sober companion

What is a Sober Companion and How Can They Improve Recovery?

Rehab clinics around the country were at full capacity last year. In 2020, over 3.5 million people began addiction treatment. Now, more than ever, people need support.

Transitioning into a less stable environment, like the outside world, can be triggering for those new to a sober lifestyle. It can be a vulnerable, confusing, and fear-inducing time for anyone who suffers from addiction.

In times like these, sober companions offer a helping hand while navigating a sober lifestyle.

Read our guide to find out what sober companions do and how they can help you in your addiction recovery journey.

The Definition of a Sober Companion

A sober companion is someone who specializes in addiction recovery and is familiar with the hardships you can face while transitioning into a sober lifestyle.

They are highly trained to provide ongoing support to those in recovery. 

Sometimes, a sober companion is recovering from addiction as well. This allows them to better empathize with the reality of a sober lifestyle and provide compassionate care.

A sober companion’s job is to make sure that you are not alone during the process and to tailor their care to fit your exact needs.

Types of Sober Companions

There are three fundamental sober companion types. Each kind can provide a different amount of availability that is dependent on your needs.

  • Live-in companions who provide 24/7 support
  • On-call companions who reside separately
  • Sober escorts who accompany you on an event basis

Live-In Companions

In need of hourly attention?

A live-in sober companion not only provides you with sobriety support but also helps you with all of the little things needed to maintain your new lifestyle.

They can have a wide range of responsibilities that ensure you are living in a safe space and are only coming into contact with people who support your new goals.

Other live-in duties can include:

  • Keeping your space organized and drug-free
  • Helping you cope with daily stress from work or family
  • Creating a meal plan to help your body recover
  • Relaxing you after a nightmare or trouble sleeping
  • Reminding you every day that you can do it

These sober companions can serve you on a contract basis for up to a year.

On-Call Companions

Only need assistance every now and then?

If you feel ready to be in control of when to call your sober companion then the on-call option may be better suited for you.

Exactly as it sounds, this kind of companion is available whenever you need them.

Depending on your arrangement, this can mean meeting you at pre-designated times or they can be ready to show up when you need them most.

It is also possible to switch a live-in companion to an on-call position if you are seeing great progress in your previous arrangement and are ready to take on the challenge of living on your own again.

Sober Escorts

Relapse is especially difficult when your away from home, your support systems, or therapists. 

A sober escort can help alleviate the pressure of navigating the outside world’s temptations on a case-by-case basis.

Sober escorts can be of use in the following scenarios:

  • Traveling for a work trip overnight or overseas
  • Reuniting with a negative influence from the past
  • Attending a social gathering where alcohol is present

Any of these examples are a great time to enlist the support of a sober escort.

Sober Companion Vs. Sponsor

AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) are known for their sponsor and sponsee recovery relationships.

Although the 12-step program can be a part of your recovery journey, this doesn’t mean that you are bound to a sponsor as your main contact if a crisis should occur.

A sponsor is a fellow person in recovery who does not get paid to be your lifeline. 

A sober companion, however, is providing paid support to you and is contractually obligated to show up as often as you request. 

Because payment is involved, sober companions can be a more secure point of contact for someone integrating into life after recovery.

Choosing Sober Companions

Deciding which type of sober companion you need depends on where you’re at in your recovery journey and what your goals are for the future.

If you suffer from an addiction to alcohol, for example, and you need constant supervision to ensure that you won’t purchase harmful substances then a live-in companion might be your best option.

If you have recently completed a year-long drug addiction treatment and feel capable to live on your own but need help navigating around town, then an on-call sober companion would be better suited to your needs.

If you have been living a sober lifestyle for a few months but are anxious about being tempted while at a work-related event, then consider hiring a sober escort to help ease your tension.

Above all else, it is important that you mesh well with the person who is going to be assisting you in your journey. It is okay to sample a few personalities until you find the right one for you.

Where to Find a Sober Companion

You can hire a companion from your treatment facility, through a doctor’s recommendation or by checking the list of services offered by your health insurance.

Please make sure that you hire a professionally appointed sober companion.

Since you will be in a vulnerable state while transitioning, it is important that you are around professional and compassionate caretakers who have your best interest in mind.

Maintaining a Sober Lifestyle

Support is an invaluable tool for anyone recovering from addiction.

Whether you need help every week, every day, or every hour, there is a sober companion waiting to support your sober lifestyle.Curious about other ways to support your sobriety? Please contact us for more information on the services we provide.

Clinically Reviewed By

Dawn Masick, LMFT

Dawn has experience dealing with various relational, emotional, and psychological struggles. Dawn’s training has prepared her to work with children, teens, young adults, adults, couples, and families. She has undergone training in DBT, TF-CBT, and Family Therapy.  Other competencies include dealing with ADHD, mood/anxiety disorders, parenting challenges, addiction, PTSD, co- dependency, and relationship issues. I have experience in residential, school-based mental health, children’s community mental health, victims of crime (VOC), and private practice settings.

Dawn has been committed to guiding clients through their trauma, coming alongside them in their healing, and supporting them as they navigate life changes. Dawn’s passion is working with clients struggling with trauma in substance abuse and mental health.