Are Sponsors Necessary After Addicts Achieve Sobriety?
In the world of addiction recovery and 12-step programs, the goal of rehabilitation can be achieved through various means. Mental health professionals know recovery plans must be designed and implemented in ways that are suited to the personalities and life circumstances of individual patients. For example, some plans may strongly recommend completion of a residential program after detox, while other plans may focus more on talk therapy and behavioral counseling. The assignment of sponsors is common in 12-step programs, and it underscores the great benefit of empathic mentorship during recovery. The passionate team from Casa Pacifica, the experts in coastal sober living Solana Beach residents look to for sober companionship, coaching, and mentorship, discuss whether it’s necessary to have a sponsor after you get sober.
The Sponsor Tradition in Addiction Recovery
Although recovery sponsors are most often associated with Alcoholic Anonymous, the concept goes back to the heyday of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan during the early years of the 20th century. The idea is simple: patients who enter recovery programs are assigned sponsors who can assist them as they complete the steps.
In AA, sponsors are individuals who have achieved sobriety through the steps, so they’re intimately familiar with the program, and they’re the most ideal people to mentor newcomers. In other recovery programs, sponsors can be either recommended or suggested.
The Role of Sponsors in Addiction Recovery
Generally speaking, a sponsor is a guide or a mentor whose life experience includes having reached sobriety, ideally through the same kind of program the patient is admitted to. In AA, which can be a lifelong program for many people, sponsors must have been attending meetings for at least a year before they can be assigned to newcomers. The majority of sponsors have recovered from addictions, but this isn’t a strict prerequisite. Some complete programs because they lived with addicts or enabled them to some degree.
Sponsor Relationships & Sobriety
Sobriety is a shared goal of sponsors and the individuals they help. The relationships sponsors forge with addicts are meant to be supportive and temporary. Someone who goes through inpatient detox may be assigned a sponsor for a few days, and a different sponsor may be recommended for the next steps.
While interactions with sponsors are better when conducted in a friendly manner, these relationships aren’t meant to be therapeutic or intimate. In some cases, they transform into sincere friendships, but this mostly happens when sponsors are no longer needed.
Sponsors in Extended Programs
As previously mentioned, sponsors can be assigned at just about any step of the recovery journey, and this includes the transition back to normal life after achieving sobriety. It’s not unusual for individuals who enter sober living programs to meet with sponsors. In fact, some of them go one step further and retain the services of sober living coaches. When you learn about the personal paths people have taken toward sobriety, you realize they’re rarely straight, and this is what makes sponsors vital because they can help addicts negotiate certain obstacles.
Newly sober men who need help with avoiding relapse can call on the compassionate team at Casa Pacifica. Along with providing Solana Beach sober living housing for men, we work with our residents to develop customized individual plans that combine treatment, aftercare, and recovery support. Our services include sober companionship, coaching, and mentorship for those who are recovering from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. To learn more about our sober living facilities, call us today at (760) 230-2996.