Many 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) use accountability groups heavily. Previous research has shown us just how vital social support is when it comes to addiction recovery. Personal responsibility is also needed so that a person learns from their experiences. Recovery cannot be done alone – so having someone to keep you accountable means that you’re much more likely to use the support you’re given and make choices that are more conducive to your recovery.
In 2017, researchers published a study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence identifying the typical stages of disclosure and support in those seeking addiction help through online support methods. A total of 31 members were involved in the study, and researchers found that 3 key stages of engagement were identified:
Stage 1: Lurking – many participants found themselves “hiding” their substance use in discussions with others during their first interactions with members online.
Stage 2: Active participation – once members became more familiar with the platform and with one another, they started developing a sense of accountability by maintaining contact with members offline as they attempted to curb their drinking behavior.
Stage 3: Leading – over time, members were able to give back to newer members of the support group by assisting them both on and off-line.
In 12-Step programs, similar stages are likely to exist. As members become more familiar with one another and the program, they establish a sponsor, a “recovery buddy” or an “accountability buddy” – whom they can turn to in times of need. One woman shared just how important accountability became to her in her journey to recovery via SoberMommies.com: “I’m prone to being a loner in other areas of my life but I realized pretty quickly that for me, recovery was MUCH harder when I tried that.”
This person explained that for her, being open and willing to listen, learn and take advice from the other person is what made having an accountability partner (or group) so meaningful.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.
Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.