Personal Responsibility in RecoveryLife can be a challenge. For people with the need for recovery from substance abuse and other addictions, a healthy new life often begins with taking personal responsibility in recovery for this new life and making a healthy change. Often those suffering from addiction can use well-established defenses to avoid personal accountability for their problems. However, it is never too late to take action and make meaningful and impactful changes. Recovery starts with being responsible for this shift.

What is Personal Responsibility in Recovery?

Responsibility is about understanding the impact of the choices that we make and then using that understanding to make good choices for the future.  It also means understanding the consequences of decisions and behaviors.

Responsibility is about:

  • Action
  • Accountability
  • Effort

Responsibility is NOT about:

  • Blame
  • Anger
  • Cost

Responsibility in recovery is about seeing a problem and then taking action to correct that problem. This step may involve developing a recovery plan beginning with inpatient treatment.

Why Seek Inpatient Treatment?

Taking personal accountability for substance abuse and addiction issues in a structured treatment facility is a productive and effective step toward recovery. Real change takes time and is not easy. Getting the right help makes success more likely.

Responsibility includes knowing when help is needed and taking the critical steps to get the best help available. As human beings, we fall into traps of our behavioral patterns. We get comfortable with these patterns, even when they are causing us long-term pain and difficulty. To break from the patterns takes significant courage and the ability to overcome all of the physical and emotional drives that we are used to. It takes a willingness to be uncomfortable or pained to work toward something different. Inpatient treatment is often structured on an understanding of these behavioral patterns. Therefore, recovery requires an honest and complete willingness to understand our behaviors and to be open to directed change.

Benefits Inpatient Treatment

Part of getting to the point of good health may include taking the time to get specific support from a structured, positive and directed environment. In this setting, those seeking recovery may benefit from:

  • Work with specialized addiction professionals to learn new techniques for understanding your behaviors and triggers.
  • Peer support from others experiencing similar challenges. These peers help each other by sharing stories of what has worked and warnings of what has not worked in their recovery.
  • An opportunity to focus exclusively on recovery while exploring some of the life challenges that have influenced negative behaviors. Taking time away from old patterns while discussing these patterns in therapy can help provide the clarity needed to take responsibility for change.

Taking Responsibility for Next Steps

The best way to take personal responsibility for addiction and substance abuse problems is to be fully involved in the recovery process. This involvement means taking positive actions and seeking out formal help.  Once that is accomplished, the next steps are to follow up and take action:

  • Ask for help by seeking medical guidance on treatment options.
  • Follow up on referrals to centers and professional therapists.
  • Accept responsibility for the challenge of recovery.
  • Be determined to make positive changes.
  • Take action rather than sitting with hesitation.


Taking responsibility in recovery and substance abuse recovery can be difficult. It means changing thoughts and behaviors. It means no longer allowing the past to determine present and future. It means dealing with difficult challenges, seeking professional help and working towards a healthier life.

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