Ultimately in order for someone to succeed in addiction recovery they will need to hold themselves accountable for all the bad behavior that they engaged in while actively addicted, as well as for the choice to continue to stay in addiction while they did. It is also important for the recovering addict to acknowledge that s/he is accountable to all the people around the addict who were affected by the bad behavior and poor choices that tend to go hand in hand with addiction.

In fact, many of the steps of the 12 Step programs revolve around accountability, without necessarily using the specific term.  Making a fearless inventory of ourselves (step 4) is a way of holding ourselves accountable.  As is making a list of those we have harmed and being willing to make amends (step 8).   Likewise making direct amends when possible, without harm (step 9) and continuing to take personal inventory and when wrong promptly admitting as much (step 10) are statements about personal accountability.  Many addicts credit the new habit of holding themselves accountable as an essential element to maintaining their sobriety.

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