Dr. Cali Estes - The Addiction Coach ®

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Sober Companion or Sober Coach?

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Sober Companion or Sober Coach?

The Difference between a Sober Companion and Sober Coach

Often when discussing potential options in drug and alcohol treatment, it can be surprisingly common to run into a person or persons who don’t know all their options. Sure, they may have heard of rehab from TV or maybe they saw an intervention or two in a movie somewhere, but any further knowledge is hard to come by. Staying well-informed on everything that can be provided can be the difference between a life well-lived and a lost opportunity. So, with that being said, here are two great resources that may fly under the radar: Sober coaches and sober companions.

Now, there are a lot of similarities between the two professions. In fact, identifying the differences can be a bit confusing to someone who isn’t in the know. However, there are differences and they’re worth knowing.

Sober Companion

First things first, what is a sober companion? Well, the name sort of gives it away. They’re like a companion, just sober. Joking aside, sober companions are trained individuals with years of experience in recovery that aid clients into back into normal life. Depending on where they’re hired, they may have different responsibilities and capabilities as well. For example, if you were to hire a sober companion from The Addictions Coach or Sober on Demand, their sober companions can “live in your residence, and accompany you to events, work, gym, grocery, meetings, outings, and more and help you stay sober as you re-enter your life and the workforce. They can also accompany you as a sober escort to an event like a wedding, business meeting, or short-term event where a high-risk situation like drugs, alcohol, or sex will be present. They’ll help you overcome triggers, install coping skills, assist with budget/finance, daily living duties, and even help with anxiety, depression, mental health issues, and eating disorders. They are not babysitters and will provide as much help or as little as needed”

In other words, sober companions are like a reinforceable accountability resource. Now, it’s important to note that while a sober companion can have a huge impact on someone’s life, they are most effective when used in tandem with other services. They’re like a safe landing after treatment or a way to incorporate lessons from therapy or sober coaching into your daily routine.

Sober Coach

Speaking of which, a sober coach (or a recovery coach) is indeed distinct from a sober companion. Sober coaches are most available via appointment on a weekly basis (or sooner if need be) and work almost like consultants. They utilize the harm reduction model with medically assisted therapies like Subutex, Suboxone, Vivitrol, methadone, or marijuana maintenance programs and controlled drinking. They focus on the present and future, and how to best move forward while tackling addiction.

This may lead some to see similarities with therapy in this regard, but sober coaching often works best when done alongside therapy rather than as a substitute. Cali Estes put it best by saying “coaching focuses on forward, positive motion and does not dwell on your past issues and traumas, whereas therapy and counseling go back into your past to confront past issues that have not been handled. Professional recovery coaches are able to delve into the current and existing issues that are holding you back in life and help you move forward, addiction-free!”


There’s undeniably a lot of overlap between the roles of sober coaches and sober companions. They offer some professional insight and support, advice on the do’s and don’ts of addiction management, and some general education on the recovery process. However, the rule of thumb to tell them apart is the extent of their services. Sober coaching can give you the plan, and a sober companion can help you implement it.


Questions? Call today at 1.800.706.0318

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