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How to Keep Yourself Accountable in Addiction Recovery

Accountability is important in recovery. If addiction has taught you anything, it’s that willpower alone doesn’t count for much. Willpower helps, to be sure, but it’s more of a stopgap than a long-term plan. Having a plan for recovery entails having some form of accountability. Ideally, you will have several levels of accountability, just to be safe. Here are some ways to hold yourself accountable and increase your chances of success.


The first level of accountability is to definitely decide you are going to quit. Promise yourself that no matter what happens, you won’t take that drink, or whatever else. Having a clear criteria for success makes it harder to cheat. Reinforce this commitment by writing it down and telling someone. One caveat is that you don’t want to just go around telling everyone you’re getting sober. Announcing your intention and getting a pat on the head can make it feel like you already accomplished something and diminishes your motivation. Tell maybe one or two people you trust so you’ll feel more obligated to follow through.

Sober network.

After you resolve to quit, find some people with the same goal. This is typically a 12-step meeting like AA or NA. Having a group of people who support you and expect to see you regularly will make you think twice about relapsing. You won’t want to disappoint people who want to help you and who have done what you are trying to do. A sober network isn’t only meetings. It’s all the people who want to support your sobriety. It could be friends or family. The caveat is that you don’t want to feel so much pressure that is causes stress. You want just enough to tip the scale in your favor.


Develop the habit of being honest with yourself and others. There will be times when you feel like you’re creeping toward relapse. If you are in the habit of being honest with yourself, you will see what’s happening and take steps to fix it. If you’re in the habit of being honest with others, they can support you when you need it.


Part of staying sober is just getting into a positive routine. It can be a little boring at times, but if you have a solid routine, it will take more energy to break out of it than to just keep doing it. This might sound like a bit of a rut, but when you’re trying to stay sober, a healthy rut is far better than the alternative.


You may have some consequences hanging over your head already. Some people get sober as an alternative to jail. If that’s you, use it as motivation. Even if you don’t have jail hanging over your head, you probably have some good reason to stay sober. It might be a significant other who is one relapse away from walking out. It could be boss who is willing to give you one more chance. You might have some things you want to do that will only be possible if you stay sober. Get very clear on what you have to gain and what you have to lose. Write them down and look at the list every day.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help you detox and decide on a treatment strategy. Call us today at 844-325-9168 or email us at to learn more.