Do I Need a Sponsor in Recovery?

Do I Need a Sponsor in Recovery?


Successful completion of rehab is an accomplishment to be celebrated. Sobriety is a great step towards a long and healthy recovery. For newcomers, it can be helpful to consider getting a sponsor to help guide through the trials of initial entry into sober living as it may be fraught with doubt, fear, anxiety and other emotions. The following are some things to consider when thinking about whether a sponsor is the right choice in recovery.



The new sober lifestyle will feel different after treatment ends. It can be filled with difficult emotions ranging from fear to anxiety and confusion about what lies ahead. The following questions may pop up:

  • How to handle cravings and urges
  • How to handle what is learned in treatment properly
  • How to withstand temptation to return to people and places from addiction
  • Ways to face family, friends and others
  • How to face oneself and not be ashamed
  • Knowing the prospect of putting one’s life back together
  • Being afraid of intimacy without the crutch of drugs or alcohol
  • Fear of losing respect of family, friends, co-workers and others due to addiction
  • Fear of losing job or finding new employment


Sponsor Qualities

Individuals who have never sought a sponsor before may wonder what qualities to look for in a person. Some of the following points may help narrow the process.

  • Kinship with the sponsor
  • Share some things in common (education, religion, political affiliation, beliefs, etc)
  • Someone who communicates effectively and acts in a respectful, courteous and helpful manner
  • A person with an optimistic outlook
  • Someone with courage and wisdom to help a person continue to make positive life choices throughout recovery


Approaching a Sponsor

When the need for a sponsor is identified, the next question to ask oneself becomes how to approach the sponsor. The best way to get started is to establish a friendship with the person. It helps to pick someone who does not have several other sponsees at the time so that more attention can be focused on the relationship and goals. Accept that it may take time for the request to sink in for the potential sponsor. Do not take it personally if the person refuses to become a sponsor as it may not be the right time or a different reason may be why the sponsor can’t take on the responsibility. Try not to become discouraged, offer gratitude and thanks for the consideration and pursue some next steps to identify a different potential sponsor.


Long Term Recovery

When a person is in long term recovery and is not in the early stages, it can be helpful to have a sponsor. Recovery occurs in stages and life goes through seasons where a sponsor may be helpful. Friends and allies on the journey of recovery are always a good thing when it keeps a person away from triggers and focused on active recovery.


Sponsors are an excellent way to find support for the journey of recovery. If you or someone you love is seeking a sponsor, community or needs help getting through recovery at any stage, The Villa is available to help guide you through the process. Call us to find out how we can help you identify the right path to freedom from addiction.