A Recovery Coach, also known as a Sober Coach, is the latest weapon in the fight against addiction. Coaches provide invaluable support for people trying to overcome their compulsive, obsessive, destructive behaviors. A Recovery Coach works very much like a “Life Coach” helping clients to remain substance free through various techniques. These techniques are designed to help individuals in areas where they have been unable to assist themselves. We know that addiction is not just about the substance, getting rid of the substances is only the start of a long-term process.
Most individuals begin the process with admitting into an inpatient treatment program, which can be a necessary component, especially when detox is needed. Statistically; however, most relapses occur after treatment, when people are faced with the stressors of life. Wikipedia defines a stressor as a chemical or biological agent, environmental condition, external stimulus or an event that causes stress to an organism. Psychologically speaking, a stressor can be events or environments that an individual would consider demanding, challenging, and or threaten the individual’s safety.
An event that triggers a stress response may include:
- environmental stressors
- daily stress events
- life changes
- workplace stressors
- chemical stressors
- social stressors
Individuals in early recovery or who have not maintained mental stability do not have the coping skills to deal with these life stressors. Having a recovery coach can help to get through these difficult times and work on building appropriate coping mechanisms.
New Sober Recovery Coach Services
One of the most desirable pieces of having a recovery coach is that the services is custom built for the needs of the individual. There are varying levels of support, depending on need. Some individuals are in need of daily support, while others may need it less frequently. A full needs assessment by a qualified recovery coach and/or clinician should be completed during initial contact, determining those needs. The plan should also be reevaluated regularly to assess changes in need. Many ask whether a recovery coach is like a sponsor. Although both probably possess many of the same characteristics, a recovery coach provides much more, bridging the gap between recovery and daily life.
Unlike a volunteer sponsor, a recovery coach is employed by you or your loved one. They can be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They will help you devise a plan with realistic daily goals, help keep you accountable to it, and continually reassess and make adjustments as you progress (Recovery Connection, Jeffrey Silverman 12/27/17).
The benefits of working with a recovery coach are limitless and no value can be placed on long-term sobriety. If there are mental health issues or significant issues related to trauma, it is recommended that the appropriate therapy is coupled with the service of recovery coaching. In fact, this topic identifies the importance of having additional supports since unlocking some of those traumatic experiences can lead to relapse. Having someone to support you through that has immeasurable effects. In addition, it is common for individuals with psychiatric disorders to not take their medications or follow-up with their doctors. Again, promoting the use of a sober/life coach.
What are the benefits for your loved ones? As we have become a society where family no longer live near each other, families can have the peace of mind of knowing that you are doing as you need to. Prior to sober coaches, loved ones relied on information obtained from treatment centers, sober living or from the individual themselves. The peace of mind again is immeasurable.
Treatment Aftercare Should Include A recovery Coach Or Sober Companion
There are also benefits to society. Society can feel comfortable knowing that there is ongoing accountability and aftercare to treatment. Communities that have developed resentments for addicts can build a new found confidence in the recovery community. The missing component has typically been the aftercare plan, which should be long-term. Aftercare is exactly what it sounds like, care that comes after. After what? That depends. Not everyone goes to treatment. You may be in a position where you are unable to stop working, possibly only needing detox. Perhaps you are looking into a sober coach, believing that a relapse is imminent and you are in preventative mode. There are different types of aftercare programs and they also have different requirements. For instance, one may require that a former addict has been sober for a certain period of time before entering their program while another may allow a person to enter right away. Some aftercare programs specialize in a particular addiction such as alcohol or cocaine, and then there are others that are simply extensions of rehab programs. Which type is best will strictly depend on each person’s specific needs.
Recovering from an addiction is an ongoing process. Statistically, most relapses occur within the first couple of months of leaving treatment. Aftercare programs understand this risk and want to help eliminate it as much as possible by providing continuous support, guidance, counseling, and an environment for which future success is inevitable, if a person is truly committed to change. In relation to this article, aftercare includes the use of a sober coach. Although some treatment centers provide long-term outpatient treatment, this is usually one group per week, with no individual attention attached to that. Some individuals feel very uncomfortable in a group setting and the anxiety that it provokes is enough to keep them away.
Statistics show that relapse amongst addicts is extremely high. The question is why? There are numerous reasons. While in treatment, individuals are in a “safe” environment. That all changes once a person is discharged back into the real world with their old responsibilities, old neighborhoods, and friends. If new habits have not been formed, which take time, it becomes easy for addicts to return to old habits.
An Aftercare program could become a part of a person’s lifelong health plan. Aftercare can come in the form of group meetings, individual counseling, ongoing addiction education, recreational and social outings with other recovered addicts, or any other activity that encourages a person to stay clean and gives them the support and tools they need to do so.
Sober coaches, life coaches and recovery coaches are the ongoing care needed to address the ever-growing problem of addiction. With numbers of addiction related problems are on the rise, something has to change. Addiction is a disease, and like other diseases of the body, once you ignore it, it comes back with a vengeance.