What is Recovery Capital?

The Science of Recovery Capital

Recovery Capital is the breadth and depth of internal and external resources that can be drawn upon to initiate and sustain recovery1,2.   Attention to Recovery Capital focuses on fostering resiliency and encompasses the strengths and supports individuals and services integrate into the practice of lived recovery. It is linked to natural (unassisted) recovery, solution-focused therapy, strengths-based case management, recovery resilience and protective factors, and the ideas of hardiness, wellness, and global health3.

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

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; policymaker 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.

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 the quality and even duration of successful sustained recovery from addiction.

At the core of Recovery Capital is the ideas of social capital –strong therapeutic landscapes, emotional intelligence and the pivotal experience of a sense of belonging. All of which can support recovery if recovery networks are not stigmatized. Recovery Capital has four overlapping dimensions – personal, social, community and cultural capital. The Recovery Capital Conference goals are to explore the components of community and cultural Recovery Capital by fostering dialogue and mobilizing strategic focuses to effectively impact and improve individual and community Recovery Capital.

The quality and quantity of Recovery Capital determine the success or failure of natural and assisted long term recovery1,4,5,6.   Recovery Capital is not equally distributed, resources made available are vast and varied, and elements of Recovery Capital vary in importance within stages of recovery7. Recovery-oriented systems of care from the policy level to the grassroots front-line efforts can either augment or nullify the quality and quantity of Recovery Capital for individuals seeking our help8. As such, Recovery Capital must involve more than short term clinical and medical interventions

Enhanced attention to Recovery Capital is a shift in focus from the pathology of addiction to a focus on the assets required to initiate and sustain long-term recovery3. The international recovery day movement is a key example of this. It has increased the visibility of therapeutic landscapes, decreased ignorance towards the possibility of recovery and reduced social exclusion and discrimination9,10.

Building and sustaining Recovery Capital within systems of care is a complex undertaking. Stronger Connections = Stronger communities can enhance people’s quality of life in long-term recovery and reduce the social stigma of recovery11

  1. Granfield, R., & Cloud, W. (1999). Coming clean: Overcoming addiction without treatment. New York: New York University Press.
  2. Cloud, W., & Granfield, R. (2004). A life-course perspective on exiting addiction: The relevance of Recovery Capital in treatment. NAD Publication (Nordic Council for Alcohol and Drug Research) 44, 185202.
  3. White, W. & Cloud, W. (2008). Recovery Capital: A primer for addictions professionals. Counsellor, 9(5), 22-27.
  4. Granfield, R., & Cloud, W. (1996). The elephant that no one sees: Natural recovery among middle-class addicts. Journal of Drug Issues, 26(1), 45-61.
  5. Kaskutas, L. A., Bond, J., & Humphreys, K. (2002). Social networks as mediators of the effects of Alcoholics Anonymous. Addiction, 97(7), 891-900.
  6. Moos, R.H., & Moos, B.S. (2007). Protective resources and long-term recovery from alcohol use disorders. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 86, 46-54.
  7. Laudet, A. B., & White, W. L. (2008). Recovery Capital as Prospective Predictor of Sustained Recovery, Life satisfaction and Stress among former poly-substance users. Substance Use & Misuse, 43(1), 27–54. http://doi.org/10.1080/10826080701681473
  8. Dingle, Cruwys, & Frings (2015) Social Identities as Pathways into and out of Addiction. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1795
  9. Wilton, R. and DeVerteuil, G. 2006: Spaces of sobriety/sites of power: examining social model alcohol recovery programs as therapeutic landscapes. Social Science and Medicine 63, 649-61
  10. Best, D., Lubman, D., Savic, M., Wilson, A., Dingle, G., Haslam, S. A., et al. (2014). Social and transitional identity: exploring social networks and their significance in a therapeutic community setting. Ther. Communities 35, 10–20. doi: 10.1108/TC-04-2013-0007
  11. Best, D. (2015). An unlikely hero? Challenging stigma through visibility and community action.

Further publications pertaining to Recovery Capital may be found here:

Recovery Capital Bibliography 

From William L. White Recovery Research Bibliography

Albertson, K., Irving, J. & Best. D. (2015).  A social capital approach to assisting veterans through recovery and distance transitions in civilian life.  The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 54(4), 384-396.

Almedon, A. (2005) Social capital and mental health: An interdisciplinary review of primary evidence, Social Science and Medicine, 61, 943-964.

Bathish, R., Best, D., Savic, M. & Lubman, D. (2017).  “Is it me or should friends take credit?” The role of social networks in recovery from addiction.  Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 47(1), 35-46.

Beckwith. M., Best, D., Savic, M….& Lubman, D. I. (2019). Social identity mapping in addiction recovery (SIM-AR): extension and application of a visual method. Addiction Research and Theory, January, DOI: 10.1080/16 066359.2018.1544623

Beattie, M. C. (2001). Meta-analysis of social relationships and posttreatment drinking outcomes: Comparison of relationship structure, function and quality. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 62(4), 518–527.

Beattie, M.C., & Longabaugh, R. (1999). General and alcohol-specific social support following treatment. Addictive Behaviors, 593–606.

Bergman, B.G., Kelly, N., Hoeppner, B.B., & Kelly, J.F. (2017).  Digital recovery management: Characterizing recovery-specific social network site participation and perceived benefit.  Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 31(4). DOI: 10.1037.adb0000255.

Best, D., Andersson, C., Irving, J. and Edwards, M. (2017). Recovery Identity and Wellbeing: Is It Better to be ‘Recovered ‘or ‘in Recovery’? Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery, 12(1), 27-36.

Best, D. & Aston, E.. (2015). Long-term recovery from addiction: criminal justice involvement and positive criminology.” Pp. 177-193 in Positive Criminology, edited by Natti Ronel and Dana Segev. New York: Routledge.

Best, D., Beckwith, M., Haslam, C., Alexander Haslam, S., Jetten, J., Mawson, E. and Lubman, D.I. (2016). Overcoming alcohol and other drug addiction as a process of social identity transition: The Social Identity Model of Recovery (SIMOR). Addiction Research & Theory, 24(2), 111-123.

Best, D., Beswick, T., Hodgkins, S. & Idle, M. (2016). Recovery, ambitions, and aspirations: An exploratory project to build a recovery community by generating a skilled recovery workforce. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 34(1), 3-14.

Best, D., Bird, K., & Hunton, L. (2015). Recovery as a social phenomenon: What is the role of the community in supporting and enabling recovery? In N. Ronel, & D. Segev (Eds.), Positive criminology (pp. 194-207). Abingdon, England: Routledge.

Best, D. & Coleman, C. (2018). Let’s celebrate recovery inclusive cities working together to support social cohesion. Addiction Research & Theory.

Best, D., Edwards, M., Cano, I., Durrance, J., Lehman, J. & White, W. (in press). Strengths planning for guiding recovery capital.  Counselor.

Best, D., Edwards, M., Mama-Rudd, A, Cano, I., & Lehman, J. (2016).  Measuring an individual’s recovery barriers and strengths.  Addiction Professional. November 1, 2016.  Accessed January 16, 2019 at https://www.addictionpro.com/article/special-populations/measuring-individuals-recovery-barriers-and-strengths?page=3

Best, D., Gow, J., Knox, T., Taylor, A., Groshkova, T., & White, W. (2011). Mapping the recovery stories of drinkers and drug users in Glasgow: Quality of life and its predictors. Drug and Alcohol Review31(3), 334-441.

Best, D., Gow, J., Knox, T., Taylor, A., Groshkova, T., & White, W. (2012). Mapping the recovery stories of drinkers and drug users in Glasgow: Quality of life and its associations with measures of recovery capital. Drug & Alcohol Review31(3), 334-341. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2011.00321.x

Best, D. Gow, J., Knox, T., Taylor, & White, W. (2011). Recovery from heroin or alcohol dependence:  A qualitative account of the recovery experience in Glasgow. Journal of Drug Issues41(3), 359-377.

Best, D., Haslam, C. Staiger, P. K., […]Lubman, D. I. (2016). Social Networks and Recovery (SONAR): characteristics of a longitudinal outcome study in five therapeutic communities in Australia. Therapeutic Communities: the International Journal for Therapeutic and Supportive Organizations, 37(3), 131-139.

Best, D., Honor, S. Karpusheff, J., Loudon, L. Hall, R., Groshkova, T., & White, W. (2012). Well-being and recovery functioning among substance users engaged in post-treatment recovery support groups. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 30, 397-406.

Best, D., Irving, J. Collinson, B., Andersson, C. & Edwards, M. (2016). Recovery networks and community connections: Identifying connection needs and community linkage opportunities in early recovery populations, Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 35(1), 2-15. DOI: 10.1080/07 347324.2016.1256718

Best, D., & Laudet, A. (2010). The potential of recovery capital. RSA Projects. Royal Society for the Arts.

Best, D., & Lubman, D. (2016). Friends matter but so does their substance use: The impact of social networks on substance use, offending and wellbeing among young people attending specialist alcohol and drug treatment services, Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, Advance online publication. doi:10.3109/09 687637.2016.1149148

Best, D., Lubman, I., Savic, M., Wilson, A., Dingle, G., Alexander Haslam S., & Jetten, J. (2014). Social and transitional identity: exploring social networks and their significance in a therapeutic community setting. Therapeutic Communities, 35, 10–20.

Best, D., McKitterick, T., Beswick, T., & Savic, M. (2015). Recovery capital and social networks among people in treatment and in recovery in York, England. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly33(3), 270-282.

Best, D., Musgrove, A., & Hall, L. (2018). The bridge between social identity and community capital on the path to recovery and desistance. Probation Journal, July, DOI: 10.1177/026455 0518790677. https://doi.org/10.1177/0264550518790677

Best, D., Savic, M., Beckwith, M., Honor, S., Karpusheff, J., & Lubman, D. I. (2013). The role of abstinence and activity in the quality of life of drug users engaged in treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 45(3), 273–279. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2013.02.010

Bluic, A-M., Best, D., Iqbal, M. & Upton, K. (2017).  Building recovery capital through online participation in a recovery community.  Social Science of Medicine. IN PRESS.

Boardman, J. D., Finch, B. K., Ellison, C. G., Williams, D. R., & Jackson, J. S. (2001). Neighborhood disadvantage, stress, and drug use among adults. Journal of Health and Social Behavior42(2), 151-165.

Boeri, M., Gardner, M., Gerken, E. …, & Wheeler, J. (2016).  “I don’t know what fun is”: Examining the intersection of social capital, social networks, and social recovery. Drugs and Alcohol Today, 16(1), 95-105.

Boeri M, Lamonica AK, Harbry L. (2011). Social Recovery, social capital, and drug courts. Prac Anthropol, 33, 8–13.

Bradshaw, S.D., Shumway, S.T., Wang, E.W. & Harris, K. (2014). Addiction and the mediation of hope on craving, readiness, and coping.  Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery, 9(4), 294-312.

Brown, M. & Ross, S. (2010) Mentoring, social capital and desistance: A study of women released from prison. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 43(1), 31–50.

Brown, S., Tracy, E. M., Jun, M., Park, H., & Min, M. O. (2015). Personal network recovery enablers and relapse risks for women with substance dependence. Qualitative Health Research25(3), 371.

Brown, S., Victor, B., Hicks, L. & Tracy, E.M. (2016). Recovery support mediates the relationship between parental warmth and quality of life among women with substance use disorders. Quality of Life Research, 26(5), 1327–1335. DOI: 10.1007/s11136-016-1453-9.

Buchanan, A. S. & Latkin, C. (2008). Drug use in the social network of heroin and cocaine users before and after drug cessation. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 96(3), 286–289.

Buckingham, S. A., Frings, D., & Albery, I. P. (2013). Group membership and social identity in addiction recovery. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors27(4), 1132-1140.

Burns, J., & Marks, D. (2013). Can recovery capital predict addiction problem severity? Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly31(3), 303. doi: 10.1080/07 347324.2013.800430

Callahan, S. & Jason, L. A. (2018). Contextual perspectives on heroin addiction and recovery: classic and contemporary theories. International Archives of Public Health and Community Medicine, 2(1), 2.009, December. DOI: 10.23937/iaphcm-2017/1710009

Callahan S., & Jason L. A. (2017). A novel approach to understanding a recovering persons’ relationship dynamics: Injection heroin users. J Addict Behav Ther.

Campbell, R., Duffy, K., Gaughan, M., & Mochrie, M. (2011). Serenity Cafe-on the road to recovery capital. Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery6(1-2), 132-163. doi: 10.1080/1556035X.2011.571129

Cano, I., Best, D., Edwards, M., & Lehman, J. (2017). Recovery capital pathways: Mapping the components of recovery wellbeing. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 181, 11–19. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.09.002

Chen, G. (2018). Building recovery capital: The role of “hitting bottom” in desistance and recovery from substance abuse and crime. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 50(5), 420-429. DOI: 10.1080/02 791072.2018.1517909

Chen, G.(2006). Social support, spiritual program and addiction recovery. Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol., 50, 306–323.

Cheney, A. M., Booth, B. M., Borders, T. F., & Curran, G. M. (2016). The role of social capital in African Americans’ attempt to reduce and quit cocaine use. Substance Use & Misuse51(6), 77-87.

Clone, S., & Dehart, D. (2014). Social support networks of incarcerated women: Types of support, sources of support, and implications for reentry. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 53(7), 503–521. https://doi.org/10.1080/10 509674.2014.944742.

Cloud, W., & Granfield, R. (1994). Terminating addiction naturally: Post-addict identity and the avoidance of treatment. Clinical Sociology Review, 12(1), 159-174.

Cloud, W., & Granfield, R. (2001). Natural recovery from substance dependency: Lessons for treatment providers. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 1(1), 83-104. doi: 10.1300/J160v01n01_07

Cloud, W., & Granfield, R. (2004). The social process of exiting addiction:  A life course perspective. In J. Blomqvist, A. Koski-Jannes, & L. Ojesjo (Eds.), Addiction and life course (pp. 185-202). Helsinki:  Nordic Council on Alcohol and Drug Research.

Cloud W, Granfield R. 2004. A life course perspective on exiting addiction: The relevance of recovery capital in treatment. Publication no. 44. NAD Publication; p. 185–202.

Cloud, W., & Granfield, R. (2008). Conceptualizing recovery capital:  Expansion of a theoretical construct. Substance Use & Misuse43(12-13), 1971-1986.

Collier, C., Hilliker, R., & Onwuegbuzie, A. (2014). Alternative peer group: A model for youth recovery. Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery, 9(1), 40–53. https://doi.org/10.1080/1556035X.2013.836899

Collins, A. & Mccamley, A. (2018). Quality of life and better than well: a mixed method study of long-term (post five years) recovery and recovery capital. Drugs and Alcohol Today,  18(4), 217-226. https://doi.org/10.1108/DAT-11-2017-0059

Connolly, K. & Granfield, R. (2017). Building recovery capital: The role of faith-based communities in the reintegration of formerly incarcerated drug offenders. Journal of Drug Issues, March 12. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022042617696916

Corrigan,P.W., Morris, S., Larson, J., et al. (2010). Self membership and social identity in addiction recovery. Journal of Community Psychology, 38, 259–275.

Cunningham JA, Lin E, Ross HE,WalshGW(2000) Factors associated with untreated remissions from alcohol abuse or dependence. Addictive Behaviors, 25, 317–321.

Davey, M. A., Latkin, C. A., Hua, W., Tobin, K. E., Strathdee, S. (2007) Individual and social network factors that predict entry to drug treatment. Am J Addict. 16, 38-45.

Davis, M. I. & Jason. L. A. (2005) Sex differences in social support and self-efficacy within a recovery community. American Journal of Community Psychology, 36, 259-274.

Day, E., Copello, A.G., Karia, M. […] & Chohan, G. (2013). Social network support for individuals receiving opiate substitution treatment and its association with treatment progress. European Addiction Research, 19(4), 211-21.

Dawson, D. A., Li, T.-K., Chou, S., P., & Grant, B. F. (2009). Transitions in and out of alcohol use disorders:  Their association with conditional changes in quality of life over a 3-year follow-up period. Alcohol and Alcoholism44(1), 84-92.

DeGarmo, D. S. & Gewirtz, A. H. (2018). A recovery capital and stress-buffering model for post-deployed military parents. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, October. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01832

De Maeyer, J., Vanderplasschen, W. & Broekaert, E. (2009).  An exploratory study on drug users’ perspectives on quality of life: More than health-related quality of life?  Social Indicators Research, 90(1), 107-126.

Dingle, G. A., Cruwys, T., & Frings, D. (2015). Social identities as pathways into and out of addiction. Frontiers of Psychology, 6:1795.

Dobkin, P. L., DeAntonios, C.M., Paraherakis, A. & Gill, K. (2002). The role of social support in treatment retention and outcomes among outpatient adult substance abusers. Addiction, 97(3),347-56.

Duffy, P., & Baldwin, H. (2013). Recovery post treatment:  Plans, barriers and motivators. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy. 8, 6. Retrieved on September 1, 2016 from http://www.substanceabusepolicy.com/content/8/1/6

Duwe, G. & Clark, V. (2012). The importance of social support for prisoner reentry: The effects of visitation on offender recidivism. Correction Today, 74: 2, 46-500

Eddie, D., & Kelly, J. F. (2017). How many or how much? Testing the relative influence of the number of social network risks versus the amount of time exposed to social network risks on post-treatment substance use. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 175, 246-253.

Edwards, M., Soutar, J. & Best, D. (2018). Co-producing and re-connecting: a pilot study of recovery community engagement. Drugs and Alcohol Today, 18 (1), 39-50.

Ellis, B., Bernichon, T., Yu, P., Roberts, T., & Herrell, J. M. (2004). Effect of social support on substance abuse relapse in a residential treatment setting for women. Evaluation &  Program Planning, 27, 213-221.

Elswick, A; Fallin-Bennett, A; Ashford, K; Werner-Wilson, R. (2018). Emerging adults and recovery capital: Barriers and facilitators to recovery. J Addict Nurs, 29(2), 78-83.

Evans, E., Li, L., Buoncristiani, S., & Hser, Y-I. (2014). Perceived neighborhood safety, recovery capital, and successful outcomes among mothers 10 years after substance abuse treatment. Substance Use & Misuse49(11), 1491-1503.

Falkin, G. P. & Strauss, S. M. (2003). Social supporters and drug use enablers. Addictive Behaviors, 28(1),141-55.

Fat, L.N., Scholes, S. & Jivraj, S. (2017) The relationship between drinking pattern, social capital, and area-deprivation: Findings from the health survey for England. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 78(1), 20–29.

Flynn, P. M., Joe, G. W., Broome, K. M., Simpson, D. D., & Brown, B. S. (2003). Looking back on cocaine dependence: reasons for recovery. American Journal of Addiction, 12, 398-411.Folgheraiter, F., & Pasini, A. (2009). Self-help groups and social capital:  New directions in welfare policies. Social Work Education28(3), 253-267.

Frings, D. & Albery, I.P. (2015). The social identity model of cessation maintenance: Formulation and evidence.  Addictive Behaviors, 44, 35-42.

Gavriel-Fried, B. (2018). The crucial role of recovery capital in individuals with a gambling disorder. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, September.

Gavriel-Fried, B. & Lev-el, N. (2018). Mapping and conceptualizing recovery capital of recovered gamblers. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, December, DOI: 10.1037/ort0000382

Genberg, B. L., Gange, S. J., Go, V. F., Celantano, D. D., Kirk, G., Latkin, C. A., & Mehta, S. H. (2011). The effect of neighborhood deprivation and residential relocation on long-term injection cessation among injection drug users (IDUs) in Baltimore, Maryland. Addiction106(11), 1966-1974.

Giordano, A. L., Clarke, P. B., & Furter, R. T. (2014). Predicting substance abuse relapse: The role of social interest and social bonding. Journal of Addictions & Offender Counseling, 35(2), 114–127. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2161-1874.2014.00030.x.

Godley, M. D., Kahn, J. H., Dennis, M. L., Godley, S. H., & Funk, R. R. (2005). The stability and impact of environmental factors on substance use and problems after adolescent outpatient treatment for cannabis abuse or dependence. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 19(1), 62–70. https://doi.org/10.1037/0893-164X.19.1.62

Goehl, L. Nunes, E., Quitkin, F. & Hilton, I. (1993). Social networks and methadone treatment outcome: The costs and benefits of social ties. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, January.

Gomez, I. C., Best, D., Edwards, M. & Lehman, J. (2017). Recovery capital pathways: Modelling the components of recovery wellbeing. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 181:11-19. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.09.002.

Gonzales, R., Hernandez, M., Douglas, S. B., & Ho Yu, C. (2015). Exploring the factor structure of a recovery assessment measure among substance-abusing youth. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs47(3), 1-10.

Gordon, A.J. & Zrull, M. (1991). Social networks and recovery: One year after inpatient treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 8(3), 143-152.

Gosling, H. (2018). Recovery Capital. A framework for the contemporary Therapeutic Community? Therapeutic Communities: the International Journal for Therapeutic and Supportive Organizations, 39(3), 129-136. DOI: 10.1108/TC-01-2018-0001

Granfield, R., & Cloud, W. (1996). The elephant that no one sees:  Natural recovery among middle-class addicts. Journal of Drug Issues26(1), 45-61.

Granfield, R., & Cloud, W. (1999). Coming clean: Overcoming addiction without treatment. New York, New York: University Press.

Granfield, R., & Cloud, W. (2001). Social context and “natural recovery”:  The role of social capital in the resolution of drug-associated problems. Substance Use & Misuse36(11), 1543-1570.

Grant, J. D., Heath, A. C., Bucholz, K. K., Madden P.A., Agrawal, A., Statham, D. J., & Martin, N. G. (2007) Spousal concordance for alcohol dependence: evidence for assortative mating or spousal interaction effects? Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 31, 717–728.

Gregoire, T. K., & Snively, C. A. (2001). The relationship of social support and economic self-sufficiency to substance abuse outcomes in a long-term recovery program for women. Journal of Drug Education, 31, 221-237.

Groh D. R., Jason L. A., Keys C. B. (2008). Social network variables in alcoholics anonymous: a literature review. Clinical Psychology Review, 28, 430–50.

Groh, D.R., Jason, L.A., Davis, M.I., Olson, B.D., & Farrari, J.R. (2007). Friends, family, and alcohol abuse: an examination of general and alcohol-specific social support. Am J Addict. 16, 49–55.

Groshkova, T, Best, D., & White, W. (2012). Assessment of Recovery Capital, The (SARC): Properties and psychometrics of a measure of addiction recovery strengths. Drug and Alcohol Review32(2), 187-194.

Gueta, K., & Addad, M. (2015). A house of cards: the long-term recovery experience of former drug-dependent Israeli women. Women’s Stud Int Forum, 48, 18–28.

Hahm, H. C., Kolaczyk, E., Jang, J., Swenson, T. & Bhindarwala, A. M. (2012). Binge drinking trajectories from adolescence to young adulthood: The effects of peer social network. Subst Use Misuse, 47, 745-756.

Haslam, C., Best, D., Dingle, G.A.,…, Lubman, D. I. (2019). Social group membership before treatment for substance dependence predicts early identification and engagement with treatment communities. Addiction Research and Theory, January, DOI: 10.1080/16 066359.2018.

Havassy, B. E., Hall, S. M., & Wasserman, D. A. (1991). Social support and relapse: Commonalities among alcoholics, opiate users, and cigarette smokers. Addictive Behaviors, 16(5), 235–246. https://doi.org/10.1016/0306-4603(91)90016-B.

Hennessey, E. (2017).  Recovery capital:  A systematic review of the literature. Addiction Research and Theory, 25(3), 349-360. DOI: 1080/16 066359.2017.1297990.

Henneseey, E. (2017). A latent class exploration of adolescent recovery capital.  Journal of Community Psychology, 1-15. DOI: 10.1002/jcop.21950.

Hennessy, E., Cristello, J. V., & Kelly, J. F. (2018). RCAM: A proposed model of recovery capital for adolescents. Addiction Research and Theory, October, DOI: 10.1080/16 066359.2018.1540694

Hiller, S. P., Syvertsen, J. L., Lozada, R., & Ojeda, V. D. (2013). Social support and recovery among Mexican female sex workers who inject drugs. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment45(1), 44-54.

Hillios, J. (2013).  The influence of social recovery capital and stress on the health and well-being of individuals recovering from addiction. PhD Disseration, Boston College School of Socila Work. http://dlib.bc.edu/islandora/object/bc-ir%3A101521/datastream/PDF/download/citation.pdf

Hughes, K. (2007). Migrating identities: the relational constitution of drug use and addiction. Sociology of Health & Illness, 29, 673-691.

Hwang, S. W., Gogosis, E., Chambers, C., Dunn, J. R., Hoch, J. S., & Aubry, T. (2011). Health status, quality of life, residential stability, substance use and health care utilization among adults applying to Supporting Housing Program. Journal of Urban Health88(6), 1076-1090.

Irving, L.M., Seidner, A.L., Burling, T.A….Robbins-Sisco, D. (1998). Hope and recovery from substance dependence in homeless veterans.  Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 17(4), 389-406.

Jacobson, J. O. (2006). Do drug treatment facilities increase clients’ exposure to potential neighborhood-level triggers for relapse? A small-area assessment of a large, public treatment system. Journal of Urban Health83(2), 150-161.

Johansen, A. B., Brendryen, H., Darnell, F. J., & Wennesland, D. K. (2013). Practical support aids addiction recovery: The positive identity model of change. BioMed Central Psychiatry13(1), 1-11. doi: 10.1186/1471-244X-13-201

Kaskutas, L. A., Bond, J. & Humphreys, K. (2002). Social networks as mediators of the effect of Alcoholics Anonymous. Addiction, 97(7), 891-900.

Kay, C. & Monaghan, M. (2018). Rethinking recovery and desistance processes: developing a social identity model of transition. Addiction Research and Theory, December, DOI: 10.1080/16 066359.2018.1539479.

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Kidorf, M., Brooner, R.K., Peirce, J., Gandrota, J., Leoutsakos, J-M. (2018). Mobilizing community support in people receiving opioid-agonist treatment: A group approach. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 93, 1-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsat.2018.07.004

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Penick, E. C, Knop, J., Nickel, E. J., Jensen, P., Manzardo, A. M., Lykke-Mortensen, E., & Gabrielli, W. F. (2010). Do premorbid predictors of alcohol dependence also predict the failure to recover from alcoholism? Journal of Studies of Alcohol & Drugs71(5), 685-694.

Pesetski, C.A. (2015). An exploratory case study of undergraduate students in recovery: an application of recovery capital during reentry [dissertation]. North Carolina State University.

Pettus-Davis, C., Howard, M. O., Roberts-Lewis, A., & Scheyett, A. M. (2011). Naturally occurring social support in interventions for former prisoners with substance use disorders: Conceptual framework and program model. Journal of Criminal Justice, 39(6), 479–488. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2011.09.002.

Reboussin, B. A., Green, K. M., Milam, A. J., Furr-Holden, D. M., Johnson, R. M., & Ialongo, N. S. (2015). The role of neighborhood in urban black adolescent marijuana use. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 154, 69-75.

Rettie, H., Hogan, L. M., & Cox,W. M. (2018). The recovery strengths questionnaire for alcohol and drug use disorders. Drug and Alcohol Review, October, DOI: 10.1111/dar.12870

Robertson, I. E. & Nesvåg, S.M. (2018). Into the unknown: Treatment as a social arena for drug users’ transition into a non-using life. Nordisk alkohol- & narkotikatidskrift, September, DOI: 10.1177/145507 2518796898

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Savic, M., Best, D., Rodda, S. & Lubman, D.I. (2013). Exploring the focus and experience of smartphone applications for addiction recovery. Journal of Addictive Diseases, 32, 310-319.

Shulte, M.T., Liang, D., Wu, F., & Hser, Y-I. (2016).  A smartphone application supporting recovery from heroin addiction:  Perspectives of patients and providers in China, Taiwan, and the USA.  Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, 11(3). DOI: 10.1007/s11481-016-9653-1

Shumway, S.T., Dakin, J.B., Jordan, S.S….& Harris, K. (2014). The development of the hope and coping in recovery measure (HCRM). Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery, December.

Skårner, A. & Gerdner, A. (2018). Conceptual and theoretical framework of the MAP-NET: a social networks analysis tool. Cogent Psychology, 5(1). DOI: 10.1080/23 311908.2018.1488515

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Skogens, L., & von Greiff, N. (2014). Recovery capital in the process of change—differences and similarities between groups of clients treated for alcohol or drug problems. European Journal of Social Work17(1), 58-73.

Smith, J.A., Franklin, S., Asikis, C., et al. (2018). Social support and gender as correlates of relapse risk in collegiate recovery programs.  Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 36(3), 354-365. DOI: 10.1080/07 347324.2018.1437372.

Spohr, S. A., Livingston, M. D., Taxman, F. S. & Walters, S. T. (2019). What’s the influence of social interaction on substance use and treatment initiation?  A prospective analysis among substance-using probationers. Addictive Behaviors, 89, 143-150.

Sterling, R., Slusher, C., & Weinstein, S. (2008). Measuring recovery capital and determining its relationship to outcomes in an alcohol-dependent sample. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse34(5), 603-610.

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

Building Recovery Communities



Recovery Oriented System of Care (ROSC ) is a coordinated network of community-based services and supports that is person-centered and builds on the strengths and resilience of individuals, families, and communities to achieve abstinence and improved health, wellness, and quality of life for those with or at risk of alcohol and drug problems.

The following speakers will present as a biopsychosocial team, community, social, physical, spiritual, psychological, and health will be discussed.

You will be able to return to your environment and use what you learned at this workshop to better understand how to provide an inclusive environment for a recovery community.

September 9th 10:50 am to 3 pm

Jason Howell BIO

Executive Director Recovery People


Recovery Oriented Systems of Care in Texas
Overview of peer and family Recovery Oriented Systems of Care in Texas, including Recovery housing, recovery community centers, recovery high schools, and collegiate recovery programs.

Dr. Jackie Hillios

Phoenix Multisport

Rebuilding lives in recovery through fitness and friendships

Leveraging the transformative power of physical activity and social connection to build sober active communities where members are able to rebuild their lives and heal the wounds of their past.


Dr. Lawrence Peltz

The Mindful Path to Addiction Recovery

Overview of peer and family Recovery Oriented Systems of Care in Texas, including Recovery housing, recovery community centers, recovery high schools, and collegiate recovery programs

Gary Thandi

Executive Director, Moving Forward Family Services

Substance Use Prevention and Intervention with Ethno-cultural Communities 

Pre-migration trauma, migration experience, marginalization, changes in family structure that occur upon migration, first, second or third generation identity, extended family and community influence.

Jim MyklebustOrchard Recovery Center

The Value of AA and the 12 Steps

A powerful tool for contented recovery.

Addressing the challenges and barriers, and showcasing British Columbia’s vibrant 12-step recovery community.


Brandy Kane MSW RCSW

Indigenous Studies

Indigenous Women and Recovery

Meet the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

We are pleased to announce that Minister Judy Darcy will address the delegates during the Recovery Capital Conference of Canada.  Minister Darcy will participate as a speaker, and as a a stakeholder, during a discussions meeting with Dr. João Goulão, Director-General of The General-Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD) in Lisbon, Portugal, and other health care leaders.

Register today for Canada’s premiere addiction recovery conference.

Keynote Speakers include:

Dr. João Goulão, Portugal
The Portuguese Experience

Dr. Neil McKeganey, Scotland
Drugs: Breaking the Cycle

Dr. John Kelly
Harvard Addiction Recovery Management

Dr. Claudia Black
Addiction and Trauma: Strengthening Young Adult Recovery

Dr. Patrick Carnes
Addiction and Sex 4.0

Addiction and Sex 4.0 with Leading Global Sex Addiction Expert Dr. Patrick Carnes

Sex addiction is one of the last addictions to be documented by science but it is transforming how we look at all other addictions.

Dr. Carnes will be a keynote Speaker at the Recovery Capital Conference of Canada on September 7th and 8th in New Westminster BC.

Here are a few questions he will clearify with science during his session.

  1. There is no common agreement on the diagnostic criteria of sex addiction –False                              
  2. Only a few addictions interact neurobiological – False    
  3. Addictions must be treated one at a time – False

Followed by a Panel from Edgewood Health Network to discuss solution to Sex Addiction, and how Recovery Capital is important to recovery.

The Panel includes

  • Dr. Christina Basedow
  • Elizabeth Loudon
  • Ann Sulivan
  • Nelson Sacristan


More about Dr. Patrick Carnes

Dr. Patrick Carnes, founder and primary architect of Gentle Path at The Meadows, is a world-renowned speaker and author on sex addiction and treatment. With more than 30 years in the sexual addiction treatment field, Dr. Carnes has been a major contributor to the advancement of sexual addiction treatment and research. His extensive knowledge, assessment tools and related materials deliver an unprecedented approach to addiction recovery.  

Dr. Carnes pioneered the founding of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP), which specializes in training Certified Sex Addiction Therapists. From 1996 until 2004, Dr. Carnes was Clinical Director for Sexual Disorder Services at The Meadows.

His achievements include The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH), where they present an annual “Carnes Award” to researchers and clinicians who have made exceptional contributions to the field of sexual health.

Publications By Dr. Carnes

  • Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction (the first work designed to help addicts deal with their sexual compulsions and to examine the issues found in family relationships.)
  • A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Principles
  • Recovery Zone
  • The Clinical Management of Sex Addiction
  • In the Shadows of the Net
  • Facing the Shadow
  • Open Hearts
  • The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships
  • A Gentle Path Through the 12 Steps
  • Contrary to Love: Helping the Sexual Addict
  • 30 Task Model

Gentle Path At The Meadows

Dr. Carnes meets individually with each patient during their treatment at the Gentle Path at the Meadows and provides consistent training to and supervision of the program staff. Throughout the treatment process, he keeps our clinical team at the cutting-edge of advances in sex addiction treatment and research.patients Gentle Path at The Meadows located in Wickenburg, Arizona, provides an intensive, experientially based 45-day treatment program for men with the complex issues of sexual addictions.


Human Rights, Substance Dependence, and Workplace Accommodation

This presentation provides a human rights perspective on substance dependence in the workplace, and an overview of the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s new guide for employers to workplace accommodation.

Substance Dependence is a disability protected by human rights legislation that has many serious consequences—for individuals, families, communities—and also the workplace. When an employee is dependent on drugs or alcohol, employers have an obligation to accommodate and support their recovery and must balance this obligation with ensuring a safe workplace. The Canadian Human Rights Commission’s new guide to accommodation provides employers with step-by-step guidance on accommodating substance dependence in the workplace and ensuring a safe workplace for all. This presentation provides an overview of the guide.







Recovery in the workplace workshop speakers

Dr. Ray Baker BIO

Associate Clinical Professor, UBC.
Consultant Occupational Addiction Medicine.
National Recovery Advisory Committee – CCSA.

Recovery Oriented Workplace

Alcohol and Drug Policies, Accommodating the addicted/ recovering worker

Dr. Paul Sobey BIO

President of the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine.  Lead physician and an Addiction Medicine Consultant for the Royal Columbian Hospital.

Medicated Assisted Recovery and the Workplace

Issues of prescribed impairing substances, opioids, cannabinoids, long term recovery and opioids in the workplace.

Dr. Paul Farnan BIO

Associate Clinical Professor UBC.
Past Executive Director Physician Health Program of BC.  Consultant Occupational Addiction Medicine.

Occupations Addiction Medicine Overview

Contingency management, medical monitoring and safe return to work., Diagnosis and recovery oriented treatment planning

Dr. William Lakey, Workplace Health and Safety, BC

Recovery though an Occupations Health Lens




John Beckett

Vice-president with the BC Maritime Employers Association,  Chair, Board of Directors, Public Interest WorkSafeBC

Addiction & Recovery in the Workplace as an Employer HR/Safety Leader.


Rebecca Gowan   BIO

Senior Policy Advisor, Human Rights Promotion Branch, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Human Rights, Substance Dependence, and Workplace Accommodation

A human rights perspective on substance dependence in the workplace, and an overview of the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s new guidelines

Neil Menard

Mayor of Merrit, IWA past Vice President

Panel Moderator, A Union Perspective,  how an effective jointly run, recovery oriented EFAP can function


Front-line Experience

Guests of Dr. Sobey, Dr. Baker, and Dr. Farnan with experience successfully implementing Recovery Systems in the Workplace. Guests will come from the nursing, airline, and other safety sensitive professions. Details on speakers are to be announced.



The Portuguese Experience. New Approach to Drug Policy,

“Dr. João Goulão, Portugal

Room Main Ballroom September 7th 8:30 am

Director-General of The General-Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD) in Lisbon, Portugal

Presentation Description

The Portuguese Experience. New Approach to Drug Policy, It’s more than just decriminalization

The aim is to provide to the audience the historical context that led Portugal to the decision of decriminalizing drug use and possession for use; an overview on the responses developed as a result of the 1999 National Strategy on Drugs, which included this proposal among many others (the development of a network of services for prevention, treatment, harm reduction and social reintegration of people with drug related problems). Some results of those policies will be presented.

To clarify some myths still present around the so-called “Portuguese Model”; better explain that using drugs is still forbidden and punished in Portugal under administrative procedures, although it’s no longer considered a crime.


Learning Objectives

  • To explain how a comprehensive set of policies was put in place in the last 16 years, and why it’s not possible to directly import models from other countries


Addiction and Trauma: Strengthening Young Adult Recovery

Dr. Claudia Black

Room: Main Ballroom September 7 3:30 pm to 5 pm

Presentation Description

Recognize relationship of emotional dysregulation to addictions, identify dynamics of developmental trauma, list eight core elements to a healthy treatment process.

Working with the young adult with addictive disorders most often also means working with co-occurring disorders of anxiety and depression. This presentation will focus on the dynamics of underlying trauma that fuel these disorders.  Recognizing not just blatant traumas, but addressing developmental trauma is significant in their treatment.   Claudia will conclude by addressing treatment protocol that recognizes the development needs of this age group that is different from their older counterparts.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize relationship of emotional dysregulation to addictions
  • Identify dynamics of developmental trauma
  • List eight core elements to a healthy treatment process

What Is Recovery?

Elements that define recovery and the Science of Recovery systems.

Room – Studio 411 September 7, 1:30 to 3 pm

Dr. Jane Witbrodt, Alcohol Research Group, Associate Scientist, Formal and informal solutions to recovery from substance use disorders with emphasis on gender, racial/ethnic and cross-cultural differences.

Presentation Description:

Addictions medicine has long possessed reliable instruments for diagnosing substance abuse disorders. However, a way of measuring the opposite end of the problem spectrum – recovery – has been missing. The first large scale U.S. study provided an empirically-derived definition of recovery based on how it is experienced by those who actually live it. To uncover the definition of recovery, intensive qualitative and quantitative research was conducted, culminating in an online survey that was completed by 9,341 people experiencing different pathways to recovery. These pathways included treatment, 12-step groups, non-12-step groups, medication-assisted recovery, and natural recovery. The study identified 39 recovery elements that define recovery. These elements are grouped into five areas: abstinence in recovery, essentials of recovery, enriched recovery, spirituality of recovery, and uncommon elements of recovery. Results may be useful for reducing stigma and opening dialog about addiction, because the definition clearly demonstrates many positive “ways of being” that define recovery.

Learning objectives:

1) gain an understanding of the mixed research methods used (including use of a large scale online survey) to create a definition of recovery;

2) identify elements of recovery as described and lived by people in recovery across the U.S.; and

3) learn how the recovery elements can used by clinicians and other service providers to help clients prepare for a life in recovery, family members to help them understand what to expect when loved ones get into recovery, and others, in general, to reduce the stigma often associated with addiction.



Addiction Recovery Management From Theory to Practice

Addiction Recovery Management From theory to practice: key messages from the current knowledge base on Recovery Oriented Systems of Care.

ROOM: Main Ballroom September 8, 2017 8 am to 10:30 am

Dr.  John Kelly, Lead Scientist on Recovery, Harvard, Addiction Recovery Management

Presentation Description

The clinical course of addiction is often a chronic one characterized by several episodes of treatment and shorter periods of remission and relapse, before full sustained remission is achieved. Although the majority of individuals with substance use disorder achieve full sustained remission, it is noteworthy that it takes several years following the achievement of full sustained remission before the risk of meeting criteria for substance use disorder in the following year is no higher than the general population.

This indicates that ongoing recovery monitoring and management over the long-term may be required to facilitate long-term recovery. This talk highlights the chronic course of substance use disorder and reviews the interventions and recovery support services that have shown to be helpful in mobilizing and supporting remission as well as the mechanisms of behavior change through which they work.

Learning objectives:

By the end of this presentation participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the clinical course of addiction based on clinical scientific findings
  2. Name three emerging recovery support services intended to extend and support recovery
  3. Understand the empirical basis for shifts in language and terminology in the addiction field.

Life in Recovery from Addiction Survey inspires Recovery Capital Conference of Canada.

On May 25th in St. Johns the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) and the National Recovery Advisory Committee (NRAC) announced the Canadian Survey: Life in Recovery from Addiction findings.  Recovery is linked to positive citizenship — engagement with family, friends, the community and the workforce.

The September 4 – 10th, Recovery Week, inspired by the survey’s findings, includes the Recovery Capital Conference of Canada and Recovery Day BC. The September 7-8th educational conference, features international speakers, followed by a free street festival on September 9th in New Westminster BC.

The recovery advocacy movement is being heard across Canada.  Recovery advocates continue to alert policy makers to the millions of people, once suffering silently from addiction, who now live healthy, drug-free and engaged lives. This is possible with the help of evidence-based Recovery Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC).

British Columbia as well as Canada is facing an overdose epidemic.  At the Recovery Capital Conference of Canada delegates will learn about how Canadians receiving Opioid agnostic therapies has skyrocketed since 2010, unlike Portugal who claims a drastic reduction receiving similar treatment and the lowest mortality rate from overdoses.  Before Vancouver considers decriminalization or legalization, we must talk and take pause to reevaluate our systems of care.

Decriminalization and legalization may be on the minds of harm reduction advocates, but this may not be the pathway that the media-quoted “Portuguese Experience” charted. The full account of the Portugal Model and what BC and Canada could take from it to support Canada’s efforts in saving lives during the opioid overdose crisis will be explored during the Conference. Dr. João Goulão, Portugal, a keynote Speaker among other international addiction recovery professionals will speak during the two day conference.


The City of New Westminster will host Stakeholder meetings during recovery week so that policy makers, government, health authorities and community organizations can both attend Dr. Goulão presentation and come together to foster meaningful dialogue about recovery capital recovery oriented systems of care, and resilience to inform policies, and practices. Addiction research, often identifies on pharmaceutical interventions as best practice, whereas Recovery research focuses its efforts on quality of life – showing recovery is a realistic and viable outcome.

This conference seeks to eliminate silos and move our recovery communities towards the creation of better comprehensive systems of health care for all Canadians.  Opiate replacement therapy is not going to solve the overdose crisis on its own; recovery capital must be fostered. Simply put, Recovery Capital, at the individual and systems level is the breadth and depth of internal and external resources that can be drawn upon to initiate and sustain Recovery from substances.

The 6th annual Recovery Day BC located at 6th and 6th in Uptown New Westminster will see over 8,000 people celebrating recovery from addiction and mental health.  For those who want to learn more about local mental health and addiction services, there will be over 50 health and wellness information booths to gather information from.  The festival will also feature a live music stage, a street circus celebrating Canada 150, a TEDx Speaker Style Stage, Kids Zone, Memorial Tent, a Province wide Moment of Silence to honour the victims of the overdose crisis at 3 pm, Healing Circle, and a research gathering exhibit.

REGISTER TODAY for the conference.

More details on Recovery Day here –  www.RecoveryDayBC.com 

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