How to Maintain Accountability in Addiction Recovery

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How to Maintain Accountability in Addiction Recovery

Learning to accept and maintain accountability in addiction recovery is vital for lasting sobriety.  What does this mean?  It means the individual must own up to their mistakes and learn from them.  If they continue blaming others for their substance abuse, recovery is unlikely.

Playing the “Blame Game” is Easier

It’s not unusual for humans to blame others when they make a monumental mistake.  This is especially true for people who struggle with addiction.  In fact, when it comes to the blame game, substance abusers are experts. Shifting the blame to others helps the person justify not doing anything about their addiction themselves.

How does someone go about accepting responsibility for their behavior?  It won’t be easy because blaming others is part of the nature of addiction.  However, breaking through denial and claiming responsibility is the foundation of successful recovery.

Accountability in Addiction Recovery Means Making Changes

Many people with SUDs think their drug or alcohol use is a solution to their problems.  When anyone suggests that substance abuse is the problem, it falls on deaf ears.  The person doesn’t want to acknowledge the fact that they are responsible for their behavior.

Someone who is struggling with addiction avoids friends or loved ones because they don’t want to hear advice or suggestions.  Of course, many individuals with SUDs are ashamed of their behavior or feel guilty.  These feelings also lead them to shy away from others.

The longer a person remains in denial and isolates themselves from others, the worse their addiction becomes.

Results of Avoiding Accountability in Addiction Recovery

Blaming others for substance abuse problems prevents a person from finding solutions.  Maintaining accountability in addiction recovery is uncomfortable and challenging.  When a person in recovery resists taking responsibility for their addiction, relapse is likely the next situation they’ll face.

Other results of failure to accept and maintain accountability in addiction recovery can include:

  • Developing an addiction to something different from what they are overcoming.
  • Blaming others when relapse occurs.
  • Giving up if recovery takes longer than they anticipated.
  • Continuing to deny the severity of their previous drug use.

Sadly, these individuals don’t accept that this behavior is preventing them from overcoming addiction or is making their recovery more difficult.

What are Accountability Partners?

Accountability partners are people who coach a person and help them keep a commitment or reach a specific goal.  People in recovery can find accountability partners in the form of self-help groups, 12-step programs, or aftercare programs.  Furthermore, supportive friends, family, or a sponsor can help a person maintain accountability in addiction recovery.

Another benefit of accountability partners is to help a person realize they are not alone during this difficult transition.  Returning to society after rehab is a stressful and scary process.  Knowing there is always someone to depend on for comfort, advice, support, or encouragement is vital to successful sobriety.

If a person needs a little extra support and guidance during recovery, online forums and virtual group meetings are available.  Also, mobile apps are available to help a person track emotions and triggers, and offer daily inspiration.

You are Your Most Valuable Advocate During Recovery

While in rehab, you gained many valuable tools for helping you maintain sobriety.  The program may have included options such as cognitive behavioral therapy, life skills training, anger management, nutritional guidance, communication skills, and more.  These activities and classes seek to help you find more effective methods for coping with daily life.

The skills you learned during treatment are also valuable when it comes to re-establishing your place in society.  Maintaining accountability in addiction recovery is your responsibility.  However, you can ask for support by reaching out to others who want you to succeed.

If you know someone who is struggling with addiction, contact us at A Forever Recovery to learn about our evidence-based programs.


  • – Treatment and Recovery
  • – Accountability Partner

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