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  • David Marion

What Is a Sober Companion?

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This article covers:

  • What is a sober companion?

  • The 3 types of sober companions

  • When is a sober companion helpful?


If addiction is a disease of isolation and loneliness, does that mean a foundation of recovery is connection?

An integral part of the recovery process is having support as you navigate the many challenges you’ll face. It may seem insignificant, but having support on your side as you journey through recovery can make all the difference between sobriety and relapse.

Navigating the world of recovery is like treading an entirely new landscape for many people. For the first time in a long time, or maybe the first time ever, you have to learn how to deal with your issues without using substances to take the edge off.

You have to learn how to acknowledge and accept your emotions, without letting them consume you.

You have to accept where you’re at in life, and the consequences you may be facing.

You have to learn how to live every day without using substances.

It’s a lot to tackle alone.

Having a sober companion on your side and in your corner can help make recovery a lot less heavy, and can help you truly stay the course.

What is a sober companion?

A sober companion is essentially someone who helps you maintain your sobriety outside of your treatment program. The purpose of a sober companion is to offer anyone in recovery emotional support, guidance, companionship, and connection. Some sober companions have struggled with addiction and are in recovery themselves, and understand the ins and outs firsthand.

A sober companion can work with you immediately after treatment, when you're most vulnerable to relapse and have to uncover a new way of living. However, sober companions can also work with you years into your recovery journey, as you grow and face new challenges.

There are several different types of sober companions. Some can live with you in your home, providing around-the-clock accountability and support. Others are available on more of an on-call basis. Some sober companions act as sober escorts, transporting you to and from meetings, rehab, or therapy sessions, to help ensure you arrive to your appointments safely and without taking any destructive detours.

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The 3 types of sober companions

The three types of sober companions are as follows:

1. Live-in sober companions

The first type of sober companion is a live-in sober companion. A live-in sober companion will live with you in your home and provide round-the-clock support. A live-in sober companion can help you establish structure within your day, which is often a struggle for many people in early recovery. A live-in sober companion can also help you develop new, healthy lifestyle habits, such as improving your eating habits or developing an exercise routine.

Additionally, a live-in sober companion can help you navigate life stressors as they come up, whether you're having relationship troubles or struggling with a new job. It goes without saying that a live-in sober companion is also there to make sure don't engage in use or destructive behaviors. They act as a sounding board and are someone you can talk to you when you're struggling emotionally. A live-in sober companion is a great option for anyone who doesn't have any support at home, or someone who is in the earlier stages of recovery.

2. On-call sober companions

The second type of sober companion is an on-call sober companion. This type of sober companion offers essentially the same sort of support, guidance, and structure that a live-in sober companion offers, except they don't live with you. Depending on your arrangement, you can have set calls or meetings at regularly scheduled times with your sober companion, or they can offer on-call support whenever you need them. Additionally, sober companions offer someone to travel with. Whether you’re going out of town for work engagements, a wedding, or a vacation, a sober companion can be there for you when you’re away from home and faced with triggers.

On-call sober companions are great for anyone who needs support in their recovery, but doesn't necessarily need live-in support. This type of sober companion is also great for someone who has supportive friends and family, but doesn’t have anyone in their life who really gets what it's like to struggle with addiction and then have to navigate through recovery. An on-call sober companion offers you someone to talk to who knows what you're going through. They can help you get outside of your head so you don't spiral downward in your thoughts, and they can help you feel less isolated in your struggles.

3. Sober escorts

The third type of sober companion is the sober escort. If you're just getting out of treatment, a sober escort can transport you back home from rehab to make sure you get home safely and without taking any detours. Sober escorts can drive you to meetings, group therapy sessions, and individual counseling sessions to not only make sure you get there, but to also offer you emotional support along the way. Especially in the beginning, going to meetings or therapy sessions for the first time can feel overwhelming. A sober escort can provide ease and reassurance along the way, so you don’t feel as nervous. This is a great option if you feel you have support, but want the added accountability when it comes to getting yourself to meetings or therapy.

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When is a sober companion helpful?

Now that you know what a sober companion is, you may be wondering when it would be beneficial to have one in your corner.

There are many cases where a sober companion would be an incredibly beneficial asset for your recovery journey:

  • If you’re just getting out of rehab. A sober companion can transport you from rehab to your home. They can help you readjust to your new way of living right from the beginning, so you don’t have to tackle the journey alone.

  • If you feel isolated in your recovery. A sober companion can offer you solace in knowing that your struggles aren’t unique, and that things will get better. A sober companion has likely gone through exactly what you’re going through, which offers you hope that you can get through it, too.

  • If you’re struggling to stay sober. Some sober companions are also recovery coaches, and can help you face the challenges that are threatening your sobriety.

  • If you’re going to an event. A sober companion acting as a sober escort can accompany you to events or parties where you know you may be tempted to engage in use. They can offer you support and stability, and help you get through the event while still having a great time.

  • If you’re traveling out of town. A sober companion can offer great solace to you if you’re traveling out of town. Vacations, weddings, and even traveling for work can put you in many triggering situations. Having a sober companion alongside you can help you navigate these moments without engaging in use.

  • If you’re going to rehab. If you’re ready to go to rehab, a sober companion can escort you there to ensure you follow through. They can offer you support along the way, and ease your fears and nerves.

  • If you’re going to counseling, therapy sessions, or meetings. A sober escort can offer you accountability to make sure you get to any meetings or appointments without taking a detour to engage in substance use.

Additionally, even when you have supportive friends and family, you may feel like they can’t relate to what you’re going through. For example, if you’ve stopped using substances or engaging in destructive behavior but you’re experiencing feelings of emptiness, your family and friends may have trouble understanding why you don’t feel better. A sober companion can help you understand what’s going on, reassure you that this happens for many reasons in recovery, and can help you normalize your experience.

Remember, a sober companion isn’t there to control you, impose their own beliefs on you, or act as a parent towards you. They’re in your corner to offer you support and guidance. Ultimately, your decisions are always up to you, but you’re far less likely to do something you’ll regret when you have a sober companion by your side or readily available to help you.




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Hi, I’m David Marion. I’m a Sober Companion, Sober Escort, Nationally Certified Recovery Coach, Nationally Certified Intervention Professional, Addiction Recovery Speaker, and Author of Addiction Rescue: The No- BS Guide to Recovery.

If you or your loved one is interested in working with a sober companion, book a free call with me today. It’s time to finally break free from addiction and create the life you deserve.

Worried your loved one is in the midst of an addiction crisis? Unsure of what to do next? Download my free Addiction Crisis Guide. This in-depth guide covers everything you need to know including the stages of addiction, the emotional, behavioral, and physical signs of addiction, signs of addiction for different substances, and more.

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