In Addiction Today, David Best pulls together 3 themes we’ve discussed in this blog.
What I will do is overview three key component parts of a theoretical model of recovery, then draw them together to derive conclusions about what we should do next to make policy and practice stronger in this area.
1. Recovery capital – personal and social resources – the journey of growth
2. Social identity and social contagion in recovery – the role of friends and connections
3. Therapeutic landscapes of recovery – the role of location.
Please read the whole thing. It provides a very concise summary of some very important concepts. For example, on social contagion and identity:
Belonging to these groups has another effect: it changes how people see themselves and what is possible in their world. This is social identity – that we define ourselves in part by the groups we belong to (and by those we don’t) and that process provides us with a lens for seeing the world through. That is part of the reason why belonging to recovery groups is so important in helping people to build the skills and confidence (personal capital) that they will need. Belonging matters. It also provides a safe space for making changes and growing recovery strengths.
Toward the end of the piece, he provides an optimistic call to action:
So what does this mean? We now know that personal recovery is a complex journey that might take years and involve false starts – but it is one that we know will probably end in success. We also know some of the things about personal skills and social supports which will dramatically swing the odds in favour of recovery. We must link this to a commitment to measuring and mapping recovery pathways.