What Is a Sober Coach?

By The Fix staff 05/28/20

Having one-on-one support can help you succeed in recovery.

Image: 
Two people sitting outside under a tree, silhouetted by setting sun
Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

When you’re dealing with active addiction, it can feel like you’re all alone. Many treatment centers try to cut through that feeling by providing group activities and sessions meant to highlight the fact that other people are facing the same struggles as you. Still, it can be difficult to connect with people in a group setting, particularly as you’re navigating your own transition into sobriety and addressing the demons from your past.

That’s why having a sober partner is such a great idea. A sober partner is someone — usually a person who is in recovery themselves – who is able to connect with you one-on-one and help guide you through treatment. Knowing that you have a partner walking alongside you can help give you the strength you need to get through the difficult moments of treatment and recovery.

What does treatment look like with a sober partner?

If you have a sober partner, or sober coach, you’ll proceed through the expected phases of treatment, if you choose: detox, inpatient, intensive outpatient, and sober living. You’ll still meet with professionals like counselors or a psychologist, and you’ll still attend group meetings.

The major difference is you’ll have someone at your side to talk through all this. Your sober coach can discuss recovery with you while you engage in activities that you love, like golf or walking on the beach. Having a sober coach allows you to process what you’re learning in early recovery with someone who has been in the same situation that you are in now.

Does having a sober coach work?

Peer support has a long history in recovery. The connection to other people in recovery is what makes 12-step programs so successful. In fact, relying on peer support groups was the main way to get sober in this country for many years.

Now, there are more options than ever for medically-supported and other forms of treatment, but the connection to peers remains important. There’s a lot that you can learn from someone who has overcome addiction and established a life in recovery. Your sober coach is able to understand where you are now, and help you to grasp how the lessons you’re learning in treatment will help you in the long term.

Research shows that having a sober coach can improve outcomes for people who seek treatment for substance use disorder. A 2019 scientific review found that working with a sober coach reduces the risk of relapse, helps people have better relationships with their treatment provider, and increases the chances that they stay in treatment. Having a sober coach also gave clients a more positive view of treatment — something that’s essential as you start your life in recovery.

Sober coach options

Sober Partners, a pet-friendly treatment center in Newport Beach, California, specializes in intensive treatment with one-on-one support. Sober Partners offers three levels of sober support:

  • Sober companion: A sober companion is the highest level of individualized sober support available. The sober companion provides constant support, whether you’re getting sober at home, or in a treatment facility. The companion is focused on helping you abstain from drugs or alcohol, and is also trained in crisis management to help you handle any unexpected challenges that arise during your recovery.
  • Sober coach: A sober coach will meet with you 3-4 times a week while you’re in treatment, and provide constant ongoing support. You’re matched with a sober coach who shares the same profession, background or age, and therefore is able to help you navigate the issues specific to your recovery.
  • Sober advisor: Getting through the first 90 days of treatment is a huge accomplishment, but there are still major challenges ahead. A sober advisor will help guide you through the first year of recovery, meeting with you once a week to discuss your successes and any problem points you’re having.

Getting into recovery is daunting, and the more support you have, the better your chances of staying sober long-term. Having a sober coach who knows you personally and understands what you’re going through is critical. The coach can offer guidance and support that your friends and family who haven’t dealt with addiction just can’t provide.

Sober Partners provides residential treatment in Newport Beach, California. Get more information at their website, by calling 855-982-3247, or on Facebook.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix
the-fix-logo.png

The Fix staff consists of the editor-in-chief and publisher, a senior editor, an associate editor, an editorial coordinator, and several contributing editors and writers. Articles in Professional Voices, Ask an Expert, and similar sections are written by doctors, psychologists, clinicians, professors and other experts from universities, hospitals, government agencies and elsewhere. For contact and other info, please visit our About Us page.