What is a Sober Companion?

Man and sober companion on steps

Dane O'Leary September 10, 2020

For someone new in recovery, navigating life as a sober individual can be challenging. Case managers, twelve-step program sponsors, and life coaches are examples of people who often play a significant and supportive role in a newly recovered individual’s sustained sobriety. A type of post-treatment support drawn upon more and more is a sober companion.   

A sober companion, or sober buddy, helps people who’ve completed an addiction rehabilitation program adjust to post-addiction life and prevent relapse

In this post, we explain what sober companionship is and offer a few tips on how to find a sober partner. 

What Is a Sober Buddy or Companion? 

A sober buddy or companion is a hired support for recovering addicts transitioning back home after rehab. Sober companions usually live with their clients. They’re often long-time recovered addicts or someone clued-up on effective addiction treatment with experience in mental health support and advanced life skills. Sober companions help prevent relapse and know how best to support those with newfound sobriety.

A sober companion is also called a sober buddy, sober partner, sober coach, or recovery coach. Of course, a sober companion can’t guarantee sobriety. However, for someone who’s at the start of the tricky transition from rehab to home, and committed to their recovery, a sober partner can prove invaluable.

For someone who’s at the start of the tricky transition from rehab to home, and committed to their recovery, a sober partner can prove invaluable.

Who Does a Sober Companion Do? 

Here are some examples of the roles a sober buddy fulfills.

  • Remove any substances in (and check if any enter) the home environment.
  • Encourage establishing healthy habits.
  • Monitor who a newly sober individual has contact with, and if necessary, deter contact. 
  • Pay attention to any behaviors signaling a newly recovering addict’s sobriety is at risk. 
  • Help to reconnect with family members and friends. 
  • Provide one-on-one support when someone who is newly recovered faces drug cravings, relapse triggers, and the emotional challenges that inevitably arise when re-entering into everyday life.
  • Establish rapport and a trusting relationship with a newly recovering addict to strengthen social skills and boost confidence, aspects are often affected by substance abuse.

Knowing all this, remember that a sober partner is not a therapist, social worker, personal assistant, or a twelve-step sponsor. A sober partner’s primary purpose is to guide and support newly recovering individuals to find their footing after addiction treatment. 

Who Can Benefit From Having a Sober Companion?

Any recovered addict can opt for having, and benefit from, the services of a sober partner. There are some instances where having a sober companion can be especially meaningful. 

Having a sober companion is highly recommended for:

  • Newly recovering addicts who recently completed an addiction treatment program;
  • Recovering addicts with a history of relapse;
  • Recovering addicts battling comorbidities like depression, PTSD, or bipolar disorder. 

How to Find a Sober Companion?

If you’re looking for sober companion services, a good place to start asking for referrals is from an addiction counselor or therapist. The professionals involved in your addiction treatment may have connections to reliable sober companion placement agencies or be able to recommend someone specific. 

Alternatively, a quick web search can provide a multitude of sober partner placement agency options. Keep in mind that sober companionship is an unregulated industry. This means there are no specific licensing standards or requirements, and sober companion training differs from agency to agency. The advisable route to follow in finding a sober companion, or a reputable placement agency, is through an addiction treatment center or a referral.

In most cases, health insurance won’t cover sober companion services. Although having a sober buddy can be quite pricey, any expense that supports sustained sobriety is a worthwhile investment.  

Find Holistic LA Addiction Treatment in Silicon Beach 

Silicon Beach Treatment Center provides holistic substance abuse treatment programs. Our intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment track focuses on healing the whole individual –  overcome addiction while rebuilding your life. 

We also offer partial hospitalization (PHP) and outpatient (OP) services. Speak to our experienced staff to find out more about the person-centered addiction and mental health treatment options at Silicon Beach.

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