What is a Sponsor?
Do you know what a sponsor is? The term “sponsor” is thrown around often when discussing addiction recovery strategies. A sponsor is a person who is currently working a program grounded in the 12-step format, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. These empathetic and compassionate individual volunteers to guide, mentor, support, and encourage a newer member of a support group to help the newcomer stay the path to sobriety.
This person can be a crucial part of a strong support system for long-term addiction recovery, which is a necessity for any recovering alcoholic or addict navigating through challenges and temptations while fighting against the disease of addiction. The significance of a sponsor is undisputed, but the question at hand is whether or not a sponsor is absolutely needed or required for addiction recovery.
Benefits of Getting a Sponsor
Successful addiction recovery depends on utilizing a combination of several substance abuse resources. One of the best methods for maintaining accountability throughout recovery is having a strong group of sober peers who make up your support network. Support networks can consist of addiction counselors, friends, family members, neighbors, teachers, and other personal mentors.
Peer-support groups, such as 12-step programs, provide an excellent format for building the foundation of a support network that can both sympathize and empathize. A leader in this support network can and should be a sponsor. This person knows what you have been through, and he or she knows what other hurdles you will face along the way. Sponsors are there for you in your weakest moments to help you maintain sobriety. You will have a sense of understanding and compassion from a sponsor that friends and family sometimes cannot provide as they do not have the personal experience of addiction from which to pull.
The advantages and benefits of having a sponsor as part of your addiction recovery go beyond mere assumption and actually have empirical backing. Studies conducted are providing increasing evidence that having a sponsor increases long-term success with addiction recovery. These studies also find that utilizing support groups with a 12-step format are more conducive to finding a sponsor with whom to affiliate.
This is wonderful news, considering that many treatment programs work very closely with 12-step support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous as part of the recovery protocol. Having your sponsor by your side can strengthen your sober moral compass throughout the rough seas of recovery and enforce accountability during and after treatment.
Just because a sponsor should be a fixture of your addiction recovery does not mean it is absolutely required. Each person is unique and thus each recovery protocol is unique. Support networks can be successfully formed for a positive recovery without having a sponsor. Before choosing not to have a sponsor, consider the benefits of leveraging a supportive sponsor.
If you are interested in learning more about addiction programs near Washington State or Oregon, contact The Recovery Village Ridgefield today!