Sober Companion: Keeping On the Straight and Narrow

When you complete either an in-patient or out-patient sobriety program, you have taken a vital first step, but it is just that, a first step. Now comes the challenge of living day-to-day on your own and remaining sober, applying all the lessons and techniques you learned during your participation in your rehabilitation program.

Following rehabilitation, a sober companion can play a vital role in staying on the road to recovery.

Q: What is a sober companion?
A: A sober companion, also known as a sober living companion, is a clinician who provides one-on-one services 24 hours a day when an individual is unable to enter a treatment program.

On occasion, mental health and addiction treatment may not be available at the time due to the best treatment centers not having beds available. Sometimes, entering a center may not be the best treatment option at all.

An extended absence for drug and alcohol abuse treatment may jeopardize a career, family privacy, or reputation. In such cases, Drew Horowitz & Associates will provide a sober companion–an experienced clinician who will provide a very high level of personal and discrete services 24 hours a day.

These companion services are also designed for those in recovery who find themselves in situations where additional recovery support may be needed. For example, if a person needs to travel for business, a sober companion will stay with them to assist in their recovery without taking them out of their day-to-day life.

Drew Horowitz & Associates will confidentially guide and support substance abuse clients who are in recovery, working to help them maintain their sobriety and lead a meaningful, sober life.

A physician shakes the hand of a patient from across a desk.

What exactly does a sober companion do?

A sober companion can provide vital support and assistance to those in recovery during that crucial period when they leave their recovery program and begin the often-difficult transition back to daily life. During this crucial period, a sober companion can provide many different types of assistance including:

Companionship

Simple companionship can be extremely important to those who live alone, and especially those who have “burned bridges” in the past and are estranged from both family and friends. We know that isolation is one of the primary causes of relapses and having a companion at hand to talk you through cravings and other triggers can be the key to a successful recovery and a return to a normal daily routine.

Preventing relapses

As we have said, relapses are an all-too-common occurrence after completion of a rehab program, and a sober companion can help prevent these. Many of them are actually recovering from some type of addiction themselves and are well aware of the pitfalls you’re likely to confront.

Among other things, your sober companion can go through your home and look for things like alcohol and drugs that don’t need to be there. They’ll also accompany you when you leave your house to prevent you from giving into temptation and buying alcohol or drugs, and in general help you say “no” when temptations occur, as they inevitably will.

Mastering the basics of life

In addition to helping shield you from daily or even hourly temptations, a sober companion may help you with certain basics you’ve entirely neglected earlier in your life. Many fall prey to addiction when very young, and this affliction may well continue for many years. If this is your situation, you may never have learned certain basics such as grocery shopping, food preparation, the importance of exercise, opening and maintaining a checking account, and paying bills on time, to name only a few.

A sober coach can help you learn these basics that are extremely important in living a successful and rewarding life, free from your previous addiction.

In other words, a sober companion is your friend, working with you and providing the emotional support needed to prevent you from relapsing. Or to say it another way, think of your sober companion as your human “training wheels” keeping you safely on the road to full recovery.

How long is a sober companion needed?

There is no precise timetable for this kind of assistance. For some, perhaps only a few weeks of assistance will suffice, while for others help may be needed for months or possibly even years. The time required for this kind of support really depends on the needs of the person recovering from addiction.

Are there different types of sober companions?

Yes, there are three primary types of sober companions.

In-house, sober living companion

This type of sober companion moves into your home or apartment after you have finished your rehab program. As we said, they might work to remove items of temptation and accompany you when you leave your home. Depending on the particular situation, they may do other things such as cooking and cleaning, help with proper nutrition, and possibly help get you into a regular exercise program.

On-call

In this situation, the sober companion does not live with you but is on-call 24/7 to provide support and assistance when most needed. This arrangement is very good when you need help with cravings and triggers but you don’t necessarily want to share your living space with someone else.

Escort

The main responsibility of an escort sober companion is to prevent those recovering from addiction from buying harmful substances when they go to and from work, attend meetings or therapy sessions, or go out for social gatherings. This arrangement is helpful when an individual feels they need only occasional support beyond that provided by family, friends, and their therapist.

What other options are available?

In addition to the out-patient sober companion options, Drew Horowitz & Associates maintains a residential apartment for individuals who need a safe place with around-the-clock care and support. Our two-bedroom, two-bath apartment is located near downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, and provides a custom experience for those who may not be able to immediately enroll in an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program.

Our sober companions provide one-on-one support, motivation, coping skills, and accountability to assist in long-term recovery.

Our Sober Companion program is specifically designed to assist in the following scenarios:

  • Individuals waiting for treatment center beds to become available
  • Those making travel arrangements for treatment
  • Career individuals traveling for work
  • Corporate executives
  • Entertainment professionals with a high level of public visibility
  • Politicians and government officials
  • Any circumstance requiring a high level of personal recovery support

Sober living homes and sober companion services are not meant to replace residential treatment or even be considered outpatient treatment. This service is to be utilized by those seeking treatment, however, who are unable to enter right away.

(Disclaimer: Sober companion services are not intended to replace residential treatment)

How do you become a sober companion?

Currently, there are no exact medical or licensing requirements or specific training programs to become a sober companion. However, if you’re interested in becoming a sober companion, our well-qualified staff at Drew Horowitz & Associates will be glad to provide you with the basic training we think you will need to succeed in this role.

Finally, if you need a sober companion, we urge you to contact us, and we will work with you to help you find a sober companion to assist you in leading a clean and sober life.

For either training or sober companion assistance, contact Drew Horowitz & Associates at your earliest convenience as we are always ready to assist you in every way that we can.

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    How does a sober companion remain discrete in business situations?

    A Drew Horowitz & Associates sober companion is highly experienced at conducting all interactions with discretion, privacy, and professionalism.

    A sober companion will remain at an individual’s side 24 hours a day. They will attend business meetings, events and meals for the duration of their assignment. The sober companion will naturally be present along with business associates and clients, which will warrant an introduction.

    Most often, a sober companion will be presented as a business associate, work colleague, or friend. The true purpose of the sober companion is never revealed to those they meet under any circumstances. A sober companion will never create any situation causing embarrassment. The purpose of a sober companion is to discretely support recovery and protect from relapse while an individual attends to their daily responsibilities.

    In 2018, over 67,000 people died from drug overdoses and another 88,000 people died of alcohol-related causes.

    The death toll from addiction is staggering. Statistically speaking, every drink or drug that we put into our bodies increases our risk of death by incredible numbers. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, get help now. There is help not just for addiction, but for the emotional and physical pain that creates that drive to keep drinking and using.

    Life gets so much better when we find help and healing for our pain. When we enter recovery, we find a new life that is better than ever before. Don’t spend another minute in the agony of addiction. Get help right now. We’re available 24/7 to take your call, text, email or chat.

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