Home > The science of recovery capital: where do we go from here?

Best, David and Hennessy, Emily A (2022) The science of recovery capital: where do we go from here? Addiction, 117, (4), pp. 1139-1145. doi: 10.1111/add.15732.

External website: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.15...

BACKGROUND: The concept of recovery capital (RC) has emerged in studies and discussions of the addiction recovery process and as a potential metric and marker for recovery gains. Although conceptual and applied development of the concept in the 20 years since the term was coined has increased, there remains insufficient clarity of key domains, factors and best practice research and applications for populations experiencing addiction. We aimed to review progress around the conceptualisation and operationalisation of RC and to consider future directions for a science of recovery capital.

METHOD: We provided a brief overview of theoretical foundations and advances, empirical measurement and application in treatment and continuing care settings. We next introduced four primary areas for addiction science to address, namely: (i) conceptual development (e.g. how RC domains are unique, but interrelated entities, valence of RC), (ii) empirical testing, adequacy of measurement and analysis, (iii) directions for novel application in treatment and recovery settings and (iv) dissemination and communication to policy, practice and lived experience groups. In this review, we also focussed on some of the challenges that must be addressed for a science of RC, which could produce long-term impact in treatment and policy.

RESULTS: Despite burgeoning empirical work on RC, its application and translation has been unsystematic. The field currently relies on self-report questionnaires for the development of the theory and quantification of RC. Therefore, there is an urgent need for rigorous and systematic conceptual and empirical development of RC.

CONCLUSIONS: A formal collaboration between scholars, practitioners and experts by experience worldwide would move recovery capital forward in an empirically driven and culturally appropriate manner, as would testing its applicability at individual, organisational and societal levels.

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