Recovery capital is characterized as the inner and outer assets that a person has to allow him/her to nurture their recovery. There are three main groupings of recovery capital that a person in recovery can possess and they include: personal recovery capital, family/social recovery capital, and community recovery capital.
When we talk about personal recovery capital, we look at it as being built of two separate things: physical and human recovery capital. Our personal recovery capital can be broken down into both physical and human capital. Our physical (external) recovery capital has to do with the state of our personal health, financial status, having health insurance vs. not having health insurance, a safe living environment that is conducive to recovery, and our basic necessities of clothing, food, and access to transportation. The human (internal) recovery capital is built of our personal values and knowledge towards sobriety and life, educational and vocational skills, self-awareness, self-esteem, and feeling adequate about the self.
Family and social recovery focuses on the health of our intimate relationships with our partners, our families, or with our friends. It is important that these relationships include boundaries and contribute to our recovery process. Participation in social events that are sobriety based also help to strengthen the family and social recovery capital that we have.
Our community recovery capital circles around the community attitudes, behaviors, and resources that the community holds towards drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation and the level of resources that are helpful to recovery. Examples of community recovery include efforts to reduce the stigma of addiction and recovery, recovery centers, sober living homes, and sources of recovery support and early re-intervention.
The stigma towards addiction and recovery can bring about feelings that make us uncomfortable. When looking for places to live, be sure to look at the resources for recovery that are available in the area where you plan to move, as this can be a helpful asset to your recovery capital.
Recovery capital has been seen as a potential countermeasure for problems that have been disturbing an person’s strength to remain sober. These problems include peer pressure, emotional distress, lack of motivation, daily struggles and other situations that could increase our dangers for relapse. All of these factors mixed with critical factors that have been found to contribute to the onset of addiction (i.e. family history of substance abuse, high emotional distress, early age of unsupervised onset of alcohol and drug use, etc.) have been found to keep us in the repetitive loop of addiction.
However, research has found that both the quality and quantity of an person’s recovery capital plays a major role in determining the success or failure of natural and assisted recovery, along with counter-acting the negative and critical factors associated with the continuation of substance use.
With this being said, the more recovery capital you possess the greater your chance of staying in recovery as long as your recovery capital is of a strong quality.
Each and every one one of us should take an inventory of the recovery capital that we currently possess. After this inventory has been taken, we should determine where there are areas for improvement and aim on working towards improving this areas. Once we have acquired adequate recovery capital we can then continue on with our journey through recovery and overcome the bumps in the road through the use of our capital.
For more information about the Recovery Capital Program or REC CAP, Call the Fellowship Foundation RCO at the number below.