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, especially if you are preparing for outpatient addiction treatment.
During outpatient treatment, individuals who live with less serious addictions or who have already completed their inpatient treatment may complete recovery while continuing to live in the comfort of their own homes. 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 12-step addiction treatment programs is the use of sponsors.
Understanding 12-Step Programs
12-step programs were created to provide individuals with an understanding of the addiction recovery process. The 12 steps are a series of commitments and actions that, if completed honestly and sincerely, can lead to a successful journey to sobriety and improved mental health. While 12-step programs are applicable to numerous forms of addiction, they each have unique characteristics.
Many private addiction treatment programs also use 12-step programs as part of their treatment process. This allows clients to receive individualized and quality care while also providing them with a strong support system through sponsors and group meetings. Sponsors can assist in the recovery process by providing invaluable guidance, support, and encouragement.
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.1 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.
The bond between a sponsor and a sponsee can vary. 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 Having 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.
Some of the benefits of having a sponsor to help maintain your sobriety include:
- A reliable support system – Sponsors provide companionship, understanding, and emotional guidance throughout your recovery.
- Coping strategies for difficult moments – With their years of experience, sponsors can offer unique coping skills to help you stay on track during cravings or stressful times.
- The opportunity to mentor others – As your own recovery progresses, you may be invited to become a sponsor yourself and help others as they embark on their own recovery journey.
- A sense of accomplishment – Many people find that when they have helped another person through the recovery process, it builds confidence in their own sobriety.
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.2 Furthermore, individuals with past alcohol-related abuse problems were more likely to remain abstinent than those without sponsors.
Sponsors for Sobriety Are 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.
Maintain Your Sobriety at BlueCrest Recovery
Are you ready to begin or continue your healing journey? Call us at 888.292.9652 to get in touch with our team or send us a message via our contact form.