The Role of Recovery Capital in Your Healing Journey

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Maintaining sobriety is considered one of the most difficult feats to achieve, taking extreme deliberation and sacrifice over long periods of time.  Therefore, those healing from substance abuse should accumulate as much support as possible, also called building recovery capital.  Recovery capital refers to the combination of all the positive factors that encourage people to maintain sobriety and continue their recovery.  This includes social support, financial stability, educational and career opportunities, and personal strengths and skills.  There are three main categories, being social, personal, and community recovery capital.


Social Recovery Capital

One of the most important ways to build recovery capital is through social support..  This can include friends, family, support groups, and others who are committed to helping people overcome substance abuse.  In fact, research shows that social recovery capital is greatly beneficial in motivating patients to comply with their treatment programs.  According to a 2016 whitepaper, a support group of any kind is associated with an increase in lasting sobriety by almost three times more than those without treatment.  Having a strong network of supportive individuals can provide a person with emotional, practical, and financial support, which is essential for overcoming addiction.


Personal Recovery Capital

It is also important for those in recovery to focus on their personal strengths and skill sets, otherwise called personal recovery capital.  This can include aspects as simple as a sense of humor, creativity, athletic ability, or any other special talents.  Personal recovery capital is unique to each individual and can be developed over time through self-reflection, therapy, and other recovery-oriented activities.  Recognizing these can help patients build the resilience they need to cope with setbacks, manage stress, and persist in their recovery efforts.  It can also help people develop emotional intelligence to better understand the emotional triggers that may cause substance use, leading to healthier ways of coping with difficult emotions.  By focusing on their strengths, patients can improve their self-esteem, build confidence, and have a sense of purpose in their recovery.


Community Recovery Capital

Another key component of recovery capital is utilizing educational and community resources, known as community recovery capital.  This can include non-profit organizations and even positive cultural or faith-based influences such as religious groups.  These resources can provide individuals with the stability and purpose that they need to maintain sobriety.  For example, a breakthrough study observed two groups of substance abuse victims seeking treatment.  When therapists had patients from the first group speak with attendees of a community substance abuse treatment program and make arrangements, every individual from the group attended at least one meeting in the following month.  In the second group, therapists simply gave patients the relevant information and encouraged them to participate.  As a result, not one person in this second group followed through or attended any meetings.  Therefore, becoming personally involved in a community or education program can help an individual facilitate the recovery process.


Substance abuse can have a debilitating effect on people’s lives, leaving them isolated and without the resources that they need to begin recovering.  In such cases, building up recovery capital can be a critical first step toward lasting sobriety.  By doing this, patients can increase their chances of success and lead fulfilling and healthy lives.  While this can be a difficult and challenging process, it is essential for anyone working to overcome addiction and start their healing journey.


JADE Wellness Can Help

For many, addiction and abuse can quickly spiral out of control and result in grave consequences.  If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to any substance, JADE Wellness is here to help you.  JADE Wellness Center is Pittsburgh’s first comprehensive medication-assisted treatment center, also offering individual and group therapy sessions.  Call us at 412-380-0100 or visit the JADE Wellness Center website to begin your path to recovery.