Sober Code – a new resource for sober coaches and sober communities

Susan Laurie | May 2023 | 8 minutes

The Sober Code is an important step in the right direction, for all sober coaches and sober communities and anyone who needs them.

I think it is important to start by saying that I wish that Sober Coaches and online Sober Communities had existed years ago, when I first realised that I was probably drinking more than was good for me and I didn’t like how that made me feel, physically and mentally.

Who knows where I might have been now, if I’d had access to that kind of support? You see, I believe that a good Sober Coach and a nurturing and supportive Sober Community can make an enormous and positive difference to someone who may want to cut down or stop drinking, but struggles to do that alone. When it is still a choice that they have control over making.

Some people need that bit of extra support and encouragement, in the same way we might work with a personal trainer to help motivate and guide us to the fitness level or body shape we desire, or join a slimming club for that uplifting sense of camaraderie that comes from sharing a common goal.

Had I had access to that kind of support, my drinking may not have progressed to the extent it did, and I may never have crossed that invisible line into dependence, which is different for everyone. Sadly, I did become alcohol dependent and that is why I know that once you cross that line, sobriety becomes something that is vital to save your life, and not a lifestyle choice – there is a very important difference.

I also know that alcohol dependence is a very frightening and lonely place, and that can make you vulnerable. I know how it feels to search online in a desperate attempt to find someone who could help me. I often did this whilst intoxicated, hating myself and what I had become, and more than once I have paid for a treatment that didn’t work, and then drank on the guilt of wasting my family’s hard-earned money. Ending up in a worse place with alcohol than I was before. In the eight years since I have been sober, I have talked to many people who have done the same.

Whilst this is something that is very dear to my heart, I also know that a good Sober Coach can be the difference between someone cutting down or stopping drinking or progressing to dependence. I want to help support anyone who wants to get sober, at whatever part of their drinking journey they are at, and I also want to work with and support those professionals who want to help them.

And after talking to some incredible people in the sober world, Sober Dave and Shaz and Ben at Over The Influence, we realised that there was not only a real need for support for sober coaches and sober communities, to help them understand dependence so they can signpost those people to more appropriate specialists, but there is also a real appetite from sober coaches and sober communities who want to encourage the highest possible standards in their ‘industry’, and to work in the most responsible way possible.

And that is how Sober Code was born.

Sober Code was created to help sober coaches and sober communities provide the best possible support they can, by offering resources and guidance around alcohol dependence, so that they know they are not working with people who need more specialist treatment. This allows them to focus on the fantastic work they do, whilst helping to protect those whose alcohol dependence makes them vulnerable. Sober Code is also there to help anyone who wants help with sobriety, with guidance about choosing a sober coach.

And the response has been fantastic. Sober Code has not only been welcomed by many Sober Coaches, but some have said that it is long overdue.

So Sober Code is something that I want Sober Coaches and Sober Communities to feel proud to be part of. I would love them to get behind Sober Code and ‘own’ it. To suggest resources and signposting which would be useful to add to the website. This is just the beginning – Sober Code is an important step in the right direction, for all Sober Coaches and Sober Communities and anyone who needs them.

Susan Laurie, Author and speaker

"We think Sober Code is a great resource for coaches who plan to work with clients who want to reduce their drinking. It provides some great tools, and guidance to support them in ensuring they are only working with people for whom coaching is suitable. It’s also a good resource for people who are considering using a coach, including how to decide whether coaching is right for them or not." Alcohol Change UK

Find out more about the Sober Code

Read more