Why Your 12-Step Sponsor Is Such an Important Connection to Have

12-Step sponsor during recovery

In 2016, Chris Boutte, a man who previously struggled with addiction, shared his story on Medium about his experience with being part of a 12-Step program (such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous). He explained that his 12-Step program provided him with so many eye-openers regarding his life – and one of his biggest supporters was his sponsor:

“I had a sponsor who constantly reminded me that I only think I know what I need.”

In instances like these, sponsors can give us a perspective that perhaps we weren’t fully open to before. We’re only able to view ourselves and our lives from one point of view – ours – but what does it look like outside of this? By developing a close connection with a sponsor in a 12-Step program, you’ll not only feel more connected to the program’s structure, but you’ll also be able to rely on someone who can give you an honest glance at what you’re going through.

A 2016 study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence assessed 302 adults in residential treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) and followed up with them 3, 6, and 12 months after their treatment to see if the connection they had with the 12-Step sponsor made any sort of impact on their recovery. Researchers found that two-thirds of participants did have a sponsor, and the combination of having a strong alliance with their sponsor in addition to having close contact with their sponsor predicted two incredible components of recovery:

  • Attendance in 12-Step programs
  • Abstinence over time

Sponsors are individuals who have gone through addiction and have been working towards their recovery for quite some time. They have the knowledge of what happens while a person pushes through recovery and most often, they’re able to help people feel supported and uplifted in reaching their recovery goals. If you’re ready to partake in a reputable treatment program, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.