No successful recovery is the act of a single person. It takes the work of a team to help someone move through treatment and start living a sober life. One of the functions of a team is providing accountability for a person with a substance use disorder.
From the moment treatment starts, accountability becomes a routine part of working on recovery. Today, let’s look at some specific ways accountability shows up in recovery and how it benefits a client.
Accountability is an essential element in the recovery process. It helps a client practice taking responsibility for their drug or alcohol use. Some forms of accountability in a program come from mandatory elements, such as drug testing or participation in group therapy.
Other forms come from being expected to set clear goals in recovery and spending time in family therapy where accountability to people in the family unit is a priority.
Accountability requires taking responsibility for your actions.
Blaming others for drinking or drug use or blaming outside circumstances is common. Being ready to accept responsibility for your substance use doesn’t mean you need to judge yourself critically, though.
Part of taking responsibility is accurately looking at what factors may have contributed to your drinking or drug use. It may have been worsened by a co-occurring mental health disorder, such as depression, anxiety, or trauma.
Accountability isn’t a punishment, it’s an opportunity.
Seeing accountability as a negative aspect of treatment is self-destructive. Its purpose is to prepare you for the sober life you desire most. It allows you to practice what it will take to begin healing and remain in recovery long after a program has ended.
Accountability can come from setting clear goals and targets in recovery.
Vague or ambiguous mentions of getting sober isn’t enough. Being specific about the type of drug use you do and what you want to change about it is part of remaining accountable in a program.
Accountability can be reinforced during daily or weekly schedules.
A person with a drug or alcohol addiction benefits from structure and routine. Staying on task with their recovery can come from sticking to their daily commitments and giving themselves less room for unstructured time when substance use can become habitual again.
Accountability encourages you to be candid when sharing in therapy or with your support system.
Sobriety doesn’t come from saying you’re okay avoiding drugs or alcohol. It comes from being equipped to handle the temptation to use and having the skills to turn to replacement behaviors. When you are encouraged to be authentic in therapy, they learn that healing starts with being honest with themselves and others.
Accountability protocols can be formal and mandatory.
Random drug testing is a form of accountability that’s not negotiable. The testing provides concrete evidence of someone using substances. These types of tests remind you that every day there’s a need to commit to sobriety.
Accountability can involve spouses, partners, and family members.
Clients are part of a family unit where they may need to be reminded of their relationships with others. When these family members participate in family therapy, they get the opportunity to directly tell their loved one how they’ve been affected by the substance use.
A client can begin to understand how their choices harm people around them and what work is needed to repair those relationships.
Accountability is created naturally in group settings.
Being around other people working on their sobriety is a valuable experience. Being in this kind of environment daily or weekly serves as a reminder to focus on your sober goals. You’ll want good news to report. You’ll also discover how people who relapse are encouraged to return to being accountable for their choices.
Accountability can be enhanced by skill-building activities.
Healing your whole self goes beyond living a sober life. Activities where you’re working as part of a group are other important ways to be accountable to people while in recovery. It could be a game or activity where everyone needs to work together to accomplish one specific goal. In succeeding in these ways, you’re strengthening your ability to be accountable more fully in your relationships.
Accountability reminds you how actions speak louder than words.
The promise to stay clean and sober can be empty one if no work is being done to sustain recovery goals. Being accountable to others can remind you what choices you make say a lot more about your intentions than anything else.
We appreciate and understand how important accountability is in recovery. Contact us for more information about how Windhaven House can help you achieve and maintain lasting sobriety.