The Importance of Building Recovery Capital
Several people who have traveled the road to recovery, have been exposed to the concept of “personal inventory”. At times, the personal inventory refers to past indiscretions, liabilities, internal and external assets that may or not exist, that will have a direct effect on our recovery. Those internal and external assets are very similar to the concept of Recovery Capital.
On 2012, a 41 year old man made an appearance in a Broward Courtroom. The man’s criminal history was very similar to the dozens of defendants who were impatiently waiting to be sentenced. Just like everyone present, the man the man had years of experience with being in and out of the system. Possession charges, Possession with intent to distribute, public drunkenness, driving with a suspended license, DUI, etc… Like the rest, this man was subject to required drug and alcohol assessments, counseling, court ordered outpatient type treatments for the underlying issues of the unlawful behaviors. Just like everyone else, this man remained addicted to drugs and alcohol, and continued his criminal activity.
On that day, however, a judge did not feel this man was like everyone else, even though everything before him showed the man as another statistic of addiction and criminal behavior. Instead of sending this man to prison, which the prosecutor would have preferred, the judge decided to assess the services that were available and of this man’s support network.
The judge was not aware of the fact that he was assessing this man’s Recovery Capital. But, he was aware of the fact that this man had: Some college education, Professional work experience, Intelligence, Some financial support, Emotional support from family members, Professional clothing, Transportation, and most importantly, Willingness to change his life.
The judge also knew that the man had a desire to attend a residential substance abuse treatment program through the state or privately funded by his support network, which consisted of a few family members. And, he knew that he would be subject supervised probation, GPS monitoring, drug testing, some aftercare, and A.A meetings.
Even though this man was given several chances by family, friends, employers and judges, this judge took an account of the man’s available Recovery Capital and weighed it against the potential result if that Recovery Capital was not leveraged. The result would have been a sentence that would have created another casualty of substance abuse and criminal behavior. For this man, the crossing of the criminal justice system with recovery capital showed a positive recovery outcome. I am that man. I am living proof of these recovery outcomes!