Did you know that 85 per cent of people relapse and return to using drugs within one year of treatment? Recovery is challenging, and relapse can happen. However, you’re not destined to fail.
There are safeguards you can put in place to help prevent relapse. For example, you could use a sober companion or sober buddy. What is a sober companion?
Sober companions can be an important tool in the recovery process. But, what is a sober companion? Read on to learn more.
What Is a Sober Companion?
A sober companion is a person who supports a person during their addiction recovery process. They could have medical or psychological qualifications. However, this is not always required.
The services you receive from a sober companion heavily depend on the organization you hire, the type of sober companion you employ, and the individual.
Typically, they are contracted anywhere from 30 days to a year. They can provide several services; however, they usually give you the support you need to remain sober as you reintegrate into your community.
Types of Sober Companions
Sober companions can provide services on several different levels. Choosing the correct type of companion will come down to a few factors.
Live-In Sober Companions
A live-in sober companion will move into your home and live with you. This generally lasts for 30 to 90 days.
They fulfil the role of an assistant during this time. They can provide support, reassurance, and accountability.
If you don’t need a live-in sober companion, you can hire someone who acts as an escort. They’ll escort you to work, school, or other places.
You can check-in and discuss potential triggers during this time, and your sober companion can keep you accountable during these check-in times. This level gives you more privacy, and if you’re struggling with self-control, they can help keep you from buying drugs or alcohol.
This type of sober companion only shows up when you call them. You can contact them by calling at any time of the day.
However, they can also meet with you to talk about cravings, triggers, or other problems. Your check-in times with this companion will be pre-scheduled.
This level offers more privacy and gives you the support you need in recovery.
The Role of the Sober Companion
In most cases, the sober companion is there to be just that, a companion. They are there to talk to you, provide support, and offer non-judgmental and sometimes medical advice and information as you work through your first days back at home and in your life.
Structure and Support During Recovery
The role of a sober companion is to help create a structure and support system in the individual’s recovery.
This can be an important tool in the recovery process. The role of a sober companion is to assist the individual in their recovery journey, and depending on the level of care, they could occupy several functions.
A sober companion can sometimes help with transportation. This allows them to help you get to treatment centres and sober living homes.
They can also escort you to and from work and school. They can even go with you to different social gatherings as a friend. This is a vital role if you’re worried about staying sober in a social setting.
Some sober companions can act in the role of a counsellor.
They can provide moral and social support as you adjust to life after treatment. In addition, they can give you the support you need to stay sober. They’re someone you can talk to, and they can also hold you accountable.
Skills Training or Coaching
A sober companion might help with skills training or coaching. This can help you establish healthy daily habits. A few things they might help with include:
Accountability can help improve recovery outcomes. Your sober companion will check up with you and provide accountability. Because they know you, they will likely be able to notice if you’ve gone back to using.
If they do, they can work with you to get the support you need to regain your sobriety.
Why Sober Companions Are Important in Treatment and Recovery
As you can tell by the number of people who relapse within a year after treatment, recovery is difficult. Building a support system that can walk with you through recovery is vital.
Sober companions are an important part of that support system for several reasons.
Provides a Sober Support Network
Addiction is hard on families. Many times you need to rebuild the broken bonds with family and friends.
This can make it challenging to have supportive people to lean on. If you have supportive people to lean on, your chances of maintaining sobriety increase. Without a support network, it is easy to relapse.
A sober companion can give you the support you need to continue your recovery journey.
A sober companion can help you develop long-term recovery tools that you can use throughout the rest of your life. This helps you maintain sobriety.
They will take the time to learn what triggers your addiction and prevents you from relapsing. It is important to have someone who knows your triggers and can support you when they occur.
If you don’t have someone like this, it is easy to fall back into your addiction.
Schedule Sobriety Meetings
A sober companion can help you sustain healthy recovery habits. You can use your recovery meetings to discuss your recovery plan.
You can also talk about what triggers your addiction and stops you from relapsing. This can help you keep your recovery plan at the forefront of your mind.
Who Benefits From Working With a Sober Companion
Anyone struggling with maintaining sobriety could benefit from a sober companion. The needs of every person are different; therefore, it’s important to work with your team to determine if a sober buddy is the correct choice for you.
There are several indicators that you might benefit from a sober companion.
History of Relapse
If you have a history of relapse, a sober companion could be beneficial. They can help you continue to use the tools you’ve learned in treatment in the real world.
Mental Health Diagnosis
Around 20 to 37 per cent of people in the UK have a dual diagnosis. Having a dual diagnosis can make recovery more complex.
Sober buddies can provide the emotional support you need during recovery and are very beneficial to the recovery process for individuals with a mental health diagnosis.
Your sober companion will be an integral part of your support system.
Environmental Exposure to Drugs or Alcohol
When you leave recovery, staying away from drugs and alcohol is crucial. However, that’s not possible for everyone.
A sober companion is a good choice if you’re living in an environment or close to people who are still abusing alcohol or doing drugs. Your companion can help hold you accountable and help you utilize the tools you’ve learned to avoid triggers.
You Don’t Trust Yourself
If you don’t trust yourself to stay away from drugs and alcohol, listen to that instinct. It’s okay to need extra support in place, and you should take advantage of what’s available to you.
While a sober companion will not be with you for the rest of your life, they can help you get to a point where you can stay sober without their presence.
Poor Social Support System
A sober companion is a great place to start if you don’t have a social support system. They can be the social support you need and help you build a support system for when services end.
How to Find a Sober Companion
You can take several routes to find an excellent sober companion. A good sober companion will ensure the individual is safe and secure, which is the most important factor that the individual should consider when looking.
Talk to Your Doctor
You can find a sober companion through your physician. You can ask your physician if they know a suitable person. If they don’t, they can assist you in finding one.
Talk to Your Treatment Centre
You can also find a sober companion through your treatment program. If your treatment centre vets them, this can help increase your trust in your companion. Ask your treatment program if they can provide you with a list of sober companions in your area to help.
What to Look for in a Sober Companion
Are you ready to find a sober companion? When you’re looking, there are a few things you need to think about.
Consider the Level of Service
The level of service you need or want is vital in choosing a sober companion. Take the time to list the types of support you would like from your companion.
When choosing your sober buddy, consult your list and see if they can provide the level of service you need.
A sober companion fills the role of a mentor. Because of this, age matters.
A companion that’s too much younger or older can impact the relationship. For example, if one person is older and the other younger, you might have more of a parent-child dynamic in the relationship instead.
When you’re choosing a companion, you should try to find someone close to your age.
For some people, gender might be important. You might be able to better connect with someone of the same gender.
You don’t necessarily have to choose someone that’s the same gender, but it’s vital to consider how gender could impact the relationship.
Sober Companions Before and During Treatment
A sober companion can be beneficial during the recovery process. However, you can also benefit before treatment and during treatment.
The decision to enter treatment is challenging; however, rehab programs are essential to your recovery process. If you’re not ready to enter intense treatment, you might undergo pretreatment.
During this time, you can prepare for treatment and prepare to go through detox. You can also learn more about different programs and what could work for you.
This can be an arduous process, and it can be easy to lose motivation when you get overwhelmed. A sober coach can help you make decisions about recovery and help you stay motivated to get the treatment you need.
Treatment is a positive process, but that doesn’t mean it will always be easy. One of the most challenging times during your treatment is detox. During detox, you’ll likely experience withdrawal symptoms.
This can make it difficult to keep going. A sober companion can help you through the detox process to stay on track and get to treatment.
There are two critical factors during treatment that help maintain your sobriety.
On the best of days, it can be challenging to stay motivated, but it can feel close to impossible on difficult days.
Having someone there to encourage you through the process and hold you accountable can help you continue pushing through even on the bad days.
Get the Treatment and Support You Need
So, what is a sober companion? This individual helps support you through all stages of the recovery process. Hiring a sober companion can help you maintain motivation and accountability.
Are you ready to start addiction treatment? Or do you have questions? Contact Detox Plus UK today to learn more about how we can help.