Recovery Capital and its Role in Helping with Lasting Recovery

A therapy session in group about recovery capital
July 11, 2022
|   Updated:
November 1, 2023

With a wide array of recovery resources available to those looking to manage their Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), it can be difficult to determine which method will be most successful.

In recent years, there has been a return to utilizing the Recovery Capital approach when treating AUD, and the rise in its success has been notable.

Though the concept of Recovery Capital originated in the 1990’s, it continuously proves to be beneficial to those struggling with alcoholism in the years that have followed. Recovery Capital may be the methodology best suited for your recovery journey if you are curious about getting treatment and sustaining sobriety.

What is Recovery Capital?

Different types of recovery capital

Recovery Capital is an addiction recovery term that originated with the two researchers, William Cloud and Robert Granfield. The term derives from their book Coming Clean: Overcoming Addiction without Treatment, as well as a multitude of academic articles in which they define Recovery Capital 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.” 

Recovery Capital is categorized into four sectors/dimensions, including personal, social, community, and cultural capital. Every individual has different resources available to them in each sector, and the level of resources differs from person to person. 

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 includes friends, family, and other relationships that can directly impact your recovery.

Community capital refers to the attitudes surrounding addiction in one’s environment and the resources available based on location. Some examples include a community's goal to eradicate the stigma around addiction, multiple treatment options, diverse and accessible forms of treatment, etc.

Cultural capital, a form of community capital, refers to resources only available to an individual based on their specific culture. This includes programs through religious establishments or rehabilitation programs focusing on race, gender, or sexuality.

When you take these four pillars along with the resources an individual draws from each one, you then have your total Recovery Capital.

Cloud and Granfield’s theory believes that recovery needs to be handled in a less “clinical” or “traditional” way to be sustained. They believe that by utilizing various resources from each sector, sobriety and longstanding recovery are possible.

Recovery Capital and its Role in Helping with Lasting Recovery

A group of people holding hands to show support for lasting recovery

Because recovery is never a linear process, utilizing the Recovery Capital approach assists in keeping individuals motivated and on track through their journey.

With accountability at the core of its methodology, Recovery Capital is meant to help those in treatment sustain sobriety.

The Importance of Accountability and Recovery

Without accountability, long-term recovery is nearly impossible. This includes self-accountability and having others in your Recovery Circle assist in keeping you accountable; recovery is seldom successful without support.

This is how Recovery Capital helps with lasting recovery.

Soberlink and Sustaining Recovery

A therapy session between a therapist and a man with Soberlink device on table

Soberlink is a comprehensive alcohol monitoring system that helps strengthen accountability for lasting recovery. Its effective alcohol monitoring and detailed Advanced Reporting capabilities make Soberlink a premiere tool in Addiction Recovery, and one of the most influential components of a person’s Recovery Capital.

Not just a testing device, Soberlink’s remote breathalyzer combines wireless connectivity with facial recognition and tamper detection allowing clients to send real-time results to those in their Recovery Circle, including friends, family, therapists, and recovery coaches, in an effort to rebuild trust, promote accountability, and provide peace of mind.

In fact, in a recent Share Study completed by Soberlink participants, over 60% of responses highlighted how the accountability aspect of the system was the most helpful to their sustained recovery. Even when alcohol was present and a user experienced a positive test, utilizing this device and sharing real-time results with their Support Network allowed them to reach out and ask for help even in the event of a relapse or slip.

Nearly all participants who experienced a positive test reported that the device and the stream of communication between their support systems kept them focused on sobriety, despite cravings or triggers. In addition, the findings found that users experienced both a gain in Recovery Capital and improved quality of life after using the system.

Therefore, adding Soberlink’s alcohol monitoring system to your rolodex of Recovery Capital can help with lasting recovery and improve your life.

The Ever-Changing Recovery Capital

A happy man raising his hands while being outside

One of the main advantages of utilizing a Recovery Capital approach is the ability to gain and lose capital; it is constantly ever-changing.

By utilizing programs like Soberlink or attending community Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, those with AUD can regain power over their lives and their sobriety. Choosing to work on building your Recovery Capital takes hard work and patience, but the nature of the methodology allows for growth and flexibility during treatment and recovery.

AUD is a chronic disease with the power to isolate. Still, longstanding sobriety is possible with a community by your side and a list of capital to pull from when recovery seems bleak.

Learn More About Soberlink

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