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.

Register today!

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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