This overview of recovery capital has focused on recovery from addictions and the increasing recognition that recovery is not only possible, it is the reported experience of many people who have (had) addiction problems. Recovery unfolds in the lived, physical community as well as in the substance misusing communities and it has significant ramifications for those wider communities. The growth of recovery capital as a collective, community concept will involve mutual empowerment, support and recovery contagion in substance misusing groups, but it will manifest itself in improved functioning for the family and the wider community. The growth of recovery capital is, as far as we currently know, idiosyncratic and personal, but its manifestation is inherently social and community-based and its impact can be measured in terms of those lived communities.
What this means is that at a systems level – the Drug Action Team in England or the Alcohol and Drug Partnership in Scotland – it is meaningful to conceptualize and measure recovery capital as the sum of resources and supports available to people starting recovery journeys. This will include the range and dynamism of recovery support groups, the local champions of recovery and the services that provide continued and ongoing care. This resource is the community asset that we should aim for as the foundation stone of recovery-oriented systems of care.