We live in a time where access to information is available at the tip of our fingers. With this great responsibility comes a heightened sense of stress, increasing numbers of anxiety, and a growing number of those using drugs and alcohol to cope with our ever-changing world. Whether it’s a cigarette mid-day at work to catch a quick “buzz,” binge drinking after work with colleagues, or abusing prescription medications, it’s hard to deny the trends of drug or alcohol abuse continue to trend upward.
As the numbers of people abusing drugs or alcohol continue to rise, we also see costs skyrocketing. The United States spends more than $740 billion a year annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity, and healthcare. The numbers highlight a problem facing the United States, and they are not on pace to change any time soon.
With alcohol, such a prominent part of American culture, and drugs being legalized all over the country, the worry for addiction is higher than ever. Colorado recently legalized mushrooms and was the first state in the country to legalize marijuana altogether. While the drugs are considered low-risk in terms of addiction, they do cause dependence that can lead people into rehab .Treatment has become a highly sought option for individuals who take it one step too far, and lose control of their drug use, leading them to a long road of battling addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Addiction has always been a problem, but the increased access to drugs has made the temptation even more challenging to achieve on your own. For opioids, in particular, increased drug availability is associated with increased use and overdose. American’s are increasingly seeking out treatment to deal with their addiction, and treatment for the disorder is reaching new levels. Once they have achieved sobriety and gone through the continuum of care, it may still be difficult for some to abstain from drugs or alcohol.
Many will continue treating their addiction by attending 12-step meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and get life-coaches that help navigate them through their newly founded sobriety. For some, however, they may consider getting a sober companion that can assist them with learning how to enjoy life without the presence of drugs or alcohol. In the long-term, it can be a critical decision to help the person utilize the tools they learned in treatment while having what can only be considered “training wheels.’
Sober companions can help fulfill many duties, which includes checking up on you to ensure you went to your support meetings and having a shoulder to lean on if intense cravings prevail. A sober companion will also be there to help the person develop healthy routines, such as maintaining exercise and nutrition. If they are hired, they will outline the short of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual growth necessary during recovery. It’s essential to keep in mind, however, that sober companions are not a personal assistant, and you must have goals that align with what you desire from sobriety.
What is a Sober Companion?
Recovery from addiction is a lifelong process. Addiction, a chronic, relapse-prone disorder, is a lifelong dynamic process. There is a plethora of information pertaining to the topic, but recovery is still something that we are learning about. With that said, new information is being released about methods that assist those to get sober and not fall victim to relapse. A more modern and tested method, known as sober companions, are becoming more popular as those venture in their lives of recovery. So what is a sober companion exactly?
A sober companion is a person who goes home with you to help transition back into life, works to keep you sober, and positions you to be successful.
They will provide support to overcome the emotional and psychological aspects of recovery. It is imperative for some to receive this extra support because of a large percentage of former drug users leave treatment and immediately fall victim to their demons. Early relapse is often followed by recovery, but a sober companion can help you stay on track and avoid relapse by providing stability and accountability.
What Does a Sober Companion do?
Sober companions offer basic companionship during a challenging time in your life. For many, active addiction has burned bridges and robbed them of friendships or family warmth. While the person works to earn their trust back to friends and family, sober companions offer unconditional friendship since you start with a blank slate. Sober companions will talk to you, help you through cravings, and be an active friend.
In addition to being a friend, they will also prevent relapses. It may include searching your home for drugs or alcohol, accompanying you to after-work events that may contain alcohol, block you from purchasing drugs or alcohol, and take you to 12-step meetings. All sober companions offer varying services, and it’s crucial to understand their services before agreeing to this arrangement.
Pros and Cons of Getting a Sober Companion
First and foremost, utilizing a sober companion is ideal since sponsors can’t be with us every second of the day. If a sober coach works 24/7 or stays on call, there is always a safety net that provides us with a piece of mind. Sober companions, especially those hired for live-in-care, will help no matter what. Even if nothing overwhelming is happening in life, triggers are going to occur. Triggers can range from isolation, feeling mild depression, or even boredom. With a 24/7 sober companion, you won’t need to worry about feeling that way.
Sober companions should be viewed as a personal trainer. You may not work with the trainer each time you attend the gym, but you learn what to do when you’re alone. Sober companions fulfill the same type of role. They may not be with you for the rest of your life, but a point will soon be reached where their services are no longer required, which is the end goal of hiring a sober companion.
It’s easy to sit here and think of all the positive benefits from a sober companion, but there are some cons to consider as well. If you elect to use a sober companion in your journey toward sobriety, it can be hard to trust someone working for pay. Sponsors may not be available 24/7, but they are people that care about your sobriety. You may not be able to determine if a sober companion has your best interests in mind as some are looking to make money.
With that said, some may wonder if a sober companion works. If you elect to use a sober companion instead of using a more traditional program, there’s only so much this person can do if you decide to drink. Some sober companions admit that they can help you achieve hard reduction instead of complete abstinence. If they try cutting you off and you don’t feel like stopping, what’s to keep you from firing them? Their job instantly becomes damage control, or they’re left looking for a new client.
While each path we take in life includes pros and cons, this situation all depends on what you want. If you are someone ready to get sober and know you need a helping hand, this can work, but for those who are not 100 percent committed to their sobriety, it may not work. If you are ready to get help, you must call California Highlands Vistas.