Do I Need A Sober Companion?



It was a very relaxed day for me yesterday as I lounged around in my pajamas and did nothing except watch TV. You know those days when there is nothing to do (or maybe you’ve come up with the decision that you don’t want to do anything) but just be lazy and have a DVD marathon. I turned on my laptop and typed my favorite website which is Netflix and chose one series to fill my Saturday. This time I opted for Elementary.


Elementary is a series about Sherlock Holmes in a modern twist, and instead of a man sidekick, his detective partner was a Joan Watson (played by Lucy Liu). From there I learned that Joan Watson was a “sober companion” since Sherlock Holmes was a recovering drug addict. Just as I thought that I would get all lazy and watch a series, I began typing out this article. Thanks, Elementary (and Lucy Liu) for inspiring me!


What Is A Sober Companion?




From the series, I learned that a sober companion is someone who stays at your home after you’ve received drug rehab treatment. This person will help you in any way he or she can so that you won’t have a relapse and be drug-free. They can’t be apart or without an update for more than 2 hours, and Joan was sticking with Sherlock like glue. That was how “Joan Watson” was assisting Sherlock Holmes, and their contract was for six weeks.


Based on research, I learned that a sober companion is a person who can accompany you and help you adjust to life outside the rehab center. They say that rehab is synonymous with prison and that your freedom is limited. Upon release, some people relapse and go back to drugs because of too much independence. The sober companion is there to pull the person back from going down the drug use road again.


Expectations From A Sober Companion


In Elementary, Sherlock’s father was the one who hired Joan Watson to be his son’s sober companion. Joan Watson was a surgeon and a great one at that, according to the facts in the series, but she made a mistake on her operating table once that cost the life of a patient. Ever since then, Joan just couldn’t bear it. She decided to become a sober companion and move on from her terrible ordeal.


Anyway, I saw many qualities in Joan Watson on how a sober companion must act. From the series, a sober companion has to be:


  • Effective in removing drugs or alcohol from your home
  • Keen and observant, especially on one’s behavior which can trigger chemical dependency
  • Inspiring in a way that he or she can push the person to perform healthy habits as learned during rehab days
  • Efficient in sifting through your associations – family, friends, lovers, colleagues and such, to avoid relapse
  • Helpful in connecting the client with his or her clean family and friends


A sober companion is not a sponsor. He or she is more than a sponsor, a coach, or a counselor. This person is ready to intervene, and at times, there will be challenging encounters.


Why Recovering Addicts Need A Sober Companion




From the series, Sherlock Holmes didn’t “order” a sober companion. His meddling father did the hiring and paid the services of Joan Watson. As for deciding if a person needs a sober companion or not, in real life, the choice is on the recovering addict. A sober companion is not required after drug rehab treatment is done, but your therapist or counselor may recommend someone if they believe that you need additional help.


Sherlock kept on saying that Joan’s service fee was exorbitant, and it’s true. These days, a live-in sober companion may charge as high as $1000 per day, but then again, this person is your lifeline, your white angel, and good conscience. He or she will prevent your relapse and do everything in their power to keep your nose clean.


If you can afford it, then, why not? Getting clean is not an easy task. If it were easy, there would be no drug addicts in this world, right? But with a sober companion beside you, the days will get smoother and be being sober will be more fulfilling.


(I am nearing the end of Season 1 in Elementary, and as expected, Sherlock offered a business partnership to Joan Watson. Apparently, he needed her, as much as she needed him. And Sherlock reached 365 days of sobriety. Cool!)