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If you’re moving out of addiction treatment you likely think the worst is over. That’s true, you’ve made it through withdrawal, hopefully learned coping mechanisms and skills, are working on changing behavior, and have learned a number of tools to help you in your recovery journey. But, remember that you’re not cured, and that your best chance to stay sober consistently is to be “in recovery”.
That’s one reason why many people move out of addiction treatment and into long-term support programs like 12-Step and other self-help groups. You get ongoing support, accountability, and motivation in your recovery journey, supported by people who are going through the same process you are. Most importantly, a sponsor is there to guide you through the process, offering assistance and helping you to find and meet your recovery goals.
A sponsor is a volunteer, usually in a 12-step setting. This means that their roles can change depending on the person, their capabilities, their progress, what you ask of them, and what you need. There is no exact list of responsibilities that a sponsor takes on and has to specifically meet – although they will have guidance on what to try to offer. However, on average, sponsors offer:
Of course, your sponsor may do very different things. In some groups, your sponsor may even have a list of tasks. Asking what kind of support you can expect from a sponsor in the group you’re in may be important if you want to set expectations for yourself.
If you’re in early recovery, a sponsor can almost always help you to stay in recovery. However, you can also ask yourself the following questions:
Often, a sponsor can help with all of that, by providing guidance, support, and ongoing motivation. They won’t have all the answers, but they will be able to help. And, that means you do need a sponsor.
It’s not necessary to have a sponsor in recovery. However, it can greatly help you on your recovery journey. Finding someone who’s been where you are going, who can act as a guide, and who can offer support and inspiration can make a big difference to your recovery. Of course, that will often mean building relationships, asking for help, and investing in your self-help groups, otherwise no one will want to help you. Once you do, asking someone to sponsor you can deepen your relationships with them and with the group – giving you the opportunity to build your recovery on mutual support, community, and asking for help.
If you or a loved one is seeking help for alcohol or other substance abuse, contact us at Stairway Resource Center today. At Stairway Resource Center we provide a 60 to 90-day outpatient program that takes place in an engaging and supportive community setting. We offer dual diagnosis treatment and daily group and individual therapy for our clients, in addition to fun community-based events and activities.
A former professional and one-time World Champion athlete, David hurt his back in competition and subsequently developed an addiction to his prescribed pain medication. After completing his own stay in treatment, David discovered both meaning and purpose in helping others find recovery and walked away from a prestigious J.D./M.B.A program to focus on psychology full-time. After completing his Master’s in Psychology, he began pursuing his Doctor of Social Work degree from The University of Southern California.