What Is the Difference Between a Sober Escort & Companion?
As approaches to addiction treatment change, more people are seeking help from outside support systems beyond therapists, counselors, and support groups. Although all of these professionals are valuable members of an addiction recovery team, many people find that they want or need additional support. One of the original programs to pioneer the concept of consistently available outside help was the 12-Step program. Each new member was paired with a sponsor who had gone through the 12-Step recovery process and could act as a support source for the new member while they focused on getting back on their feet.
Now, there are many types of advisors available to help people going through addiction recovery. Life coaches, case managers, spiritual advisors, and even yoga teachers can all help people affirm their commitment to sobriety and hold the person recovering from addiction accountable for their actions. Two new positions are becoming more popular – sober escorts and sober companions – and many have found them very useful in long-term recovery.
Overview: Sober Escorts vs Sober Companions
People who have gone through detox need to enter a comprehensive rehabilitation program. Those who enter inpatient rehabilitation programs live in a facility during the course of their treatment and are supervised by medical professionals and counselors. This continual supervision helps clients to stay on track with recovery. However, people who take part in an outpatient program are responsible for getting themselves to appointments with doctors, therapists, counselors, and support groups. To do this successfully, more people working on recovery are turning to sober escorts to make sure they get where they need to go.
A sober companion is essentially hired emotional support. Unlike therapists, life coaches, or sponsors, a sober companion goes into social situations with clients, and their presence is a reminder of the person’s focus on health and sobriety. Many sober companions spend several hours each day with their clients, going to business meetings or attending social gatherings. A sober companion may live in their client’s home for a brief period, or they may go on vacation with their client to keep the individual away from triggering people or circumstances.
Who They Are ( Sober Escorts vs Sober Companions)
Sober escorts are people who offer transportation to and from appointments or oversight during transportation. Because people recovering from addiction are working to take responsibility for their lives and schedules, the extra help getting where they need to be, in a timely fashion, can be greatly beneficial. A sober escort may be someone who works in addiction recovery professionally, or they could be on their own path of recovery. People in the early stages of recovery are more likely to relapse while unsupervised in transit, and sober escorts help to support abstinence.
Many people who become sober companions are in recovery from addiction themselves but they have a long history of sobriety. They understand the hard road, and they can offer advice that comes from a place of personal experience. Sometimes, a sober companion is a professional who has worked in addiction recovery in another capacity but wants to focus more on each client as an individual, helping them meet their daily needs. Sober companions keep their clients company too, so clients can avoid loneliness, which can be particularly triggering. This helps clients to rebuild social skills and confidence that may have been lost during active addiction.
What They Do
A sober escort meets their client and makes sure they arrive safely at their appointments. These appointments are usually associated with outpatient rehabilitation, ongoing medical care, therapy, and support group meetings. However, a sober escort may also be able to help the person get to and from work or school. If a person has to travel to or from parts of town that trigger stress or cravings, a sober escort can help the person focus on their recovery by providing immediate social support and personal accountability.
A sober companion is like a Swiss Army knife when it comes to recovery assistance. They are not a maid service, personal assistant, or clinical social worker; however, they can help their client ease into cleaning their home and cooking meals, keeping track of appointments and deadlines, attending therapy sessions and support group meetings, and finding work. If they do not live with their client for a few months, they are available by phone 24 hours a day, to help clients manage cravings, triggers, or anxiety.
Although there is no federal or state licensing standard for sober companions right now, many people who enter this field have professional skills that can assist their client maintain their sobriety for life. They champion their clients’ efforts to get better and build a new, drug-free lives for themselves.
Who Benefits Most?
While sober escorts can be helpful for people of any age in recovery, they can be particularly helpful for adolescents and teens. Adolescents who have busy parents benefit greatly from having additional help getting to and from appointments. Young adults who are entering rehabilitation or who have just completed the program can also benefit from this additional level of support.
Unlike sober escorts and coaches, sober companions spend a great deal of time with their clients. They actively socialize with them and steer them away from purchasing or ingesting intoxicating substances. Although an adolescent may have a sober companion, they are more likely to be hired by adults who are professionals, with busy lives and little supervision.