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How Can I Find The Right Sponsor?

Relapse during recovery happens more frequently than you might believe. However, you can avoid a relapse if you have the necessary resources and support system in place. Why waste all of your progress when you can make a plan instead? 

One of the most critical resources to have during your recovery for support is a sponsor. This person, who is also recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, will share their experiences with you, guide you through your recovery, take you through the 12 steps, and lend an ear whenever you need it. If you want to stay clean and sober, you need to have a sponsor. But finding your first sponsor can be a little difficult. Fortunately, there are certain tips that you can follow to find a trustworthy sponsor for yourself or your loved ones easily.  

Group of men with hands on each other's backs.

Here are eight things to keep in mind when looking for a potential sponsor: 

#1. Attend 12-Step Meetings 

Finding a sponsor can be a daunting experience for some people, similar to dating. And much like dating, getting out there and meeting new people can help you meet the ideal person. 

Meetings are the ideal place If you want to get to know like-minded people. Attending 12-step meetings is usually the best method to locate a sponsor. Don't be afraid to speak up. 

Make it known to other group members that you're looking for a sponsor. If you encounter someone who seems like a good fit, go ahead and approach them. If you're not sure how to go about it, ask the meeting's chairperson if they can assist you. They might even have a list of available temporary sponsors. 

#2. Ask About Their Experience 

If possible, find out how long your prospective sponsor has been sober. A year to two of abstinence is ideal. Ask if they've sponsored someone before. Knowing how they've handled particular situations can help you assess their suitability. 

Also, ask how they would react if you relapsed. A sponsor should already know how to handle this and similar circumstances. Learn what to do if you relapse, so you and your sponsor are ready. A good sponsor is someone who has completed the 12 steps and can take you through them as well, guiding you along the way.  

#3. Avoid Romantic Interests 

It's best to avoid choosing a peer to be a sponsor if you find that person attractive. If unexpected romantic feelings do develop, you should consider finding a new sponsor because romance can create boundary issues with your sponsor.  

#4. Pay Attention 

Consider 12-step meetings as a research opportunity. Pay attention to what others are saying during these meetings. If you already have a sponsor in mind, ask yourself why you want that person to be your sponsor. Do they inspire you more than others? Do you share worldviews or experiences? 

Take mental notes while they speak. In them, you may see hope for your recovery. If you feel a connection, ask them to be your sponsor. 

#5. Make Sure They're Available 

When looking for a sponsor, make sure the person has the time to commit. If you're new to recovery, find someone you can be in contact with regularly. Throughout your recovery, the connection between you and your sponsor may change based on your needs. The time commitment — how often you meet and communicate — can vary. 

No matter what stage of recovery you're in, having a sponsor who is always available to you is vital. While 24/7 assistance may not be feasible, you want a sponsor who is open to you reaching out to them for help if you need support or have questions.  

#6. Make a Plan 

Create a strategy to stay in touch with your sponsor. Regular check-ins or one-on-one sessions can help, as can attending regular 12-step meetings together. Discuss your expectations as you plan your strategy so that you're both on the same page. This strategy can help you achieve your goals and maximize your interaction time. 

#7. Choose a Trustworthy Person 

Look for someone you can trust. After all, you'll be sharing a lot of your anxieties, insecurities, and secrets with this person. Look for someone who can give you the privacy you require. You'll feel protected and able to speak freely as a result. This discretion will be essential when working through the steps with your sponsor.  

#8. Avoid Downers 

A gloomy sponsor will not help you recover much, and they may cause you more harm than good. Your mental and physical health can both benefit from positive thinking. Choose a sponsor who is enthusiastic and supportive. That way, you'll be able to keep a cheerful attitude throughout your recovery.  

Older male talking to a younger male sponsee.

A Bond With A Sponsor Is Key To Recovery 

It’s a collaboration between two people in various stages of recovery who encourage and hold each other accountable. Therefore, you must look for a reputable one. If you or a loved are ready to recover from drug or alcohol addiction, reach out to We can help you find the best treatment options available for you in your area, including programs that focus on the 12 steps, as well as clinical and holistic therapies for rehabilitation. 

The right treatment center can provide you with a strong community of professionals and peers to help you form a support network. Contact for more information about how our treatment programs can help you or someone you care about recover from a substance use disorder. Please get the help you need and deserve by reaching out to us today.

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