Sober Coaching in the United States

Last updated: 12 August 2022

What is a recovery coach? Across America, there is a new trend in the field of substance abuse treatment known as recovery coaching or sober coaching. Over the last decade, as the country has struggled to find answers to the drug epidemic, many people have begun utilizing additional support outside of the treatment setting to maintain recovery.

GET A CALL BACK

Recovery coaches have filled this role, creating a niche in an industry where one previously did not exist. A recovery coach is just like it sounds, someone who helps a person in recovery with making life decisions and maintaining sobriety. This has extended to take on more functions as the profession has expanded and become more popular, and some recovery coaches work with people who are active in addiction to try and help them get into treatment. But the keynote recovery coaching is that it is a non-clinical approach to supporting someone with substance use disorder.

Call 1-800-304-2219 to talk to a rehab specialist

Recovery coaches are unique in that they do not address, diagnose, or treat mental health problems or substance use disorders. They will not spend time with a client discussing their past or even their feelings very much. The idea is to offer positive support for behaviors that are helpful in recovery and guidance in decision-making to avoid situations or life circumstances which make a person more prone to relapse. Recovery coaching is not associated with any particular model of drug and alcohol treatment or recovery, so can benefit anyone regardless of what program they have attended or their beliefs. They are there for the person, night or day, face-to-face or by phone to help them stay clean and on the right track.

One of the biggest benefits of recovery coaching is that it can be particularly useful for people who are transitioning from being in a treatment setting to returning home. This is usually the area where people struggle or relapse, going from a very restrictive and supportive environment to one with total freedoms and little support. Having someone to talk to regularly who can help the person make good decisions or just vent to without judgment can be vital to the recovery process. Outpatient facilities meetings like AA or NA do their best to fill this role but don't have the flexibility and availability that a recovery coach can provide. Also, developing a personal relationship with one person who is helping you can be more stabilizing than a group setting for many people.

Recovery coaches do not replace treatment or other aftercare measures or support groups. But what they can do is fill in the major gaps that exist within the aftercare network and provide people with a level of support access that has never existed before in the recovery community. Like anything else though, it is important to do one's homework and select a recovery coach that is reputable and qualified. Since this is a fairly new field, not much licensing or regulation exists for recovery coaches because they do not perform any counseling or medical services. There are certification programs available in many states, however, these only verify that a person has followed some curriculum of learning.

We have taken the guesswork out of it for you by providing resources for quality recovery coaches, but it is still important to spend some time on the selection process and find someone who is a good fit for you. Everyone is different and will benefit from a different skill set or personality type. Many recovery coaches have personal experience with addiction and so may have a relatable history or story. Finding the right one could be the missing piece to finding long-term recovery.

Get help for veterans

CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ARTICLE

Michael Leach, CCMA

Michael Leach, CCMA

Medically Reviewed

on August 12, 2022

More Information

Michael Leach is a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, who has over 5 years of experience working in the field of addiction. He spent his career working under the board-certified Addictionologist Dr. Rohit Adi. His experience includes working with families during their loved one’s stay in treatment, helping those with substance abuse issues find treatment, and teaching life skills to patients in a recovery atmosphere. Though he has worked in many different areas of rehabilitation, the majority of his time was spent working one on one with patients who were actively withdrawing from drugs. Withdrawal and the fear of going through it is one biggest reason why an addict continues to use and can be the most difficult part of the rehabilitation process. His experience in the withdrawal atmosphere has taught him that regardless of what approach a person takes to get off drugs, there are always mental and emotional obstacles that need to be overcome. He believes having someone there to help a person through these obstacles can make all the difference during the withdrawal process.