How Do I Find A 12-Step Sponsor?

Who is a Sponsor?

A sponsor is a senior member of AA or NA who has been in recovery for usually at least a year. Sponsors help you navigate membership, answer questions, work on the 12-steps, and offer accountability.

A sponsor is also a confidant who understand where you have been. You can confide in your sponsor what you may not be comfortable sharing at meetings. Or, further discuss, things you have brought up in meetings but that you feel like you need to unpack more outside of the limited time frame.

Both AA and NA outline the sponsor relationship in their literature. Although slightly different, the core of the sponsor relationship remains the same for every 12-Step program.

Sponsors Guide Others Through the 12 Steps

Though no two sponsors will have the same dynamic with their sponsees, one central responsibility remains consistent: to help the sponsee through the 12-step program. This responsibility includes talking to the sponsee about what is required in each step, teaching them the rules of the program and familiarizing them with the basics of meetings, such as the ideas, language and customs associated with the program.

Sponsors Care About More Than a Sponsee’s Sobriety

As veterans of 12-step programs, sponsors know that recovery is about more than just sobriety. Many sponsors regularly talk to sponsees about other aspects of life. They know that emotional and physical health are key parts of their sponsee’s journey. Sponsors offer both practical and emotional guidance for those they mentor. However, effective sponsors are also typically good at setting some boundaries, so that their sponsee doesn’t become overly dependent on them.

What is the 12-Step Program

The 12-step program is a fellowship of men and woman who have the desire to manage their addiction to drugs or/and alcohol. It is a spiritual, not religious program. The 12-steps were founded by an amazing man named Bill Wilson in 1938. His research showed that there were positive effects when people with addictions work together in practicing recovery. Since then, the 12-step model is utilized by treatment centers world-wide.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMSHA, in its National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services from 2013,  the 12-Step models are used by approximately 74 percent of treatment centers around the world leading to the most successful rates in lifetime recovery.

History of the 12-Step Program

Wilson continued to do research and was destined to help others suffering from addiction and alcoholism. He wrote a book known as, “The Big Book,” in the hopes to help people even after he’s gone, and it has. Bill got the idea from a Christian group known as the Oxford Group. However, its program was religious and Wilson soon found out many people do not welcome the idea of religion like he hoped. This gave him the idea to create the spiritual program. In the 12-step program you create your own concept of a higher power and as long as you believe in something greater than yourself with the potential to restore your sanity, you will be well on your way to a successful recovery from any addiction.


The 12-step Program and its Practice


The uncomplicated principle of the 12-Step program is that individuals can help each other reach and maintain recovery from drugs and alcohol. They do this by sharing their experience, strength and hope with one another and support all other individuals who are trying to achieve recovery. For the 12-step program to work and in order to have a mental and emotional transformation, you must:

  • Surrender to a Higher power. When you surrender to something greater than yourself it will allow you to have something or someone to lean on when all fails. You will pray to this Higher Power and it will help you learn to love yourself.
  • Have the ability to admit you have a problem with addiction. It is only when you admit to having a problem you can do something about it and change your life for the better.
  • Be aware. You must be aware of your behaviors. When you are living a clean and sober lifestyle you should be honest, open-minded and willing. Not selfish, dishonest and unwilling.

This process does not have a graduation and it is not a cure. You need to constantly work on yourself just like Jay has in the video above. He was sick and tired of being sick a tired. He knew nothing else was going to work so he gave the 12-step program another shot and has been clean and sober since. He is clean and sober because he works these steps daily and knows there is something out there that is greater than him that has got him to where he is today.


The 12-Steps that Lead from Addiction to Recovery

Here are the 12 steps:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol or drugs – that our lives have become unmanageable.
2. Believe that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity.
3. Make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of our higher power or God as we understand him.
4. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitting to our higher power or God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Become entirely ready to have our higher power, or God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked our higher power, or God to remove our shortcomings.
8. Make a list of persons we have harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all.
9. Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong promptly admitting it.
11. Through prayer and meditation improve our conscious contact with our higher power, or God, praying only for knowledge of the will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we carry this message to alcoholics and drug addicts to practice these principles in all our affairs.


The 12-Steps Can Help You

The 12-steps have helped people for years. It is a very effective way to get and stay clean and sober. It has worked for Jay and it can work for you. The only thing you have to do is follow the guidelines the 12-step program has set out for you. If you are struggling and want to find a 12-step meeting, now’s a better time than ever. Give us a call and we can help you live the life you deserve.

  1. I’ve come to realize , most goals get achieved easily when heads are being put together. This 12 steps program is sure an effective one.

  2. This is very interesting blog and this 12 stape are so amazing for all people who drinks. Drug addiction is a bad habit, it ruins the person.

  3. As a Psychology graduate, I have been exposed to this 12 step program. Yes, most facilities use this program but some also try to alter the steps depending on the patient. We need to understand that all of us are unique individuals thus, using the same steps to all of the clients might be difficult.

  4. This is very helpful for many people, especially to your loved ones who are struggling and recovering from addiction. Hope we’ll be able to share this to our fellow. Thanks for this informative article.

  5. A great article from a good man, I read something new and glad about 12 steps which can help and pull out addiction from drug and alcohol user

  6. Definitely when a group of people who share the same experience come together, there is this feeling of oneness, knowing that nobody will be judgemental about what they have been through.

  7. Once you have the ability to admit you have a problem, yes you are closer to the solution of that problem. This 12 steps is a beautiful idea .

  8. I think those are very good steps to recover from addiction. This is very good post as information if you read it carefully.

  9. Believers will easily accept this 12 steps, very real and acceptable to me. I just really have a concern about the people that aren’t believers. Also learning to ask for forgiveness is a big step

  10. This 12 steps program seems like a really good step to recovery for drug addicts. Releasing oneself to that higher power and allowing it take control of one’s situation is a step in the right direction. Keep it up.

  11. The 12 step program is really awesome for those people who have addiction with something.The 12 step program will help those people who wanted to live a healthy Life without addicted with anything.

  12. I love the concept and the overall goal of this group. The only gripe I have is why is this not at a global scale? The world sure will benefit from it.

  13. I hear the 12 step program works. No surprise myriads of treatment centers are using it. I never knew what the program entail though. The article really gave a deep insight into it and now I understand the program perfectly. Thanks for posting educational stuffs like this

  14. Yes, this is a very good approach and thought, people can be encouraged to recover from addiction by seeing those who have or is currently suffering from the same problem and are trying to get better. It is a really good principle. I hope the program continue to soar higher and help more people as anticipated

  15. Its a nice idea for organizing the 12 step fellowship. It will enable drug addicts go into sober and rehab to get back to normal life, and quit drug.

  16. With this 12-step, though people with addiction can recover but we can rule out the intervention of the most high God. Thanks to the initiator.

  17. Thanks to the developer of these 12 steps. It adoption can fasten the quick recovery of people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.

  18. This is a timely piece. It encourages people going through same addiction problem to overcome their problem by sharing their experiences. Applying the steps is all it takes to overcome.

  19. The 12 step program has changed countless lives over the years. I am surprised to learn that it was invented as far back as 1938

  20. It’s a delight to finally get to learn about the 12 step process in detail. This is such an informative piece and I’ll bookmark the page for future reference. Thanks.

  21. 74% of treatment centers around the world use the 12 step program. That’s a testimony to how effective the program is.

  22. The number of lives that have been saved thanks to the 12 step program is out of this world. Great work to all the treatment centers that continue to employ this effective technique.

  23. Personal interventions is important, admit when you wrong and move forward to be better. Believe on an high being, He cares

  24. I like that the 12 step program involves some sense of spirituality in it. That has a big role to play especially for those with a religious background.

  25. I was initially a skeptic of the whole process until I saw first hand how it changed a friend’s life. I would totally recommend the 12 step program to any addict without hesitation.

  26. I applaud Bill Wilson for coming up with the 12 step program. His methods have helped save a lot of lives that were otherwise rendered useless thanks to drugs.

  27. The best part about this 12 step program is that it actually has a proven track record of success. That goes to show just how truly effective it is in helping addicts to make a full recovery.

  28. It’s impressive how effective this process is and it is still being provided absolutely free of charge. I hope more addicts get to learn about it and actually enroll for it.

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