I’m Newly Sober, Should I Get a Sponsor?

Navigating early recovery can be an overwhelming feeling, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone and a sponsor is someone who can support and guide you in your newfound sobriety. You might’ve heard the term “Recovery Community” throughout your recovery journey. This truly highlights the overall foundation of what it means to be in recovery. You are NOT alone; you have support from people all over who believe in you and want to see you flourish. Getting a sponsor can help you acclimate to your new life in recovery.

What is a Sponsor?

A sponsor is someone that helps a person who is newly sober from drugs or alcohol. The sponsor helps the newly recovered addict through mentoring and supporting them, as well as by offering friendship. A sponsor is also a confidant who truly understands where you’ve been and you can confide in your sponsor, telling them things you might not be comfortable sharing in a meeting.

Sponsors share their experience, strength, and hope with their sponsees. Some describe their sponsor as loving and compassionate, someone they can count on to listen and support them no matter what. Others value the objectivity and detachment a sponsor can offer, relying on their direct and honest input even when it may be difficult to accept. Still others turn to a sponsor mainly for guidance through the Twelve Steps [1].

Why Should I Get a Sponsor?

Sponsorship is a key feature of traditional drug and alcohol self-help groups. It is a source of interpersonal support provided by an individual who is in a more advanced stage of recovery to an individual at an earlier stage of recovery[2].

Having a sponsor assures the newcomer that there is at least one person who understands the situation fully and cares — one person to turn to without embarrassment when doubts, questions or problems linked to alcoholism arise. Sponsorship gives the newcomer an understanding, sympathetic friend when one is needed most. Sponsorship also provides the bridge enabling the new person to meet other alcoholics — in a home group and in other groups visited[3].

How Can I Get a Sponsor?

At the end of many AA or NA meetings, the leader will ask people interested in being a sponsor to raise their hands. If this doesn’t happen at the meeting you attend, you can also let your group know that you are looking for a sponsor. You can also approach someone in your group one-on-one before or after a meeting. It’s recommended to attend 90 meetings in your first 90 days of recovery, which can allow you to establish a home group and get to know other members and learn who could possibly be a good sponsor for you.

  • Go to meetings – The more meetings you attend, the more people you’ll meet.
  • Try not to be nervous – It can be scary to step outside your comfort zone which you likely understand having already gone through treatment. Everyone in your meeting understands where you’ve been. You’re not alone.
  • Asking for a sponsor – Would you believe that finding a sponsor is as easy as just asking? It’s true! You can raise your hand at a meeting or even approach another member one-on-one.

Choosing the Right Sponsor

Both Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) offer guides to help you select the best sponsor for yourself.

AA- The process of matching newcomer and sponsor is as informal as everything else in A.A. Often, the new person simply approaches a more experienced member who seems compatible, and asks that member to be a sponsor. Most A.A.s are happy and grateful to receive such a request.

NA – A good rule of thumb is to look for someone with similar experiences who can relate to our struggles and accomplishments. For most, finding a sponsor of the same sex makes this empathy easier and helps us feel safe in the relationship. Some feel gender need not be a deciding factor. We are free to choose our own sponsor. It is, however, strongly suggested that we avoid getting into a sponsorship relationship that may lead to sexual attraction. Such attraction can distract us from the nature of sponsorship and interfere with our ability to share honestly with each other.

Regardless of which meetings you go to, a good general rule to follow is to find someone who already has a solid knowledge of recovery. One year in recovery is typically the minimum before someone can be a sponsor, but more time is better. You should look for someone who is open-minded, can give their full attention, and have the time needed to dedicate to you.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and needs help, please contact Coastal Detox today at 877-978-3125.


[1] Sponsorship, Revised: NA Fellowship literature https://na.org/admin/include/spaw2/uploads/pdf/litfiles/us_english/IP/EN3111.pdf

[2] An Exploration of the Psycho-Social Benefits of Providing Sponsorship and Supporting Others in Traditional 12-Step, Self-Help Groups: National Library of Medicine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7967695/

[3] Questions and Answers on Sponsorship: AA Fellowship literature https://www.aa.org/sites/default/files/literature/p-15_en_0722.pdf

Connor Barton
Connor Barton
2022-06-03
Verified
The staff here is amazing. Caring and attentive. I finally kicked the sticks and couldn’t be happier.
Jacob Rashid
Jacob Rashid
2022-06-03
Verified
So nice to have Grandma back to her old self. She has struggled with xannies for as long as I can remember. The staff were so attentive and met her where she was, not where they wanted her to be. Thank you Coastal Detox!
Tara Payne
Tara Payne
2022-05-20
Verified
I struggled with alcohol addiction for most of my life. After many tries nothing worked.It was my 43rd birthday and I wasn't gonna see 44 if I didn't get help. I called around and found Coastal. So glad I did. I am so grateful for EVERYONE there. This beautiful facility is not just a detox. They actually have programs to help you learn to live a sober life and enjoy being yourself again! Entire staff is awesome! (Ms Diana ❤️ and Mrs Karen ❤️)They really understand how your feeling as most are in recovery also. If your looking for some help please give them a call. I give them 10+stars. Five months sober now!!! Thank you Coastal!!!
Bob Hawkins
Bob Hawkins
2022-05-04
Verified
The entire staff of Coastal is great, the therapists, the nurses, the techs, everyone. It’s a great environment to begin your recovery in. As an added perk, the food is some of the best you’ll ever have thanks to the chefs.
Tony Givens
Tony Givens
2022-05-04
Verified
My experience at coastal detox was very good, the staff there is terrific. They helped me get through the process of detox in a safe and professional manor.
Jodi Silverman Goldberg
Jodi Silverman Goldberg
2022-03-21
Verified
It been almost a year!! Thank y’all
Matthew Mcnulty
Matthew Mcnulty
2022-03-07
Verified
This is the top tier Rehab/Detox center in Southeast FL. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them. Their attention to detail is impressive. They specialize in treating alcohol abuse among several other conditions. If you or a loved one are looking for a blueprint on how to sober up…Coastal Detox will lead you there.
Mary Katz
Mary Katz
2022-02-26
Verified
My experience with Coastal has been one of empathy, kindness and family. From Admissions to Nurses to techs I have never felt so cared for. Food and drink 24/7. Coastal is a place I went twice. First time 14 days next 6days later for another 11. At 59 and umpteen detoxes Coastal by far is Heaven Sent! As a Nutritionist and Trainer, I'm so happy to be back....the Mary ,who was lost:)
vicky ehr
vicky ehr
2022-01-29
Verified
Great place . Helped me so much I am a 64 year old woman and this place got me sober with dignity and kindness. I highly recommend it plus the food is incredible. Rooms are really well laid out. 2 guys to a room . Each bed has its own t.v with head sets so you dont bother your roomate. Take an extra pillow and comfort blanket from home. At least 3 pairs of pj’ s sock and shoes and comfortable clothing fit. You do your own laundry there. I will send you the link to look at. After thinking all morning this is hands down the place for you. Lots of young people and fantastic therapists. For my wonderful son who suffers. From addiction the way I do.

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