Social Capital relates to relationships and social networks. Every human being has a basic need to engage with other human beings. During periods of addiction we have a tendency to isolate, either willingly or not so willingly, and as a result, coming into recovery can seem like a daunting and scary prospect. We are riddled with feelings of not belonging, feeling less than, not being worthy, confusion, the list is endless. These feelings can sometimes consume us, leaving us feeling like we will not be able to re-engage with a community that, for whatever reason,  we believe we have become so far removed from.

Social networking is an imperative part of an individuals recovery journey and a positive social network reduces the demoralising thoughts and feeling that we may have about ourselves, and others. There can be a number of issues that we are holding onto in our pasts that we may not feel ready to deal with but can be major barriers to us becoming who we want to be and getting to where we want to be.

1: Who is currently in your support network?

2: How are these people important to you?

3: Are you a part of you’re local recovery community?

4: How could you’re network be improved?

5: What connections do you have in your local community?

6: What connections would make your recovery journey more sustainable?

7: What are the barriers?

7: How could we make this happen?



Human capital focuses on education, knowledge, skills, hopes, aspirations, health, heredity. Gaining a productive and maintainable foothold within the community is made easier by engaging in education, training  and volunteering within that community. There are a number of options available on this score within the community. Knowledge is the key to success and having specific skills to get you where you want to be. We all have aspirations and dreams of how life should be or how we would like to see ourselves but sometimes we come up against barriers towards putting those aspirations in place, for example, health issues, fear of the unknown, lack of confidence..etc

1: Where do you see yourself in 6 months time?

2: What barriers are in the way of this happening?

3: What skills do you feel you may need to make that aspiration / dream a reality?

4: What skills do you already have and how could you improve them?

5: How could we make this happen?



Physical capital focuses on income, savings, investments, property, tangible financial assets. Most of us come into recovery with a number of financial debts hanging over our heads, lack of appropriate housing, no, or low income and no savings. This can be another barrier to getting into a sustainable position in which you can look towards a positive recovery journey. Unfortunately finance is not the easiest issue to deal with, and as with many of the issues that we bring with us into early recovery, will take some time and some hard work to gain a foothold on. This can be a daunting and scary issues that many of us would rather not face. There are resources to help with these issues and the first step on your recovery and one of the first steps towards maintaining your status on your journey is to seek out these resources and make use of them. Unfortunately housing is in short supply and there is no magic wand to cure all issues, however, surely it makes sense to start somewhere before the issues gets completely out of hand.

1: Do you have debts that have an impact on your future?

2: Are you in adequate housing?

3: Are you aware of support organisations to help with these issues?

4: Are you engaging with these organisations?


You’re cultural capital focuses on you’re values, beliefs, attitudes that link to social conformity and community engagement. Everyone has their own beliefs and values. These beliefs can be beliefs that have been ingrained in us from childhood or beliefs about our selves that may or may not have grounding and realistic origins. Our beliefs around specific aspects of our lives can have an effect on how we see ourselves and how others see us. They can also have an effect on how we interact with the community around us. The community’s beliefs can also have a similar effect. Some of us may have low self esteem and confidence issues that may have a detrimental effect on our values. We may have been victims to stigma within the community that we are now trying to re-engage in and feel that this may be a major barrier. However the best way to address stigma is to work on ourselves and reduce the ammunition for it.

1: What are you’re beliefs?

2: What are you’re values?

3: Which beliefs and values are rational?

3: How do these fit in with you’re recovery?

4: How can we improve your beliefs and values to enhance your recovery?


When building on recovery capital there are bound to be barriers that you will repeatedly come up against. These are part of everyday living and can sometimes very easily become a reason or excuse to use. What we must keep at the forefront of our minds at all time is that you are neither special nor are you different and you are capable of dealing with these issues in a productive and safe manner. Sometimes you will feel like giving up but with the right support and direction these problems do get easier as you continue on your recovery. Support can come in many forms from treatment to mutual aid. Looking at ways of improving your social networks will give you an idea as to where to get the right support and also who would best suit you’re needs and wants at any given time during your recovery journey. Building a social network of like minded people can be accomplished by becoming active in an already established community such as N.A. C.A. A.A. SMART RECOVERY,

SERVICE USER REP GROUPS, SPIRITUAL GROUPS, RELIGIOUS GROUPS, TREATMENT GROUPWORK. LOCAL COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT GROUPS. GYMS, ART GROUPS….Etc. A good place to start is by asset mapping your community and looking at what is out there to get involved in, what matches you’re skill set. What matches your interests?




There are five evidence based ways of improving both your mental and physical health and wellbeing. These have been highlighted as being important in maintaining a healthy and secure structure towards a full recovery.


These five ways are simple yet effective and enhance recovery capital.


1: CONNECT: Build social networks around you to match your needs and wants. Improve relationships and work on the positive rather than the negative people around you. Family, friends, colleagues, etc. No-one need ever be alone when trying to get a stable and solid footing on the road to recovery.

2: BE ACTIVE: Go out for regular walks in the park or countryside. Do some gardening, go out cycling, join a gym, go swimming.

3: TAKE NOTICE: Take notice of what is around you, there are a number of things out there that we might like to get involved in or have an interest in or just visit. Museums, or art galleries that we’ve always looked at, but were to busy to take the time to go to. Take in the beauty of the community around you, take time to understand the cultural differences and explore them. Go for a walk in the park, smell the fresh air, the freshly cut grass, watch the animals scurry in and out of the trees, watch the people as they go about their day to day living. Embrace your recovery rather than endure it.

4: KEEP LEARNING: Always challenge yourself to learn something new, find new avenues that you have an interest in and take time out to enjoy learning about them. Enrol in a college course or just spend time in the library finding out about something that you find interesting. Pursue knowledge at every chance you get.

5: GIVE: Be generous with your recovery, remember it was given to you free and others may benefit from your experience, strength and hope. Become a valued and positive member of your community by giving back to it in whatever way you feel you can. Volunteer for local services, whatever the nature of them, charity shops, youth centres, old age housing, dog walking, mentoring, the list is endless. But doing esteemable things promotes self esteem. And also reduces the ammunition used against your community members through stigma and contempt prior to investigation.







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