The Importance of Accountability in Addiction Recovery

The Importance of Accountability in Addiction Recovery

Those of us that have struggled with active addiction know that when we are caught up in that toxic cycle, the last thing we would consider ourselves is “accountable.” For those of us struggling with active addiction, we understand that we are no longer in control. No, our addiction is now calling all of the shots and it has one purpose; further fueling itself. This is why when it comes to getting sober, there must be a mission of accountability in addiction recovery. One of the best ways to achieve that accountability is working through a 12-Step program.

Among their many critical components, The Twelve Steps are also about acceptance, action, and accountability. One must accept that they have a problem, as well as be willing to accept help for that problem. They must take action to remedy that problem. Then they must work with others and continue to work on their program to stay accountable for their recovery.

The Need for Accountability in Addiction Recovery

While many people may associate accountability with long-term recovery, it actually permeates the entire recovery process. From the very beginning, an individual must remain accountable to themselves and their recovery goals. This is how they will have any hope of sticking around.

The good news is that “newcomers” in recovery do not have to do it on their own. In The Twelve Steps, there is a process that involves working with others to remain accountable. This is the sponsor/sponsee relationship in the 12-Step program. It is the selfless act of one individual that has been given the gift of recovery, passing it on to another without any thought of reciprocation or “what’s in it for me?”

At Brazos Recovery, we take it one step further with our “Big Brother Program.” Our Big Brother Program works by having our clients that are further along in their recovery take newcomers under their wing. This is to ensure that their transition into recovery is as smooth as possible, while also keeping them accountable for their actions. This accountability in addiction recovery also ties back to admittance, acceptance, and taking action to get well.

Accepting That There Is a Problem in Addiction Recovery

The first part of individual accountability is accepting that we have a problem with alcohol and/or substances. This accountability to oneself can get us through the doors of a recovery center but this moment is often fleeting which is why getting to the right recovery center right away is crucial.

Part of accepting that we have a problem with addiction is also being willing to do whatever it takes to recover. At Brazos Recovery we have the means to keep our clients willing and able to see their treatment journey through to the stages of successful long-term recovery.

Accepting Help in Addiction Recovery

The right recovery center will have the tools, techniques, and means to get a new client connected with others with shared addiction experiences right away. This harkens back to the Big Brother Program at Brazos Recovery mentioned earlier.

Seeing that others have gone through the same experiences and recovered is a powerful thing, and it can help strengthen a newcomer’s resolve to accept help. Once this acceptance manifests, then it’s time to get to work. It is time to take action.

Taking Action in Addiction Recovery

The action steps of addiction recovery are really where all of the magic happens. It is also when we really begin to see where we lacked accountability in our previous active addiction lives, and where we need to be accountable in the future.

At Brazos Recovery, taking action means working with therapists. This may include therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to get to the underlying emotional issues that often lead to our addictive behaviors.

It also means working on our physical selves. As they often say in 12-step recovery, “Move a muscle, change a thought.” This means staying physically active and healthy, we also stay healthy mentally and emotionally. Of course, it also means working with other men to both keep ourselves accountable but also to be selfless and keep others accountable as well.

Brazos Recovery’s Focus On Accountability in Addiction Recovery

At Brazos Recovery, we have a vested interest in everyone that comes to us for help. This is why we hold strong to our focus on accountability.

We want everyone that leaves our recovery center to succeed in their recovery journey, and even though it may be hard at times, we know that keeping our clients accountable will help make this happen. Recovery is not a hobby. It is life and death.

Thich is why we hold ourselves to the same accountability standards as our clients. Our mission is to help people help themselves achieve the lives they no longer thought possible, and for that, as they say in 12-step recovery, “we are accountable.”


When it comes to success in 12-step recovery, there are a few key elements that must be considered. One, is the individual willing the admit that they have a problem with alcohol and/or other substances? Two, is the individual willing to accept help with their addiction struggles? Three, are they ready to take the action needed to recover? Four, are they willing to be accountable for their own actions moving forward? The last element of accountability is crucial for long-term recovery because without it there is no room for growth from one’s mistakes. If you feel like you or a loved one may be struggling with addiction, we can help. For more information, call Brazos Recovery today at (254) 232-1550.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.