Assisting those with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) takes adaptability. Because AUD is such an individualized disease, therapists, Recovery Coaches, and other Treatment Professionals have found that a one-size-fits-all approach will not suffice when helping their clients manage this disorder.
Many Treatment Professionals have found the Recovery Capital approach successful for their clients. With the ability to utilize multiple resources unique to each individual, Recovery Capital’s fluidity allows for a growth in the resources needed to manage addiction, in turn producing a higher recovery success rate.
What is Recovery Capital?
Recovery Capital is an Addiction Recovery term that originated with the two researchers, William Cloud and Robert Granfield. It is defined as, “The breadth and depth of internal and external resources that can be drawn upon to initiate and sustain recovery from alcohol and other drug problems.” Cloud and Granfield’s research promotes addiction management from a non-traditional or non-clinical approach.
Recovery Capital is categorized into four sectors/dimensions including personal, social, community, and cultural capital.
Personal capital refers to the individual’s personal resources and can be divided into physical and human Recovery Capital. Physical refers to palpable resources like monetary security, access to shelter and food, physical health, and other basic necessities. Human refers to less measurable resources like mental health, self-esteem and awareness, education/career, etc.
Social capital refers to the level of interpersonal relationships an individual has. It references the relationships closest to you that can impact your recovery.
Community capital refers to the attitudes surrounding addiction in one’s environment and the resources available based on location.
Cultural capital, a form of community capital, refers to resources that are only available to an individual based on their specific culture.
Each individual's Recovery Capital is measured based on the amount of resources available to them from each dimension; it will always look different from person to person and can increase or decrease.
How to Measure Your Client’s Recovery Capital
Measuring your client's Recovery Capital can be done by utilizing a questionnaire created by researcher William White.
This survey has over 20 statements like, “I have family who supports my recovery” or “I live in a safe environment” in which a client will answer on a scale from 1-5 depending on how much they agree or disagree with the statement. At the end of the survey, the score is tallied and you are able to visualize how much capital your client currently has.
This survey should be completed before creating a treatment plan for your client so, as a Treatment Professional, you know the best way to help your client based on the resources they do or do not have.
This survey can also be taken throughout different points in one's recovery as capital increases and decreases to shift your client's recovery plan as needed.
Increase Recovery Capital for Your Client
Because the Recovery Capital approach is fluid, it is possible to assist your clients with increasing their capital.
Some dimensions of Recovery Capital are more difficult to increase than others. For example, in the social sector, you can encourage your client to fix past relationships or ask their friends and family to support them during recovery and it just may not be possible. Additionally, cultural capital may not be beneficial to those who do not identify with any specific culture.
Regardless of where your client starts with their Recovery Capital, being educated on the resources that are available to them and how they are currently being supported will help you understand how and where to increase your client's capital. In a recent study done by Soberlink, those in recovery stated that they found that “general social support” and “recovery-specific support” like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) groups to be the most helpful to their addiction management– both of which are considered capital.
Fortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online resources have made it much more possible to increase Recovery Capital. Encourage your clients to utilize virtual meetings or addiction specific hotlines like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services National (SAMHSA) Helpline; these resources are free and inherently increase your client’s capital.
Continuous guidance, evaluation of capital, and adjustment of treatment plans will assist your client in increasing their capital.
Utilize Alcohol Monitoring to Increase Recovery Capital
Soberlink's comprehensive alcohol monitoring device is an excellent way to increase your client’s Recovery Capital regardless of location or current resources. More than a remote breathalyzer, Soberlink’s system allows scheduled tests and real-time results that can be shared with both Treatment Professionals and others in their support circle.
Favored and trusted by Addiction Professionals, this system allows users to see daily, weekly, or monthly reports using an easy-to read color-coded system. The device is also sleek and discrete and can be easily carried in a purse or pocket. Its mobility and user-friendly system makes it an effective resource for those whose capital is lacking.
The Success of Soberlink
Though it may be just one tool, Soberlink is a resource that is beneficial to all levels of AUD. Because of its goal of accountability, when your clients use this device as a part of their Recovery Capital, capital in other parts of their life naturally increases.
According to the above-mentioned study, Soberlink users found that after using the device they saw an overall increase in their Recovery Capital. Specifically, many found it improved trust between their relationships. One user stated that using this device “has helped rebuild the trust I destroyed with the people I care about.”
If you are looking for a way to help your client with accountability and increase their Recovery Capital, Soberlink is an excellent tool to utilize.