As it’s Addiction Awareness Day, we’re providing some information of addiction recovery across the Croeso network.

Recovering from an addiction can be a frustrating process especially if you are going through it alone and chances are the addict may not completely recover and fall back in the trap of addiction. That’s why it’s important to have someone who can provide you guidance and can help you throughout the process. That person is called a Sponsor, who act as a mentor and helps you to follow the system designed to get over the addiction. The results of Alcoholics Anonymous survey show that 79% of alcoholics use the help of sponsor to successfully get over alcoholism. The reason why sponsors are so effective is because they also gone through these programmes and have successfully beaten their addiction and has become a subject matter expert. However, not all sponsors act the same way and can be helpful to you since their experience may be different to yours and may not be applicable in your scenario. When coming out of alcohol rehab and towards outside AA meetings and further recovery, you may get a sponsor.

Ideally, the sponsor should have similar circumstances which lead to the addiction and should have faced similar difficulties on their road to recovery as you do so that they can provide you helpful insights on how to overcome these obstacles. Make sure that they have gone through all the twelve steps and they do possess experience of sponsoring someone who is recovering from addiction. A good sponsor is not only a good teacher but a good practitioner of the program and is living by example i.e. being sober for at least 1 to 5 years.

You must restrain yourself from getting into romantic relationship with the sponsor in order to avoid any conflict of interest. Their sole purpose is to help you and motivate you to get over the addiction by sharing with you how it has changed their lives in a positive way and if feelings got involved then it might convolute this process. Such issues can be eliminated by choosing a sponsor of same sexual orientation to avoid any chances of romance. A good sponsor will also try to get you into recovery groups so that you can learn from others experiences and if you are looking for one then recovery group is a great place to start as well.

One of the key attributes of a good sponsor is that they are trust worthy and they are good listeners. They will always try to put themselves in your shoes before they give you advice and they are always reachable and in fact encourage you to have more conversations. They will always try to comfort you when you are going through tough times and genuinely listen to your problems without being judgmental. Sponsors are usually friendly and easily approachable and most of them will be glad to help you out so shouldn’t be afraid reaching out to someone in your recovery group to be your sponsor. This is such an important part of drug treatment.