Therapy and/or medications could help to ease the urge to use and abuse drugs, but 12-Step groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, can have a deep impact too. Much of that impact comes through the relationship between a sponsor and a sponsee.
For example, in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, researchers found that inmates who participated in a 12-Step program had a higher sense of coherence and meaning in life, when compared to those who did not go through a 12-Step program. These inmates felt connected to their peers, and they felt as if the work they did meant something important. The 12-Step program brought that to them.
For many people, that sense of meaning and importance can be directly tied to the work they do as a sponsor and/or a sponsee. For some, that work is the cornerstone of the 12-Step movement.
This is a comparison of the roles of sponsors and sponsees.
What Are Your Duties?
How to Take Advantage
Support group meetings are not hard to find. In fact, in an overview article in the journal Recent Developments in Alcoholism, researchers report that urban areas often have 12-Step meetings available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Anyone who wants to attend a meeting can certainly do so.
Those who want to take on a sponsee or become a sponsee need to do little more than ask. These communities are open, welcoming, and made for everyone. Most people who attend really want to help others, and they are willing to work with anyone who asks for help. People who want to get involved can simply state that preference, and the group is likely to help make the right match. It really is that easy, and it really can work.