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Recovery Coaches, Sober Escorts, Companions - What is the Difference?
Leaving a rehab or treatment facility can be a scary experience. While in a facility, you were able to get sober with the support of trained staff. However, when you leave the facility, you’re faced with the daunting task of staying sober in the real world.
That’s where people like recovery coaches, sober escorts, and companions come in. Each of these people play a pivotal role in keeping you sober out of rehab or treatment. However, they are all quite different and it can be hard to differentiate between them.
What are recovery coaches, sober escorts, and companions?
Recovery coaches, sober escorts, and sober companions all play a different role in your sobriety. However, they share a similar goal- to keep you sober.
A recovery coach is someone who coaches someone on how to stay sober during pre-set sessions. Much like a personal trainer, a recovery coach spends one-on-one time with a person in recovery and gives them advice on how to stay sober.
Recovery coaches typically meet with their client once or twice per week. During their sessions, they can help a person in recovery to set goals, focus on wellness, find solutions to stay abstinent despite triggers, and create healthy habits.
Sometimes, a recovery coach can also act as a sober companion, but it’s important to differentiate between the two jobs. Not all recovery coaches act as sober companions. Most simply have brief weekly sessions with a person in recovery, similar to how a therapist would, to help the person progress in their sobriety and become the best version of themselves.
A sober escort is someone who accompanies you to appointments and support group meetings related to your recovery from addiction. They provide safe and reliable transport to important recovery appointments, as well as events when the recovering person may need extra support.
There are two options for treatment from a rehabilitation facility- inpatient and outpatient. Those who opt for inpatient treatment don’t require the use of a sober escort because the treatment center staff are responsible for ensuring they make it to doctor, therapist, counselor and support group appointments.
However, those who opt for outpatient treatment may only come into the facility every now and then for appointments and meetings. Furthermore, there are likely other factors of an out patient’s recovery program, such as 12-step meetings. Those who choose outpatient care might seek the assistance of a sober escort to hold them accountable for getting to all appointments and meetings related to their recovery. Many people who choose to use the services of a sober escort do so because they don’t trust themselves to show up to everything that they know they need to for their recovery.
Sober escorts are not directly responsible for keeping someone sober, but by bringing this person to meetings and appointments, they play an important role in their recovery. Sober escorts may also accompany someone to events like weddings, funerals, and graduations because these are all times when they might need extra support or encouragement to not drink.
A sober companion is someone who provides emotional support to someone in recovery. Unlike a sober escort, a sober companion spends a significant amount of time with someone in recovery. It’s normal for sober companions to spend a few hours per day with their client or to even live with the client temporarily. It’s a sober companion’s job to keep a person in recovery from drinking or using.
Sober companions typically accompany someone to social events ranging from business meetings to birthday parties in order to remind them of their goal- to stay sober. During recovery, certain people, places, and things can be triggering and may even be used as an excuse for someone to drink. For this reason, sober companions spend a majority of the day with their clients and may even come on vacations with them to ensure that they stay away from substances, despite potentially triggering events.
Sober companions typically have extensive experience with people in recovery and can recognize the signs of a relapse before they start.
Why would I need one?
You might need one if you require extra support for your recovery. Recovery isn’t easy and it isn’t something that you can do alone. For some, outpatient services and support group meetings is enough to keep them sober. However, for others, additional support is either wanted or needed. It’s crucial that you have a reliable recovery team in your corner and a sober escort, companion, or coach can be an important part of that team.
How much do they cost?
It’s no secret that sober escort, companion and coaching services aren’t cheap. However, when contemplating the cost, it’s important to remember what you are getting out of the agreement. A sober companion, for example, may spend the entire day with you to ensure that you stay sober, practice healthy habits, and do everything you need to for your recovery. Those services are invaluable.
The cost of sober escorts, companions, and coaches can vary depending on location, how much time they spend with the client, what specifically the client needs, and their own company requirements. Rates rarely start lower than $500 per day, but some companies can charge $2,000 or more per day for sober companion services.
How are they qualified?
There is no formal training or qualification for someone to become a sober escort, companion, or coach. Therefore, most of these sober support people have no formal training. Individuals in these fields are not legally required to adhere to any specific guidelines or regulations. Most sober escorts, companions, and coaches are “qualified” because of their personal or professional experience with recovering addicts. However, some sober companions and coaches are qualified therapists or counselors- but it is not a requirement.
How do I find a reliable one?
This is something that is currently not that easy to do. It’s also something we are actively working on.
There are also several other companies that specialize in matching those in recovery with sober escorts, companions and/or recovery coaches. Here are a few tips to ensure that you find a reliable sober support person:
Find someone who is a qualified therapist or counselor.
Find someone who has extensive hands-on professional experience with recovering addicts.
Find online reviews of your sober support person or the company that they work for.
Don’t be afraid to switch. Not everyone clicks- that goes for both friendships and sober companion relationships. If you don’t get along with your sober escort, companion, or coach, then request a different one.
At the end of the day, the decision to get a recovery coach, sober escort, or sober companion is a personal one. While some people are able to stay sober without this kind of support, others rely on it completely. The only way to determine which kind of sober support person you need- or if you need one at all- is to be completely honest with yourself. Most people struggle in early sobriety to stay sober on their own, and that’s okay. That’s why they exist. If you do decide to get this extra sober support, be sure to only look for one from reputable sources. There are plenty of experienced sober support people who are ready and able to help you in your sobriety journey; you just need to know what you’re looking for and what you need.