How A Sponsor Can Help Maintain Your Sobriety

women in victory at top of mountain

If you are reading this, we want to start by congratulating you. You are taking a proactive step toward your own or your loved one’s recovery. Recovery is a long and hard road, but not impossible. It is important to be prepared for this journey to ensure effective treatment and long-lasting sobriety. This is especially true of anyone preparing for outpatient detox.

During outpatient treatment, individuals who suffer from less serious addictions, or who have already completed their inpatient treatment, may complete recovery while continuing to live in the comfort of their own home. It is an ideal option for those who desire the freedom to continue daily activities, such as work or school. However, if the proper support system isn’t set in place, individuals can find themselves backsliding into old habits. One integral part of recovery adopted by numerous rehabilitation programs is the use of sponsors.

What Is a Sponsor?

In 12-step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), sponsors are individuals within the program who act as mentors to newer members. Sponsors can either volunteer or be asked by another member for sponsorship. Generally speaking, sponsors are people an individual can trust and speak with freely about their struggles and lean into for strength during hurdles in their addiction recovery.

It is for this reason, among others, that sponsors are so strongly recommended. A sponsor is the ultimate emotional support tool for recovering addicts, providing encouragement, guidance, accountability, and objectivity to their sponsee during their transition into sobriety which, depending on the severity of the addiction and the type of program they enlist in, can be an extensive and strenuous process.

wooden scrabble letters spelling the word support

The bond between a sponsor and sponsee can vary from person to person. Some people maintain contact with their sponsor mainly through letters, while others regularly meet with their sponsor. No matter the form of communication or the stage of rehabilitation you are in, sponsors can be a great support tool.

The Benefits of a Sponsor

For the newly recovering addict, the pros of having a sponsor are quite apparent, but sponsorship isn’t just for the beginning stages of recovery. Sponsors are also incredibly beneficial for individuals at the end of their addiction treatment, or who are transitioning into other care, such as outpatient treatment.

According to a study done by the Recovery Research Institute, individuals with sponsors at the end of their treatment had a 33-50% greater chance of no further illicit drug use than those without one. Furthermore, individuals with past alcohol-related abuse problems were more likely to remain abstinent than those without sponsors.

Mutually Beneficial

Sponsorship is a two-way street. By becoming a sponsor, an individual not only has the opportunity to continually heal by sharing their own personal journey but to remain active in a supportive community centered around healing and love.

The Next Step

Are you ready to begin your healing journey? Call (973) 298-5776 to get in contact with our team or send us a message via our contact form.

Sources:

  1. https://www.na.org/admin/include/spaw2/uploads/pdf/litfiles/us_english/IP/EN3111.pdf
  2. https://www.recoveryanswers.org/research-post/mounting-evidence-of-the-benefits-of-12-step-sponsors/