Episode 289: Soberlink | Accountability in Recovery

Accountability is at the core of any recovery program and, as we are reminded on this episode of Beyond Belief Sobriety, there are many roads to get there. Host John Sheldon invites his guest, Mark Knobloch, to share some of the strategies he finds most helpful to the people he advises as an addiction recovery advisor. Having been a previous guest of the pod (Episode #181 can be found here), Mark has returned to delve a little more deeply into the benefits he has seen play out for users of Soberlink, an in-home system featuring a cutting-edge breathalyzer with facial recognition technology. The system offers transparency and peace of mind while those in treatment re-build confidence in themselves and trust with those they love.

John and Mark reflect on the importance of meeting people fighting addiction wherever they are – physically, emotionally, psychologically and even spiritually. Both have found through the course of their own journeys that less dogma means more room for authenticity in recovery. With alcohol in particular and addiction in general so prevalent across the globe, there is growing momentum towards calling out an industry that lobbies relentlessly to make this potentially lethal substance glamorous. It’s everywhere! But because of conversations like this one, a growing number of people are bringing awareness to the powerfully negative impact alcohol has on individuals, families and entire communities. Mark shares reflections on his work and the meaning it brings to his life 10 years into sobriety, emphasizing the sense of purpose (and fun) he has found in supporting others in finding their unique paths to health and freedom.

It was a pleasure to hear Mark’s first-hand observations about our partners at Soberlink – who have given Beyond Belief Sobriety ongoing support and sponsorship. Click here to learn more about the unique remote alcohol technology that Soberlink has created to help provide accountability for people in recovery. The system includes a high-tech breathalyzer device with facial recognition that allows you to share your sobriety in real time with loved ones.

To view this and other episodes of Beyond Belief Sobriety on YouTube, visit this link.

Key Takeaways

  • Mark previously appeared in Episode #181 (which you can find here) to discuss a variety of tools and resources he uses in recovery. He has returned with a special focus on his experience deploying the Soberlink
  • At 10 years in recovery, Mark has gotten a lot out of following different routes to sobriety and self-understanding, including the 12 steps, yoga and meditation.
  • The importance of meeting people in addiction where they are and enabling them to progress through a course of treatment that works for them as individuals.
  • Thoughts on Smart Recovery, a cognitive behavioral therapy-oriented program for sobriety that both John and Mark have explored with interest.
  • How Soberlink helps solidify peace of mind while trust is being rebuilt among people in recovery and their family members.
  • Finding the Path: Active listening is a cornerstone of Mark’s approach to coaching, encouraging conversation with open-ended, empathetic questions.
  • It Takes All Kinds: Mark reviews a range of sobriety tools that have been effective for those he counsels, from the drug Antabuse to the 12 steps to the gym or spending time in nature.
  • The treatment of diseases like diabetes has changed dramatically over the decades, so why shouldn’t there be a similar evolution in treating addiction?
  • John reviews some key elements of the Echo Recovery peer support program:
    • Understanding recovery as a process of change.
    • Considering goals and expectations for life in recovery.
    • Meeting people where they are.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous is a tool that works for many – but not for all – and can’t be judged based on any one meeting or group. The alchemy changes all the time.
  • Why do we normalize alcohol use in society? Buy into marketing messages that depict it as glamorous, positive and fun? Remember when cigarettes were regarded that way?
  • About physical and psychological dependency and just how little we’re aware of the risks when we first start drinking.
  • Dogma and rigidity can be the enemy of recovery, repelling people in search of help.
  • John and Mark reflect on accountability and the ways in which purpose keeps them showing up for themselves and others in recovery.
  • What does it mean to drop the mask and be authentic? Where and when does claiming sobriety come into claiming one’s complete self in all contexts? (Don’t miss John’s livestream on the topic!)

Key Quotes

“Recovery jobs don’t typically pay much. It’s got to come more from the heart.” (Mark)

“Our (recovery) motto is: Meet the client where they’re at. Multiple pathways. Whatever works.” (Mark)

“Make sure the person knows that you’re truly listening – not going in and out. You’re absorbing what they’re saying and that’s how you can pick up on what direction an individual (wrestling with recovery) might want to go.” (Mark)

“It helps to have some underlying purpose for being sober – beyond just not going to jail and staying out of trouble.” (John)

“If you have other things that you can add to your arsenal, it strengthens your sobriety and recovery. It gives you more confidence.” (John)

“(AA) Meetings find their own personality. You’ve got to give it a shot and try several locations.” (Mark)

“If it’s not fun I’m not going to stay with it … There has to be an element of fun to it. I don’t want to sit around and be miserable and watch everyone else watch football and drink beer!” (Mark)

“Anytime I’ve heard anybody talk about Soberlink it’s always been positive … It’s just nice to know that the people who sponsor this podcast are doing something that’s helpful for people in recovery; that it’s a product that actually helps people.” (John)

Further Resources

About Mark

Mark Knobloch is a certified recovery advisor who works with Aware Recovery Care in Connecticut. He uses a variety of tools to help individuals and their families navigate in-home treatment for addiction.

Follow Mark

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Show Notes Written by knwhelmick at Fiverr