What is Recovery Capital

 

Recovery Capital is the breadth and depth of internal and external resources that can be drawn upon to initiate and sustain recovery from severe [alcohol and other drug] problems (Granfield & Cloud, 1999; Cloud & Granfield, 2004).”

William White, a major contributing figure in the Recovery World, breaks Recovery Capital into four categories: Personal; Family/Social; Community; and Cultural.

We believe, like William White and scores of other recovery advocates and providers, that in order to attain long-term recovery, individuals and communities must build-up Recovery Capital. An article in Psychology Today has a working definition of Recovery as the “process of change whereby individuals work to improve their own health and wellness and to live a meaningful life in a community of their choice while striving to achieve their full potential.”

There are many definitions of Recovery Capital, none better or worse. Mercy Works Initiative defines Recovery Capital for individuals as the ever-increasing development of healthy lifestyle choices, tools, and options for sustaining long-term sobriety from active addiction.

Recovery Capital is the ever-increasing development of healthy lifestyle choices, tools, and options for sustaining long-term sobriety from active addiction.

But Recovery Capital is not just about individuals. Addiction impacts communities, economies, and cultures. To address the social impacts of addiction, Recovery Capital must be developed on societal level as well.

Mercy Initiative defines Recovery Capital on a social/communal level as the development of an Ecology of Recovery and an Economy of Recovery . The Ecology of Recovery is made up of two main variables: increasing personal recovery capital and building a Culture of Recovery whose end is the overall well-being of individuals, families, and communities. The Economy of Recovery is about creating access to, and sustained participation in, the community economy.  Far too often people and communities devastated by addiction are concurrently devastated by poverty.  What good is it if people find recovery but have no legitimate access to economy? 

The root word for ecology and economy comes the Greek word having to do with “Home” and managing the household. So in the world of recovery and employment, the Ecology and Economy has to do with WHERE we live and HOW we live.

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