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Old 03-14-2019, 04:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Yesterday at a meeting one of the members asked my opinion on a situation that had just occurred, she was asked by a woman to be her temporary sponsor while on holidays she agreed but when she found out that the women was smoking dope and although she only did this while she was on holidays and that alcohol was her real problem and she had been sober a number of years. The would be sponsor declined after hearing this,as for her, the program is abstinence from all drugs apart from ones that are prescribed by your doctor. Another member, new to AA came up to her and questioned her decision.
I have just taken it for granted people would know that AA is a total abstinence of all mood altering drugs, a no brainer.
she seemed a little unsure of rejecting the temporary sponsorship role, I thought it perfectly justified as the woman was stoned and would be throughout the holiday.
OR
Could this be an opportunity to take the woman on and address the dope smoking. Alcohol was/is her problem and AA helped her to recover. Dope smoking for her is not a problem so no problem.

Ha anyone her on this forum encountered a similar situation, would be interested in your thoughts
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I know a guy north of Atlanta,Ga who is a sex addict.He lives the big book now and is doing fine.One night 6 of us was out eating and he ordered a glass of wine.
It took me by surprise untill I realized he isn`t a alcoholic,he is fine to drink a glass of wine if he wants.


you have 2 good points in your post.
Take the sponsee on and get busy with the program and see if the Spiritual awakening replaces the pot or let them know from the start we risk relaspe if we smoke dope and the answer is no

I agree with the complete abstance and I also see working,trying to help the sponsee might work too.Defanetely worth praying over and going from there.


I have a guy now who calls me his sponsor.He has a basement full of pot plants
If you grow it,you gotta sell it.
we discussed it several times.
He is wanting to ditch the stuff and quit because he isn`t making any money?I can`t figure that out but when he does,we are getting back into the steps....my job is to be helpful,so how can I best be of service ?
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I know someone who has been sober from alcohol for 23 years, he will take an occasional hit of pot and has been doing so for about 7 years. Doesn't do any other drugs. He's in AA, goes to meetings several times a week, his sponsor knows, but he isn't open about his pot smoking other than that. His wife was a garbage head and is now sober from everything (met her in rehab). She's OK with it.

It wouldn't work for me, but I also have always loathed weed, I have a very bad physical reaction to weed, it's actually dysphoric. So it's not really an issue.

He hasn't touched a drink in 23 years, he smokes weed maybe 4-5 times a year and just a hit or two.

Who am I to judge?

One of the reasons why AA didn't work so well for me was the distinction between alcohol and other drugs at some meetings. In reality many people have more than one addiction, I myself did a lot of cocaine and benzos and festival drugs as well. Yet you were only really supposed to talk about alcohol. When I did do 12 Step I preferred CA for that reason, it was a fellowship for all drug and alcohol users.

Plus the guys were younger and hotter and the tattoos were better. LOL.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't pretend to know what works for someone else. The only person who can really answer the question is the individual themselves. I do think for most folks the simplest and most decisive way to do this is total abstinence from all mind altering substances. But it's hard for me to argue against Mindful Mans example above. Not what I would do but seems to work for that person...


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Old 03-15-2019, 04:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I can only answer what I would do as the prospective sponsor. I would have a chat with the lady about her desire for sobriety, and share my view that pot is not part of what I believe sobriety is, and definitely not part of recovery. I would share my use of prescribed and well supervised psych meds, including ativan, and I would listen to her.

If she desired to keep smoking pot, I would not sponsor her. At this time. If she re-approached me with a different "take" and I see it, commitment, to sobriety then it might be a different opportunity.

I can lead someone as an active sponsor once they commit to sobriety. I don't believe I can do that while someone is actively using drugs. Note my distinction between prescribed and supervised drugs, and street drugs so to speak. For now, I am not looking at this as a scenario of someone with cancer or any condition that *might* have a dr prescribing pot, so to speak, as a palliative measure. Also, I'd add that someone with established sobriety *might* be a different situation if she approached me to be her sponsor.

In the non-AA/NA based recovery group I lead for the F&B industry, this is a common topic. We don't have a sponsorship model like AA, but a sober support group of those of us wanting complete sobriety. I'm not going to tell them what to do, but I'm going to do the same thing as I shared above. And they have to come to their own conclusions about coke, pot, whatever - and what those things do (or don't) add to their best lives.

Finally, I will add that my own (former) sponsor's start with CBD that progressed to pot is one of the reasons I have a new sponsor; seeing her current version of recovery is not something I can support nor do I find it helpful to my own sobriety.

In some ways, this is an increasingly "interesting" conversation as we all see pot becoming legalized and frankly, normalized in many ways it hasn't been in the general population, yet I return to my same conclusion and how I proceed with living and "attracting" (not promoting) those who want their own recovery.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CaiHong View Post
Alcohol was/is her problem and AA helped her to recover. Dope smoking for her is not a problem so no problem.
Speaking only for me and my understanding of my addiction, I would disagree strongly with this statement. It may sound like splitting hairs, but looking at addiction solely in terms of ones drug of choice is to deliberately avoid the root of the problem. At the end of my drinking career I drank because I was physically addicted to alcohol. But how I got to that place (and now how I stay sober) was rooted in how I dealt with "life on life's terms."

If we don't have a solution that enables us to live (usually) happily without a chemical escape from reality, in my view we've missed the point of the 12 steps. It is a spiritual program - spirituality is about connection to ones higher power. We can make and sustain that connection through service to others, connection to nature and the world around us, attending religious services, meditation, music, art, whatever. But it is done while being fully present - us, as flawed as we are, present with the awesome reality and complexity of the world in which we live.

My two cents, apologies if this seems like a ridiculous tangent to the OP.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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^^^Very important.

it might sound laughable to some folks around here, but I did a Step one on ice cream/frozen yogurt a year ago. I was in the lowest point of my back injury and I realized I was getting as anxious about having enough in the freezer as I once did about having "enough" vodka. My escapism was getting into swing....circling back to intent, which is paramount IMO and IME.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for your well considered replies.
Eddiebuckle, I should have put quotes around the, "no problem" as I personally see it as a problem and other posters have articulated that point very well. I love what you wrote about being connected, I am going through that so much now here on holidays with this AA group. Its actually showing me how disconnected I am, each day I push myself forward a tad with positive heart warming results.
Thank you you all
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Looking through all of the posts I realize that I did not address the OP's original question about the sponsor. Personally, I think that a potential sponsor has an absolute right to choose who to sponsor. If the sponsee's behavior does not align with the sponsor's view of sobriety then the sponsor should be free to choose not to sponsor that person.

I'm may complicate things a bit here but here goes. I do not buy into the "if it's prescribed by a doctor it's OK" concept. I think in many cases the whole prescribed marijuana concept is a hoax. I know a person who shopped doctors to get Xanax. So it was prescribed. But IMO not needed. I would never consider sponsoring him. Additionally, I would not sponsor someone who smokes/uses tobacco either. But that's just me. I'm not suggesting that I am "right" about my approach to sponsorship but that's how I feel today. YMMV.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I sponsor them anyway, although "mine" were more regular smokers. We work together and over time they all have given it up, too!! It takes time, patience, meditation and lots of discussions.
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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To thy own self be true.

Once I heard a woman in an NA meeting share she smoked pot and drank wine. She said meth was her downfall and alcohol and pot weren't an issue. She was also adamant about not changing her NA sobriety date.

O.k. her call.

Now, would I sponsor anyone in AA who was smoking pot for example?

Probably but only if they agree not to be stoned when we talk.
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I try to keep free of the phrase "I won't sponsor you because......." out of my mouth. I think the basis for sponsorship for me needs to be the willingness to share what I believe to be God's way of living. While it upsets me at what some people think is in line with what THEY think is OK and/or appropriate, what someone else does shouldn't keep me from being able to share and help.

Whether someone follows my lead or not determines if we've really got a sponsor/sponsee relationship. At the beginning, of course they're (the new sponsee) doing all sorts of goofy stuff - smoking weed, sneeking a drink, cheating on their spouse, ignoring their kids/family, stealing from their employer, lying to most everyone, and one and on. My deal as a sponsor isn't to pre-judge the person God has sent to me but to share with them my methods and practices of spiritual living - my successes as well as my many failings - to hide my faults I feel is just another form of ME lying.

Anyway, I'll take on, so far, anyone God puts in my path. Whether we stay together and form a sponsor/sponsee relationship is determined most often by the other person's willingness to walk pretty close to the same path. If they want to deviate - I may recommend against it but it's their life and their call to make. I don't fire sponsees either. Part of my deal with God was my willingness to share what I have, what He's blessed me with, with anyone in my life. I would feel like I was playing God to refuse to share what God has given to me with ANYone who wants it - even if it's only to investigate me and see what it is I have. I find some ppl (me included) need to test the waters a little with a couple ppl in AA before they finally get the willingness to take the plunge. Who am I do refuse to a cog in the machinery? I get it though, sometimes my false ego tells me I shouldn't sponsor someone (or continue to sponsor someone) because I judge them to not be doing it the way I want them to....... then I remember that I made a decision back in step 3 to stop being the director - or as I like to change it - I'm not the coach (in my mind I think of a head football coach). I'm just a player. I don't call the plays, send in substitutions, or decide if it's a running, passing, kicking or even a trick-play.... I'm just a single player on the team - there to perform a function regardless of what the other players are doing.

Perhaps the woman mentioned in the OP doesn't have the ability to sponsor people who deviate at all from what she deems appropriate. And maybe that's actually the role she's supposed to play - sponsor only a very small group of people. And perhaps she's great in that role. For me though, I'd prefer to be able to cast a wider net.
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I like that share, Day Trader.

I'd add to my original post that I find it most helpful to focus on my ESH and listen to that of others. By extension, what works for me is what I am truly able to show anyone else. It is indeed up to them etc and I don't think it is judging to focus on what works in both directions for the sponsor/sponsee. Every one of us has to figure out our own path.
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Old 03-27-2019, 11:57 AM   #14 (permalink)
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P142 : "Either you are dealing with a man who can and will get well or you are not. If not, why waste time with him? This may seem severe, but it is usually the best course."
P90: " If he does not want to stop drinking (drugging?), don't waste time trying to persuade him. You may spoil a later opportunity."
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Old 03-27-2019, 04:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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What my sponsee does on holiday is none of my business. However, if I had a sponsee who seemed to be addicted, I would definitely bring it up as a transfer of addiction. I would likely stop working with her until she became clean.
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
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what worse smoking weed on the holidays or taking LSD Bill Wilson took plenty of times ? So is it no mood altering drugs except LSD
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:52 AM   #17 (permalink)
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What my sponsee does is always my business as far as what we are doing for her sobriety. A "geographical" exception is absurd to me, if someone is committed to sobriety. Harsh? I certainly don't think so.

This is life and death and this alcoholic could certainly justifying just about anything if I began to make choices toward abusing a substance.
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Old 03-28-2019, 03:37 AM   #18 (permalink)
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If someone in recovery chooses to take a "vacation from sobriety" they are essentially saying that they are not powerless. In my opinion, a sponsor who doesn't point out that inconsistency and tacitly supports that mindset is simply aiding and abetting a relapse.
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:19 AM   #19 (permalink)
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It seems from the above two responses that my post reply was misunderstood. Am I correct that "smoking dope" is the same as "smoking pot"? I personally don't smoke, but according to google (if that's even accurate) recreational pot is now legal in 10 states. I did not say that this was a geographical break from sobriety. Nor did I say that it's okay to drink when on vacation.

If my sponsee does something on holiday that isn't drinking, and isn't an addiction, then it's none of my business. Just because I don't smoke pot doesn't mean I have a right to say to a sponsee that she isn't sober if she smokes pot on occasion in a non-addictive fashion. It's not my role to comment on that.
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:37 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm stepping away from this thread. I have no experience with smoking and I have no experience with a sponsee who smoked. I was just sharing my thoughts.
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