How to Approach Honesty and Accountability in Addiction

In the process of recovery, there are several things that family members and loved ones would want our clients to work on. In this post, we talk about the top 5 things that are important to consider on your journey to recovery.

1. Honesty

Honesty is really the first step in anyone’s recovery process. It’s in fact the first principle that goes along with the first step in the 12-step program. If someone can’t get past this first step, it’s really difficult to get through the other issues.

One way that we approach this topic is to have our client list out all the ways they’ve been dishonest with their family. And then when the client walks through each one on their list, we ask them about the circumstances and how they could have handled the situation differently.

Another approach is when the client calls their family, if something sounds like a misdirection, or misinformation, we encourage the family members to call or include their case manager in the discussion. The goal is for our client to become aware that they’re being dishonest, and then to take ownership of their recovery.

2. Forgiveness

When we work with our clients on forgiveness, we have them write a letter of forgiveness. Sometimes we have them work with a senior resident in writing their letter of forgiveness. And then we have the client read it out to their peers and get feedback from the group.

Similarly, if a family member blames themselves for their loved one’s relapse, or for having said or done something harsh to the client, we walk them through the process of forgiving themselves. We let them know that addictions can be so powerful that they can twist our intentions, and that it’s not their fault. We sometimes help them read their letter of forgiveness to the client.

In this way, both parties can heal and forgive each other.

3. Finances

Many times, parents and loved ones are really worried about how they can help with the finances but in a non-enabling way. Our clients might be used to putting out their hand and asking for money, and getting upset when they don’t receive it. However we discourage any financial help given to our clients in straight cash or in materials bought. We encourage all financial matters to go through our administration. This is in order to deter our clients from getting any means of buying the substance they’re addicted to.

We advise parents and loved ones to be wary of sending money, or anything that our clients can sell financially to fund an addiction.

4. Transparent Communication

It’s important for all family members to be on the same page, so that when the client calls everyone holds the same boundaries. If one of the family members breaks the boundaries, then the whole program can come crashing down.

Having open communication, especially in divorced homes, is really important, so that everyone is on the same page to support their loved one on their road to recovery.

5. Accountability Plan

Once a client completes their recovery program, we encourage them to have some sort of an accountability plan to support them in staying sober afterwards. There are several ways to do this, such as the 12-step program, talking to a therapist, talking to other people who will support their recovery, go to church, etc. We advise our clients to acquire as many tools and support systems they can possibly surround themselves with.

For family members, we encourage them to stay on top of their loved one, have them talk to their sponsors and/or mentors, and make sure that they’re holding their loved ones accountable.

It’s really easy to get sober, but it’s hard to stay sober. We have a team of people here at Pacific Shores Recovery who can help answer your questions, and support your journey to recovery. Don’t hesitate to reach out at 1-888-435-7750