After treatment, it is important to remain in touch with a supportive sober-minded group. Initially, joining a 12-Step program can be intimidating, as you may not yet accept the reality of your situation. This is why working with a sponsor through a 12-Step program of your choice can help ease your transition.
A sponsor can share their knowledge and experience in recovery and as a member of a 12-Step program. The stigma surrounding addiction and 12-Step programs can cause many people to want to avoid being part of such communities. However, addiction is a brain disease that requires support for long-term recovery. A sponsor can help guide you in the process and help you learn about recovery through their experience as you navigate your own recovery.
Spero Recovery Center offers treatment for individuals dealing with an addiction or substance use disorder (SUD) and allows regular meetings with sponsors. This is beneficial because once treatment is completed, you will have the necessary tools to continue recovery and already be working through your ninth step.
What Is a 12-Step Program?
12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), are designed to provide individuals with the support they need for continuing recovery. These programs are widely accessible and free of charge.
The only requirement to join a 12-Step program is to be fully committed to a new life free from addiction. This means admitting your lack of control over your addiction and need for support.
There is a common misconception that religion is involved in 12-Step programs. However, they are more spiritual than religious. 12-Step programs encourage the belief in a higher power but do not force anyone into religious practices.
What Is a Sponsor in a 12-Step Program?
A 12-Step program participant who supports another member in establishing and sustaining a sober lifestyle is known as a sponsor. Sponsors should have a full understanding of the process in a 12-Step program. Most sponsors have worked through all 12 Steps and have achieved at least one year of sobriety.
What Does a Sponsor Relationship Look Like?
Your relationship with your sponsor should be consistent and include regular phone calls, in-person meetings, and other forms of communication. A good sponsor should be someone responsible that can be available to you when you feel most vulnerable regarding your addiction. Sponsors do not require any form of training but should be committed to sobriety and have the desire to help others through their recovery.
The Role of a Sponsor
While 12-Step programs lack formal rules due to them being peer-run programs, sponsors have the opportunity to guide new members through the steps based on their experience.
Sponsors also offer their support by:
- Encouraging the individuals to attend 12-Step meetings and other recovery-focused events
- Introducing them to other 12-Step group members
- Expanding on points discussed during meetings
- Helping manage triggering situations, such as parties or weddings
- Providing recovery-focused workbooks and worksheets
- Answering any questions you may have
What a Good Sponsor Looks Like
A good sponsor Is a good listener and pays close attention to your thoughts and feelings without forcing their own points of view. They should also be able to make the time you need for your recovery. It is important to initially discuss your needs and schedule with your sponsor to ensure you are a good fit.
You should also ensure that your sponsor has stability in the program and has a passion for sponsorship. They should also have good availability. Therefore, you should make sure they don’t already have too many other people who are being sponsored by them and can be available to you.
A Fulfilling Journey in Sponsorship
Most individuals seeking recovery find it difficult to adjust to their situation because of their life circumstances. To achieve recovery, it is important to make the necessary changes in your life. This includes cutting ties with people who may trigger your addiction and forming new relationships with people who positively influence your new lifestyle. This is why forming a healthy relationship with your sponsor can help you form the healthy relationships you need for long-term recovery.
According to the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, sponsorship after treatment indicated a better likelihood of maintaining sobriety at follow-up. Therefore, one can conclude that sponsorship is linked to successful treatment outcomes for people with SUD.
Individuals who choose to seek treatment at Spero have the option to meet up with their sponsor regularly. That way, when residential treatment is completed, guests can fully understand the Twelve Steps and accountability with a sponsor and recovery community. Spero encourages the principles of the Twelve Steps outside of their program to give individuals a higher chance of long-term recovery.
A sponsor is a 12-Step program member who has the knowledge and ability to support another member in establishing and sustaining a sober lifestyle. A fulfilling journey in sponsorship requires the support of a sponsor who has a full understanding of the 12 Steps and who is committed to sobriety while having a passion for helping others. 12-Step programs help individuals through recovery after treatment and increase the chances of maintaining sobriety. Most people initiating recovery have a lack of support due to their need for a new lifestyle away from people who trigger their addiction. That’s why a healthy relationship with a sponsor plays a major role in recovery. For more information on sponsorship, call Spero at (303) 351-7888.