Responsible Sobriety: Why Accountability is Important When Getting Clean
Those suffering from alcoholism know that the problems don’t magically disappear the second you leave treatment, enter a 12-step program, or begin seeking help. For many people, alcoholism is a daily struggle, especially in the beginning. This is why many alcohol treatment or sobriety plans seek to minimize risk factors. Experts emphasize a holistic approach that emphasizes the role of accountability.
In recovery, accountability has a different meaning and special significance. It refers to the ability and structures designed to hold the recovering alcoholic honest and accountable for their actions. Building a system for accountability in the individual’s life means speaking to others on a regular about their goals and struggles on a regular basis. It also means allowing others to actively hold the alcoholic accountable with check-ins or sobriety tests. This activity plays a major role in the success of any recovery program.
Why It Matters
Maintaining accountability is one way that the individual can visualize and achieve measurable progress. Setting and accomplishing goals encourages positive thinking. This can look like measuring time, committing to a certain number of meetings per week, passing sobriety tests or even simpler tasks like making the bed every day. Accountability is how progress for these goals can be motivated and measured. Those in recovery emphasize their accountability with other like-minded people as one of the major motivational forces that keeps them on track.
As such, accountability can be a source of motivation and support. Just as it can provide positive motivation for accomplishing goals, accountability requires transparency with the community or a select group of individuals. Setting goals, answering for them and achieving those goals gives the recovering alcoholic a sense of accomplishment. Making small, daily actions makes long-term progress seem more manageable.
Building Accountability and Community
There are many resources available that can help the recovering alcoholic build an accountability plan. For some people, it is structured into an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. This treatment method usually employs some form of sobriety testing, requires meeting attendance and regular sessions with counselors. Not everyone can attend treatment, or at some point, patients must leave treatment and find other sources of accountability in their daily lives.
As an alternative, 12-step meetings, counseling, or group therapy are suggested as a proven method of staying accountable. Getting to know people at meetings helps build accountability. Addiction counselors stress that communities of alcoholics are the most helpful resource to the individual. Friendship in meetings incentivizes regular attendance because others come to expect the individual and notice someone’s absence. This is also a place where one can find small duties like handing out literature or conducting meetings. The responsibility of these jobs encourages the individual to attend or it could inconvenience others.
Outside of meetings, it’s important to find methods for accountability that can work in the day-to-day. In this day and age, there are also many resources for accountability in technology. Breathalyzers like those created by Soberlink are designed to track sobriety and hold users accountable to their recovery circle. Soberlink reviews confirm that it’s a technologically advanced and helpful option for staying sober. There’s also a large internet community of recovering alcoholics that can provide confidential support and accountability on the go.
Being accountable in daily life has been shown to promote long-term recovery not just from alcohol. It encourages positive thinking, healthy relationships, honesty and promotes self-esteem. It’s important to emphasize that the recovering alcoholic is not alone. Communities and technology exist to foster healthy habits and long-term recovery. Engaging with those communities, and instituting an accountability plan is a vital component of any successful recovery program.