12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are tradition based programs and have been proven to work. Part of the glue that keeps these programs effective is sponsorship. In AA and in NA, people are required to seek sponsors. A sponsor is a mentor and someone that has a good amount of familiarity in the 12 steps, recovery, and in sobriety itself. Sponsors use this knowledge to assist those with less experience or one that is new to recovery.

Sponsorship is not a formal endeavor but it is required that before someone attempt to be a sponsor that they have at least a year or two of clean time under their belt. Some groups require that a sponsor be clean for even longer but more importantly the person that sponsors should be willing to make the commitment to this other person and be positive about it, and they should be self-confident in their own recovery.

There are reasons that those in recovery should have a sponsor. There is a lot to take in and learn about 12-step programs and it can be overwhelming to many. A sponsor can offer that reprieve from the calamity of concerns, struggles, and questions. You can always count on that one person to help you when you struggle and to pick you up when you fall down. A sponsor will help you to find your way.

A sponsor will give you that nudge to get up and go to a meeting. They are the ones that will help others by carrying the message that these programs are established to deliver. They offer support and give you a sense of understanding. They use their past experiences to help guide you through your journey.

Most people find their sponsor at Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Established members will usually try to reach out to new members and offer them a point of contact in case they need support. Some people will offer temporary sponsorship, which is a good option until you can find a sponsor you feel comfortable with.

It is important that you have a sponsor that you can enjoy speaking with and that is compatible with you. It never hurts to have a few things in common with your sponsor and if you are having trouble finding one reach out to others in your group and ask them for suggestions. Sometimes it does take a couple of sponsors before you find one that you really mesh with.

Author's Bio: 

Cheryl Hinneburg is the content writer for KLEAN Treatment Center, located in West Hollywood CA. She is also working on her MS in substance abuse counseling. Cheryl has a BBA from Baker College. Cheryl's specialty is in the field of drug addiction.