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So, you've acknowledged that you have a problem with addiction, and have made the decision to join a support group. While this is a great first step, you will soon find that the path to recovery is a long one, and the temptation to go back to your drug of choice can be great when you are outside the safety of your weekly meetings. If only there was someone you could call for advice. A veteran who is experienced with the pitfalls recovering addicts often face. Someone who could help you stay strong when your willpower is at its lowest... This is where The Sponsor comes in. The Sponsor is a specific type of mentor who specializes in helping a character, usually the protagonist, deal with the trials and tribulations of recovering from an addiction. A former addict himself, The Sponsor is in a perfect position to give others the benefit of his experience and help keep them on the straight and narrow. The shared struggle between sponsor and sponsee can give the former shades of Older and Wiser. A particularly attentive sponsor will often help a character with issues that on the surface seem unrelated to her addiction... after all, it is often the stresses of life that led the character to addiction in the first place. It is not uncommon to see The Sponsor helping out with repair work, searching for information that will bring down the Big Bad, or even bailing the protagonist out of jail. On the other hand, bad sponsors will actively impede the recovery of their wards through incompetence, malice, or both. See Mentors for comparison with characters whose function is not related to addiction. Sponsors who get in too deep run the risk of provoking Rage Against the Mentor or Mentor Occupational Hazard. Not to be confused with advertising "sponsors", who may in fact drive a show's production staff to drink more.
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