An addiction sponsor is a person who volunteers to help a newly recovering addict in the early stages of recovery. Typically associated with 12-step programs, getting a sponsor or becoming one yourself can be a mutually beneficial experience for both parties. In this guide, you’ll learn more about how sponsorship helps and what it entails for both the sponsor and the newly recovering addict.
First things first. When it comes to drug or alcohol addiction, a sponsor is a person who helps a newly recovering addict during the early stages of recovery by offering mentorship, support and friendship. Sponsors are usually addicts in recovery themselves, so they may have a better understanding of how to help someone who has recently completed a professional drug rehab program.
Benefits for the sponsor: Lending a hand to a fellow recovering addict can increase self-esteem, boost confidence and give the sponsor a stronger sense of purpose. Positive feelings like these could even help sponsors stay more focused, grounded and dedicated to their own recoveries.
Benefits for the newly recovering addict: Newcomers to addiction recovery may face challenges in the early stages of sober living. Sponsors can provide valuable insight and guidance that may help them overcome these challenges and make a smoother transition to a substance-free lifestyle.
For example, sponsors can help recovering addicts stay dedicated to practicing the coping skills they learned during rehab. And, because sponsors are usually farther along in recovery, they could even help prevent common relapse triggers before it’s too late.
Without overcomplicating it, the primary responsibility of an addiction sponsor is to be there to support the newly recovering addict. What kinds of things does a sponsor do?
• Listens: Sponsors listen to people when they need to talk about their recovery or difficult life events.
• Helps: Sponsors help recovering addicts by sharing their personal experiences and offering advice.
• Encourages: Sponsors help others stay focused and motivated about addiction recovery.
• Prevents: Sponsors help prevent relapse by emphasizing the importance of healthy coping techniques.
Ultimately, a successful sponsorship depends on how well the two of you get along. You will both need to feel comfortable sharing intimate details about your life with each other. That’s why finding the right match is so important. If you just aren’t clicking, don’t feel guilty about opting exploring other options. The whole point of this relationship is to help each other in recovery, and there’s a good chance the other person isn’t happy either.
If you’ve been in recovery for a considerable time and your life is improving day-by-day, it’s natural to want to help others achieve the same. But, how do you know you’re ready to be a sponsor? Here are a few signs to look for:
• You feel strongly about helping other addicts recover from drug or alcohol addiction
• You’re actively engaged with your 12-step program and making consistent, steady progress
• Your own sponsor tells you that you should help other addicts
Choosing to become a sponsor comes with many responsibilities. But, don’t let that scare you. Remember, your main job as an addiction sponsor is simply to be there for the person you are sponsoring. That means sharing your own recovery experiences, lending an ear, providing sober resources and guiding the person through the recovery program.
Located in Denver, Colorado, The Raleigh House is a substance dependency and drug addiction treatment program where help people heal, learn and grow at their own pace. Call us today if you or someone you know needs help.
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