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Drugscope. (2015) Building assets for recovery. London: Drugscope & Recovery Partnership.

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This briefing recognises that recovery from drug and alcohol problems hinges on much more than reduced use of or abstinence from substances, involving the development of personal, social, and community recovery capital. What people in recovery from substance misuse need to live a full life does not differ markedly from what the general population need.


It is put forward that activities which promote the development of recovery capital, especially those elements of recovery capital which might be considered ‘soft’ outcomes, merit greater attention from some commissioners. In addition to commissioner engagement, some participants advocated an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach, which takes as its point of departure the assets within recovery communities as well as the assets within the wider community.


It was recognised that positive relationships between treatment providers and recovery communities can be mutually beneficial. Established providers can support the growth of grassroots community groups, which in turn provide important forms of support to individuals in recovery and can signpost them to treatment services where necessary.


Positive attitudes of staff and volunteers are considered vital assets for organisations supporting people in recovery. The importance of personal development and building self-esteem are also emphasised. Employing a scientifically robust recovery measure could help to demonstrate the value of activities which support the development of these elements of recovery capital.


While the challenges associated with building recovery capital are acknowledged, the focus of this briefing is the opportunities available to systems and services in the drug and alcohol sector to support the development of recovery capital and create positive feedback loops between treatment and recovery. The recommendations for commissioners, drug and alcohol services, and recovery communities are made to this end.

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