As part of your addiction recovery process, you might identify and interview licensed clinical professionals, including counselors, psychiatrists, and social workers, who can help you to understand and control your addiction. But you might also identify and interview people who do not have a license to perform the work they do. They can still help, but they may not have the professional certifications to prove their work to you.
For example, when your treatment program is complete and you are ready to leave the protected environment of an inpatient program, you might need a little bit more help in order to avoid a relapse. You might get that help through a sober escort.
A sober escort is a person who lives with you and goes with you everywhere. This person is a little like your shadow, moving where you move and doing what you do, in order to keep you on the path to sobriety.
A sober escort is typically a costly member of your recovery team. According to the Daily Beast, sober escorts can cost from $900-$1,900 per 24 hours. That may seem like a great deal of money, but you might get a great deal of help for those fees. These are just some of the benefits associated with working with a sober escort:
Ongoing sober monitoring
The tools you will develop in your rehab program can help you to avoid common sobriety pitfalls, but there may be times when you feel a little overwhelmed. Without ongoing supervision, you might think you can get away with a slip or a sip. A sober escort can stop all that. As an article about the industry in The Wall Street Journal points out, sober escorts can perform routine pat-downs and urine tests for drugs. If you fail these tests, your escort can bring you back to rehab. But just knowing that you will get caught if you try to use might keep you from slipping and tripping in the first place.
Few sober escorts are licensed clinical counselors, but most have at least some background in addiction recovery. In particular, sober escorts are adept at identifying soft language you might use in order to justify a relapse. Your sober escort can call you out when you are on the wrong path, and that could keep your sobriety protected.
It is helpful to get involved right away with recovery organizations, sober activities, and 12-Step meetings. After graduating from Sunrise, clients are eligible to join the AAC Alumni program. After discharge, our alumni team will contact former clients to keep in touch, check in on their recovery, and let them know of alumni activities in their area.
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Your sobriety might be at risk in moments of boredom and loneliness. When you have no one to talk to, drugs can seem like a good solution. Since a sober escort is with you all of the time, that person can provide you with a social outlet. You can watch television together, walk together, study together, pray together, or take walks together. This person can give you the boredom outlet you need so you can protect your sobriety.
You might think that you can avoid relapse if you avoid being in the room with drugs, but studies show that your relapse triggers can go much deeper than the drugs themselves. For example, in a study in the journal Neuron, researchers found that cues associated with cocaine (such as spoons, mirrors, or rolled-up money) could excite cells in the brain, and those excited cells can call out for drugs. A sober escort can walk through your home for you and remove any cues from that environment. In addition, a sober escort can walk through dangerous environments for you (like office parties or family gatherings) to check for cues before you even enter that space.
Transportation to appointments
Even though your inpatient program is complete, you might still have counseling appointments and sober support group meetings to attend. Your sober escort can drive you to those meetings, which could be really helpful if you have lost your license due to your addiction. Your escort can also help to ensure that you do not skip these meetings, even if you are tempted to do so.
Mentoring and modeling
You may not know anyone who has gone through the addiction recovery process. If you don’t, you may not understand how people get sober and stay sober for a lifetime. You may not have a mentor. Your sober escort could become your mentor. Most escorts have been through recovery themselves, and most escorts are more than happy to discuss what they do on a daily basis to protect that sobriety. You can take advantage of that openness and learn a lot about sobriety in the process.
A better living environment
Researchers suggest that your living environment could have a deep impact on your ability to recover. For example, in a study highlighted by ScienceDaily, researchers amended the environment of animals with an addiction to cocaine. They made the environment more social and more educational. Those changes helped to keep the rats away from relapses to drugs. A sober escort’s mere presence can make your home more social, and that escort might help you learn how to amend your environment in other ways that could support your sobriety.
Someone to lean on
When you are new to recovery, going to places like parties and family gatherings can be difficult. You might be accustomed to leaning on substances to help you to overcome difficult situations. Without them, you might feel a little lost. A sober escort can go everywhere that you go, and that escort knows all about what you have been through and what you are going through. This person can be right there to talk when you are feeling uncomfortable, even in the middle of an event, and that could be a powerful incentive to stay sober.
Sober escorts often have close connections with the treatment community, so your counselors in inpatient rehab might be able to provide you with a list of professionals you can use as sober escorts. Be sure to interview each person carefully and make sure the person you choose is the right fit. Remember that this person will live with you and be with you 24 hours per day. You will want someone you feel comfortable with, whom you can trust, so you can get the most out of this relationship. Do that, and you could get all the benefits mentioned here.