Whether you are in recovery from alcohol or another drug addiction, it’s recommended that those in recovery keep up with their sobriety by remaining involved with 12 step programs. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are similar in many ways. One way is the recommendation that new participants choose a sponsor. The point of a sponsor is to have someone to support you throughout recovery. From giving advice to lending an ear to listen; sponsors can become extremely helpful for those in early recovery. But, looking for a sponsor should be done with care, as your sponsor is someone who should be a resource available to you for the first few years in addiction recovery.
Looking for a Sponsor Who is Qualified
Obviously, you wouldn’t want to hire a roofer who hasn’t ever fixed any roofing issues. So, why would you choose a sponsor who has no sponsoring experience? It’s always a good idea to find a sponsor who has already offered sponsorship to other individuals. Or, if you are the first sponsorship they’ve considered, they should at least have a sponsor themselves. This will ensure they both understand and respect the sponsor/sponsee relationship. Additionally, your potential sponsor’s own sponsor should be open to the individual gaining a sponsee.
Looking for a Sponsor Who is your Matched Gender
It’s the rule of thumb that an AA or NA sponsor is your same gender. All too often, sex gets in the way of meaningful relationships. Recovery isn’t about finding love or sex; it’s about finding yourself. So, to remove the possibility for confusion completely, generally, sponsors are the same gender as their sponsees.
Looking for a Sponsor with the Right Personality Traits
When you’re looking for a sponsor, you will want to choose someone you not only get along with, but you admire. They should be excited about their recovery journey. If you choose someone that isn’t excited about their recovery, they will most likely not be excited for yours. You want to choose a sponsor that will motivate you to remain confident in your sobriety, not the opposite. Additionally, it’s important to note that if your sponsor is someone you don’t match completely with personality-wise, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Recovery can be hard, and you’ll want someone that’s not afraid to tell you what you need to hear; the truth. So, don’t be deterred by an individual that you may not relate to at first.
Looking for a Sponsor who can Keep up with You
A great question to ask a potential sponsor is how many sponsees they already have. Of course, they wouldn’t sponsor many individuals unless they are good at what they do, but you may want to consider someone that can give you more of their time. It’s a commitment to consider to sponsor, but you want someone that can actually stand by that commitment. Most good sponsors can take up to 3 sponsors, but it’s usually advised that more is too large of a commitment to make.
Finding a Sponsor that Wants to be a Sponsor
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that the sponsor you choose actually wants to be a sponsor. Just because someone has been in recovery for a longer amount of time, it doesn’t mean that they actually have the desire to do so. Or, they may just not be as comfortable doing so as other individuals. During your meetings, take note of the individuals who say they are open to taking sponsees, as this may be a conversation that comes up frequently.
Treatment before Finding a Sponsor
Before you can actively take part in 12 step meeting and find your own sponsor, you’ll need to already be in recovery. Before that can happen, you’ll need to find treatment so that you can effectively detox and learn the necessary skills to live a life of sobriety. That’s where we come in at the Discovery Institute, providing treatment services for individuals before they can live on their own in early recovery. If you or someone you know needs drug addiction treatment, please give us a call today at 888-616-7177 to speak with an experienced addiction specialist. Also, take a moment to visit our website to get a feel for our facility, staff, and programs offered throughout addiction treatment.
Dr. Joseph Ranieri D.O. earned his BS in Pharmacy at Temple University School of Pharmacy in 1981 and His Doctorate Degree in Osteopathic Medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1991. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and a Diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine Addiction Certification. Dr. Ranieri has lectured extensively to physicians, nurses, counselors and laypeople about the Disease of Addiction throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 2012.