Recovery capital comprises everything you have working to your advantage when trying to stay sober. The more forms of recovery capital you have, and the better the quality, the easier recovery will be. On the other hand, if you have little or no recovery capital, you may have trouble staying sober even if you have received quality treatment. Recovery capital falls into basically four categories.
Physical recovery capital is the most fundamental. Having physical recovery capital means you have a safe place to live and enough to eat. You have adequate clothes and access to transportation. Having these basic needs met is the bare minimum of recovery capital you will need. Other physical capital includes having good physical health, insurance, money, and other financial assets.
Human recovery capital is more or less what employers look for. This includes your values, skills, knowledge, experience, education, interpersonal skills, and problem-solving abilities. It also includes certain personality traits, such as conscientiousness, optimism, perseverance, self-awareness, confidence, and sense of purpose.
Social recovery capital is all your relationships. These could be intimate relationships, family relationships, work relationships, friends, or members of your sober network. Quality is especially important here. If you have many close relationships, but many of those people have substance use issues, then you don’t have strong social capital. In fact, that would be a major social liability. Social capital means you are surrounded by people who support your recovery and other positive changes.
Cultural capital is all the support you get from your community and culture. It could be your local community, like you town or neighborhood, or the broader community. Cultural capital in local communities includes things like access to treatment and mutual aid groups, such as 12-step programs, preference for treatment over punishment, active efforts to reduce the stigma of addiction, and a general openness about substance problems and a willingness to help. In a broader sense, this might include state and federal laws and programs to make treatment more widely available, use of supportive, non-stigmatizing language in the media, and the willingness of prominent people to be open about their substance use issues. It’s good to have as much quality recovery capital as possible. You have more control over some kinds of recovery capital than others. For example, you have quite a lot of control over what skills and qualities you develop and who you choose to associate with, but you don’t have much control over your community or your culture. The advantage of a quality treatment program is that it will help you develop physical, human, and social capital. It’s especially important to involve families in treatment because this can help turn a social liability into a social asset.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.