How to Become a Sober Companion
Sober companions are rarely acknowledged or appreciated, but I can confidently say that their work is undeniably vital. Often when asked about the duties or the role of a sober companion, most would simply assume a sober companion is what the name suggests – a friend who happens to be sober and can accompany you. However – as those in the field can attest – there’s so much more to the job than just that.
How to Become a Sober Companion
With the help of The Addictions Academy, you can be a certified professional sober companion and also certified in transport training. There are absolutely no prerequisites, and earning that certification is the difference between success and failure. It’s the most comprehensive training on the market today and revolutionary in including that transport training section, all covered in approximately 36 hours.
This job function has been around for a very long time but up until now, there has been no real certification or training process for the people that provide these services and it was merely based on the honor system of years in recovery of a 12-step model of peer supports. If you wanted to provide comfort and safety to your client base, this course is made for you! Included in the course are 10 hours of mentorship, a job board, networking, business/private practice assistance, and an ethics class. The host is one of the most highly acclaimed addiction treatment experts in the world, Dr. Cali Estes. She’s been referred to as the “female Dr. Drew”, with features on CNN, NBC, FOX, ABC and more, and founded both The Addictions Coach and Sober on Demand, the wildly popular alternative to drug and alcohol treatment services. In other words, if there was anyone certified to teach the ins and outs of sober companion training, it would be Cali Estes!
However, courses aside, some may ask; Could I bypass this process? The simple answer is technically, but you really shouldn’t. To elaborate, you’re not getting chosen by any clients if you’re not trained, insured, and certified. No one wants to trust their well-being to someone with absolutely no credentials! Even if you wanted to work in a larger organization, a place like The Addictions Coach or Sober on Demand requires certification, so it’d be a lost cause without the course! It’s like trying to dig a hole large enough to engulf a car with just a plastic spoon. Is it possible? Sure! Is it advised, efficient, or even safe? Not really.
Why You Should Be a Sober Companion
With the question of how out of the way, that naturally leaves the “why” in the equation. Well, there’s a whole lot to offer in the realm of moral strengthening, guiding others, and learning new perspectives, all falling under the broad umbrella of “personal growth.”
In terms of moral strengthening, there’s a certain wholesomeness that comes with aiding others, especially those in vulnerable positions. As a sober companion, you would ideally work with someone fresh out of rehab and in need of further help, a time when most addicts feel their weakest. You would be expected to guide them through the daily struggles of life, accompany them on trips or events, and generally pay close attention to their well-being. It isn’t an easy job by any means, but it can offer an opportunity to guide others through experience.
When in the midst of hardship and strife, it can be easy to get lost in emotion and the general lack of end in sight, and a new perspective can be a breath of fresh air. Maybe a client doesn’t have any coping mechanisms when on the go, maybe they haven’t experienced the woes of withdrawal when surrounded by substances, maybe they don’t have healthy coping habits – only a sober companion can spot these issues in the moment and address them accordingly. If you’re a fully recovered individual and feel the need to pull others out of the rut that is recovery struggle, sober companionship may be the job for you.
With training as a sober coach or safe transport, you are able to take your street knowledge and personal experience in the addiction recovery world and add some solid training behind your name to give you even more credibility in the addiction industry. In addition to gaining a wealth of new knowledge and understanding in the addiction process, you will also learn the ethical and legal side of companionship and transport. If you are toting clients around in your personal vehicle you need this class. We also cover the legal aspects of this work, ethics, and more.
Finally, another key reason to become a sober companion is for the sake of increasing availability for addicts in need of aid. While some companions offer virtual services, they can’t always be near clients who prefer in-person aid. A benefit to becoming a sober companion to those who may need it is simply the opportunity to be there for those who may need it! Often times sober companions are just a google search away, but if someone were to search “Sober companion Los Angeles” or “Sober companion New York”, you could possibly be that person that they’re searching for!
How much does a sober companion make?
While being a sober companion is indeed rewarding in terms of moral wholesomeness, you can rest assured that your average sober companion does make a comfortable wage. Now, for the sake of transparency, the numbers do vary here and there, but here’s what some sources say!
According to The Addictions Academy, sober companions can make anywhere from $300 to $2500 a day for their services. In recent years, we have seen a current rise in non-12-step treatment and that calls for more diversity in services that the addiction industry can provide for clients. In addition, a higher caliber of clientele requires a higher caliber of training. Most sober companions make between $300 to $2500 per day (a 24-hour span) for services. Clients that will pay this higher rate expect high-quality education and training and value for services not just being drug to meetings and running life errands. The lower pay rate you can find at a lot of the companies offering sober support services as a pay structure for their staff.
Meanwhile, according to ZipRecruiter, other organizations may hire for around $35,000 a year or $47,000 yearly. This is to say that while the numbers may vary from place to place, sober companions do make a living wage at worst, and a comfortable wage at best!