What is Recovery Capital?

What is Recovery Capital ?

A photo of Recovery Capital Conference New Westminster 2019
Attendees at Recovery Capital Conference New Westminster 2018

Research has shifted from the pathology and short-term addiction treatment modalities to include more focused attention to recovery.  Conference participants will learn those factors that seem to make people with substance use disorders more resilient.  These characteristics have been termed ‘Recovery Capital’, defined by Granfield and Cloud as “The breadth and depth of internal and external resources that can be drawn upon to initiate and sustain Recovery from alcohol and other drug problems”.

Recovery Capital is not a fixed value, it diminishes during active addiction and increases during sustained recovery.  Recovery Capital may be grouped in four categories – internal: human and physical; and external: social and cultural.

Recovery Capital interacts with problem severity to shape the intensity and duration of support needed to initiate and sustain recovery.  Re-evaluation of Recovery Capital during the recovery journey may be used to determine quality and even duration of successful sustained recovery from addiction.

Human and Physical – includes housing, employment, nutrition, education, personal resources, mental, spiritual and emotional health, knowledge, coping, well being, mindfulness, physical fitness, financial responsibility

Social and Cultural – encompasses community attitudes and recovery supports; policy maker knowledge and policies and resources related to recovery;  active efforts to reduce stigma; visible and diverse recovery role models, accessible sources of sustained recovery supports, recovery peer resources and early intervention; beliefs, sense of personal choice social integration, connection to purpose;  availability of multiple pathways to recovery, community assets, Recovery-focused systems of care.

Learning Outcomes At the conclusion of the conference, participants should be able to:

  • Identify and describe the benefits of Recovery Capital.
  • Compare presented clinical guidelines/best practices with the delegates current practice and identify strengths or gaps.
  • Assist in the creation of a Recovery Capital Toolkit to put in practise
  • Connect with other professionals to improve community.

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Whole Person recovery: A user-centred systems approach to problem drug use. 
Photo Credit – Broome, Steve & Daddow, Rebecca. (2010).