's pictureChris Thompson

What Is a Sober Companion: What They Can Do To Help



Did you know that some people use sober companions to stay on track with sobriety and not get caught up in using again or relapsing? Sober companion services were once reserved for A-listers on the Hollywood scene, but it’s become more common for people who struggle with addiction to bring on a sober companion.


Most times, this can be when someone leaves addiction treatment, either in an inpatient residential treatment facility or an outpatient treatment center. Some recovering addicts don’t feel they can go it alone, and sober living feels too overwhelming right after leaving treatment.


They fear a trigger will cause them to relapse. This is where sober companions help someone begin to trust themselves to live a sober life. Sober companionship is most often used in early recovery until the person feels like they’re on stable ground with their recovery journey.


Stress and Recovery

Everyday stress can take a toll on anyone, but for a recovering addict, daily stressors can be triggers. Did you know chronic stress can change the brain’s reflective ability and impede decision-making?


Too much stress can hinder our innate ability and can make a recovering addict more prone to relapse and reach for substances. For some people, a sober companion, sometimes referred to as a sober escort, helps the transition after a treatment program.


But what exactly is a sober companion’s role? Let’s discuss what a sober companion can do for you.


What’s a Sober Companion’s Role?

Your sober companion can help with a variety of tasks that you may not think about when you walk out the door of a treatment center. Some sober companions will stay with you 24/7 and live with you until you are ready.


Others act more like sober coaches and will call you daily or a few times a day to check in and see how you’re doing. They can also be on-call for one-on-one support. Sober companions act as recovery coaches and can help with daily negative thoughts, giving you tips when you’re craving.


Sober companions can also help to add structure to your day when starting recovery at home. This can include encouraging physical exercise, daily affirmations, or other strategies to help you hone your coping mechanisms. They can even accompany you to group meetings.


For some, a live-in sober companion is too much, and it feels like big brother is watching them. For others, this is exactly what they need.


No matter what your needs are, having someone who understands can be helpful for emotional support. This can be a great complement to a loved one who provides unconditional support but doesn’t have the real-life experience to be an advisor.


How Long Does a Sober Companion Stick Around?

The most common amount of time for a sober companion to stay with someone in recovery is 30 days. This timeframe can vary, depending on the person’s needs, and can also vary in the case of relapse.


The sober companion will want to stay until there is a mutual feeling that the person can maintain their sobriety, manage stress, and that they’ve developed coping skills.


So who can be a sober companion anyways?


Who Can Be a Sober Companion?

Sober companions can be paid staff members appointed by a treatment program at the patient’s request, and they can also be volunteers. Often, a sober coach or companion has been through the recovery process themselves. They understand the stages of recovery, including withdrawal, and the symptoms that come with detox.


Sober companions also know how to navigate adjusting to real life after seeking formal treatment. These people can be social workers, and treatment providers can direct you to where to find a sober companion if one isn’t available.


You don’t necessarily need a formal sober coach or one who is a staff member of a treatment program. A sober companion can be a more informal person; it can even be your life partner, your best friend, or anyone you trust.


There are many types of sober companions, and the degree of supervision each person needs varies. Sometimes, just having someone living in the house with you for the first few weeks after treatment is enough to get you adjusted to stable living outside of a treatment program.


Do You Need a Sober Companion?

Only you truly know what your needs are. Do you need a sober companion, or does the idea of having someone to watch over you feel overwhelming?


It may take some reflection to decide what you need; sometimes, it requires trial and error to figure out what’s best for you. It’s important to remember that three out of four people who deal with addiction eventually recover. For some, it may take multiple attempts. For others, it can be an easier road — no two identical recovery stories exist.


About Relapse

Addiction cannot be cured in the way most people think of curing an illness. The good news is addiction can be managed.


It’s important not to get too comfortable or over-confident if you’ve been sober for a few months or even a year or more. The truth is relapse happens. In fact, 40 to 60 percent of people who deal with addiction relapse at some point in their recovery. Recovery from addiction is not a linear journey.


You may weave in and out of different addiction stages, which may be frustrating. Trust the process, and stay committed to your goals.


Although a select few people quit substance abuse cold turkey and never look back, this is rare and not what generally happens. Will you relapse at some point in your sobriety journey? Only time will tell, but don’t let the potential of relapsing discourage you.


We hope you don’t experience a relapse, but if you do, don’t beat yourself up about it or view it as taking a step backward. Instead, try to learn why the relapse happened and devise a relapse prevention plan so you don’t replicate the same circumstances. Remember, sobriety is a journey, and addiction can be complex; it’s different for each individual.


Getting Support For Addiction

The most important thing to remember when going through addiction recovery is not to do it alone. Support groups are instrumental in recovery from substance use disorder, and even if you have a support network of loyal family and friends, additional support is often needed. These types of support systems can include formal treatment options, or they can be in the form of a sobriety app.


Studies show that many addicts suffer from shame and guilt, which can be a barrier to seeking support from others, including friends and family members. Many people fear judgment from the people they love most and delay addiction treatment. But there are many options for getting non-judgmental support.


Convenient ways to get support whenever you need it can make a big difference in long-term recovery. Some recovering addicts say that their sobriety is only as solid as the support system they have around them. Sober Sidekick is an app that offers 24/7 support, and it’s 100 percent free to download!


About Sober Sidekick

Sober Sidekick is a sober app that helps people get sober — and stay sober. It’s like having a sober companion in your pocket at all times. The Sober Sidekick app offers a non-judgmental, supportive community who have the same goals you do. Check out the features of Sober Sidekick:

  • Support any time of the day or night

  • Sobriety counter

  • Give-to-receive support

  • Messaging to peers

  • Daily motivations

  • Professional help, if needed

  • 100% free

  • Downloadable today

No matter where you are in your sobriety journey, you don’t need to suffer alone in isolation. Connection is sobriety’s enemy. can get support with Sober Sidekick now. The app provides a convenient way to seek out support no matter your schedule or where you live — all you need is your mobile phone.


Takeaways

Sober companions can be helpful for some people, and there are benefits to having someone who can serve in this role. This is most helpful in the early stages of recovery. A sober companion can be a paid staff member from a treatment center, a volunteer, or it can be someone close to you, such as a close friend or a family member.


Only you know if you need a sober companion, but an alternative or a complement to any treatment program is getting on-demand support via the Sober Sidekick app.


Download the Sober Sidekick today — join more than 180,000 people who already have!



Sources:


Stress and Addiction | Psychology Today

There is Life After Addiction. Most People Recover | NPR

Can addiction be treated successfully? | NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse

New Study Suggests Shame and Guilt Can Hamper Recovery From Stimulant Addiction

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