RMA-Episode 52 Show Notes:
This week on RMA: When sponsors go bad. Anyone who has been around 12 step groups for any length of time is familiar with the idea of the “13th Step”. The act of “13th Stepping” is when a more experienced member of AA or NA pursues a romantic or other exploitative relationship with a new group member. Obviously this can be detrimental to someone’s recovery, but it can also be dangerous, and sometimes deadly. With courts using AA as an alternative to incarceration for all sorts of offences that have nothing to do with alcohol, the problem is getting worse.
Is such 13th stepping an inevitable byproduct of the 12 step model or are there safeguards that can be put into place by the involved organizations that would reduce or eliminate the potential for abuse of the sponsorship model? Mike and Nat, joined by RMA regular Erin Moore, do a deep dive into the issues of power imbalances and exploitation in 12 step groups, and consider ways to make meetings safer for people in recovery.
PLUS, Mike’s appearance on This Naked Mind has led to a wave of new listeners and we welcome them with open arms. Hope you enjoy the podcast!
All this and more on an extra inning, back to school, everyday episode of Recovery in the Middle Ages.
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We also have a Facebook Group! Request to join the group. It’s a private space for continuing the discussion of what Nat and Mike talk about on the podcast. Hope to see you there.If you’re in trouble with substance abuse and need help, reach out. There are thousands of people who have put problems with addiction in their rear-view mirrors and you can be one of them. While we neither endorse nor condemn any particular program, the sheer number of available AA and NA meetings suggest that reaching out to those organizations would be a good first step on the road to recovery.
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