Sponsorship is an essential component within the 12-Step Program as well as support groups. 

Sober sponsors offer a level of reliability and a unique approach to support that can be especially beneficial to those new to recovery. On the flip side, becoming a sponsor yourself can greatly benefit your own journey, no matter where you’re at in recovery.

Today we’re going to take a closer look at sober sponsorship; what it is, the top benefits of having a sponsor as well as the top benefits of becoming one yourself.

What is a sponsor?

A sober sponsor is an advocate for sobriety, both in their personal lives and in their sponsorship. A sponsor is a mentor or guide who has risen to that position after undergoing their own recovery from addiction, having gone through the steps and made it to the other side.

There are two standard kinds of sponsors, an AA sponsor (alcoholics anonymous) and an NA sponsor (narcotics anonymous), both of which serve a similar role in their communities.

They assume the role of guide and confidant to their sponsee by performing duties such as offering accountability, providing insight and wisdom, giving support when their sponsee is going through a difficult phase of recovery and more. Though the sponsor position is outlined slightly differently in AA from NA, the core of the sponsorship purpose and role remains the same.

It’s important to note that a sponsor is not a therapist; they generally should not be a close friend, family member or romantic partner; they should not be imposing personal political, religious or ethical views on you. Sponsors provide temporary support and guidance, but they are not equipped to provide professional help; they can, however, help you seek it out.

The benefits of becoming a sponsor

Being a sponsor leads to multiple benefits in your life, both on the personal level and on the recovery level.

Some of the top benefits of being a sponsor are:

  • Strengthen your resolve and dedication
  • Gaining a new source of motivation
  • Helping to overcome past-focused thinking
  • Adopting a new perspective on life
  • Improving self-esteem
  • Fostering a sense of purpose

To become a sponsor, you typically need to have completed a 12-Step program of some kind. If you currently have a sponsor, you can ask if they honestly think you’re ready to be one.

As for the technical steps to follow in order to become a sponsor, there are typically some underlying requirements (such as having maintained your sobriety for a period of time), but the specifics will depend on the support group or organization.

The benefits of having a sponsor

The first year of sobriety is notoriously difficult, in a way that most (if not all) of your loved ones will be able to understand or properly know how to support you through. That’s where having a sober sponsor comes in. 

Some of the top benefits of having a sponsor include:

  • Receiving the support of someone who has genuinely “been there”
  • Having someone to share your highs and lows, strengths and setbacks with
  • Increased accountability and access to more sober resources
  • Helping you navigate temptations to relapse
  • Having a source of consistent motivation and inspiration
  • Witnessing a living example of someone who “made it”

The best way to find a sponsor is to attend AA or NA meetings regularly, but you can also find sponsors in sober living homes and online through recovery-focused organizations.

Speak with a professional today

Knowing where to start with mental health and substance use recovery can be overwhelming, but it’s not something you’re going through alone — we’re here and we’re ready to help.

Real Recovery specializes in evidence-based addiction rehabilitation and fully personalized mental health treatment for adults seeking to heal their minds and their bodies.

Our proven clinical services help you foster intrinsic change and meaningful purpose in your life so you can develop long-lasting strategies for handling life challenges as they arise.

Send us a message today and one of our compassionate advisors will be in touch soon to learn more about you and share the different ways we can support you on your recovery journey.