What is a Sober Companion

Authored by Hugh Soames

Edited by Alexander Bentley

Reviewed by Dr Ruth Arenas

What is a Sober Companion?


Getting sober isn’t easy and that is why many people who suffer from addiction gain help from in-patient rehab centers. A treatment program is just the start of getting clean and sober, however. After the rehab program is finished, you must continue to live free of addiction. However, returning home and to the life you left behind can cause triggers. Additional support is needed to remain clean of drugs and alcohol and that is when a sober companion comes in.


Up to 60% of people who go through rehab revert back to drug and/or alcohol use. It is a rather high figure but one of the reasons this occurs is due to the lack of post-rehab support available. Many rehab centers do offer aftercare, yet oftentimes this is aftercare an afterthought. 12 Step programs are a great resource to individuals in all stages of recovery yet of course some clients may be determined to do things on their own or with a sober companion. There is no shame in finding additional help after rehab to stay clear of drugs and alcohol and that is why sober companionship is so important.

How does a sober companion work?


Sober companions can be hired to help you stay on the straight and narrow. There are services that hire out companions that work on your behalf to keep you sober. These individuals have also been called sober bodyguards as their job is to simply keep drugs and alcohol away from you.


A sober companion can play a variety of roles. They can return home with you from rehab and help you adjust to life post-treatment. You may meet your companion while still in rehab and grow a relationship with them. A companion will build trust with the client enabling the two to understand one another.


You may elect to have a sober companion by your side when attending support groups and other aftercare programs. Some individuals have their sober companion move into their home. This allows for 24-hour a day help if you experience drug or alcohol triggers.

Why hire a sober companion?


Not everyone needs a sober companion. You may decide that having the additional support is not needed or that you can receive it from others in your life. Rehab centers may suggest you consider a sober companion to get through a difficult transition upon returning home, however. Therapists and medical professionals that work with you in rehab may suggest hiring a sober companion to make life easier and prevent a relapse.

Sober Companion vs. Sober Coach


Sober companions, also called recovery companions, are trained in help provide a “safe landing” once a treatment program is completed and assist the client find a bridge to normal living. Sober companions offer support during challenging times and are not limited to simply working with those in early recovery. A good sober companion should understand family systems and have at least a working knowledge of co-occurring mental health disorders.


Sober coaches, also called recovery coaches, offer coaching support for individuals who do not a require 24/7 sober companion. Sober Coaching can be delivered via phone, zoom or in person. Sober coaches help individuals to set goals to support long term recovery

Recovery Coach or Recovery Companion?


Recovery companions and recovery coaches do have differences, such as the 24/7 help that is often required to prevent early stage relapse when a client re-enters their former life after primary recovery. They both offer professional support, as well as education in key life skills, coping with difficult situations, euphoric recall and relapse prevention techniques to set the framework for recovery success.

What more does a sober companion do?


A sober companion often knows ways to keep you from relapsing. Oftentimes, sober companions are former active addicts. They now want to help others gain freedom from addiction. Sober companions are typically compared to sponsors in AA. While a sponsor may be available to speak to when recovering addicts feel the need for drugs and/or alcohol, sober companions go far more in-depth to help a person overcome triggers.


Sober Companions help set self-management strategies, encouraging clients to pursue non-destructive recreational activities. In addition, they can assist relaxation training, time management, and with setting a daily schedule to help clients achieve greater lifestyle balance.


The service of a sober companion doesn’t come cheaply. Some may cost around $3,000 per day. It may sound expensive, but a sober companion can help relapse prevention by:


  • Removing drugs and alcohol from your home
  • Eliminating triggers
  • Observing your recovery
  • Identifying euphoric recall
  • Encouraging you to take advantage of a healthy lifestyle
  • Remind you of healthy habits learned in rehab
  • Monitoring your circle of friends and family
  • Helping you reconnect with family and loved ones


Sober companions can act as a conduit to help you recover your life. Now, fully sober, a companion can enable you to gain the life you desire free of drugs and alcohol.

What is Sober Transportation?


Sober Transportation is where a sober coach or sober companion will accompany clients to and from treatment, which is especially important for clients arriving and departing a rehab clinic in a different country. While the individual may not necessarily be too enamored with a sober bodyguard, their loved ones are often grateful to know their transportation is safe from harm or unwelcome temptations. Sober Companions often offer an extended repatriation service over several days, usually in the hope of securing a longer term engagement.

What is Recovery Rescue?


Recovery Rescue is where a sober coach or recovery companion will travel (usually anywhere in the World) at short notice to arrange and assist in an intervention and escort them to rehab. Some sober coaches and sober companions are trained interventionists although the majority are not. It is always advisable to check the sober coaches credentials as they relate specifically to an Intervention.


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