The Role of a Sober Escort

SAfter months, perhaps years of struggling with your family member’s addiction to drugs or alcohol, you have finally been able to get the commitment you’ve been looking for. They have agreed to check into a treatment center. They are frightened, and so are you. You are hopeful, and so are they. All of the fighting and worrying has finally reached this amazing pinnacle where they can get the help they need to deal with the demons of addiction. Finally!

Now What?

Now it’s time to actually take your loved one to the treatment center and begin the recovery process. One option may be to put the recovering addict into a car and point them in the direction of rehab – and hope for the best. Drug addiction is a very powerful and compulsive disease, however, and it isn’t unusual for someone to change their mind out of fear, desperation to use drugs “one more time” before rehab, or any other excuse they may come up with. Another option is to have a member of the family drive them to rehab. While this sounds like a reasonable idea, will the family member chosen be able to withstand the recovering addict’s pleas for a stay of treatment?  Will the recovering addict be able to talk his or her way out of the situation by playing on emotional heartstrings?

One of the most effective ways to make sure that your family member arrives safely at their treatment center is to employ a sober escort to transport the newly recovering addict to the facility. A sober escort is someone who does not have an emotional tie to the situation and is less likely to soften their directive. This person is hired to do a job, and they are professionals. A good sober escort will not be swayed by repeated attempts to avoid the treatment center, but at the same time is experienced and trained in the needs and physical comfort of someone who may begin to show signs of withdrawal and detox during the trip.

The Trip Home Can Be Dangerous for a Recovering Addict

The treatment of drug and alcohol addiction is not an exact science, and every individual who seeks help is unique in their life experiences, their level of addiction and even their commitment to recovery. According to a study conducted at the National Addiction Centre in London and published by the US National Library of Medicine, as many as 60 percent of individuals treated for heroin addiction relapse very quickly after leaving treatment. Of course, this means that 40 percent remained abstinent, which is great news. However, given the likelihood that an individual who is facing their “real life” again without the benefit of drugs or alcohol may relapse, the role of a sober escort becomes one of transition and hope.

It is important to remember that addiction is often marked by relapse, and it doesn’t mean that the treatment plan didn’t work. It means only that an individual’s overall plan may need adjustment for the change in circumstances. The greatest danger lies in the decrease in the level of tolerance that the individual has for their drugs of choice. Using the same amount of heroin on the day of release from treatment that the individual used the day before they checked in can result in a deadly overdose. The sober escort can help the recovering addict assimilate back into their daily life, make connections with sober support groups and give them the stability they need to avoid relapse more successfully.

Choosing the Right Sober Escort for Your Family Member

There are several aspects of choosing a sober escort that you and your family may want to consider. They include:

  • Gender. Would your family member be more at ease with a member of their same gender escorting them to treatment?
  • Experience. An individual who has escorted others to treatment in the past may be more equipped to handle any challenges that may arise along the way.
  • Strength and confidence. When transporting an individual who may become violent, a sober escort may need to call on their strength and training to maintain order or protect the individual from harming themselves or others.
  • Understanding and compassion. In some instances, sober escorts are addicts who have successfully eliminated drugs or alcohol from their own lives, which could give them the personal knowledge and experience to help your loved one on their historic journey.

If someone you love is on the verge of seeking the help they need, or if they have already agreed to enter treatment, please call us here at Axis today for more information about how a sober escort can help them make this transition.