Recovery means different things to different people. It is a broad and complex journey that individuals must take at their own pace.
It is much wider than substance misuse alone, and can take many forms including:
- reducing risk taking;
- overcoming dependence;
- improving health;
- improving quality of life;
- and achieving personal fulfilment.
The Welsh Government has created a national framework for substance misuse services and has adopted the following definition of recovery:
‘Recovery from problematic drug or alcohol use is defined as a process in which the difficulties associated with substance misuse are eliminated or significantly reduced, and the resulting personal improvement becomes sustainable.’
The recovery approach builds independence and skills over time, ensuring people ‘own’ their own journey towards sustained self-management and freedom.
Recovery capital refers to the internal and external resources an individual has to achieve and sustain behavioural change and recovery.
Recovery capital recognises that each individual has different life areas, which can support or jeopardise recovery. These can be categorised into: social networks, physical (e.g. money, somewhere to live), human (e.g. skills, health, employment), cultural (e.g. values, beliefs) and community (e.g. availability/quality of services) issues.
The need for, and availability of, recovery capital differs from individual to individual, and differs within the same individual at multiple points in time. Barod (formerly known as Drugaid) aims to educate and support individuals to recognise their recovery capital in an asset-based approach, assisting individuals to identify existing resources and build new recovery capital.
This should be an integral part of every interaction with service users and can range from introducing the concept and language to completing recovery planning resources.
Key component of recovery capital are:
- Substance misuse and sobriety
- Psychological health
- Physical health
- Community involvement
- Social support
- Meaningful activities
- Risk taking
- Housing and safety
- Recovery experience
Barod’s Regional Director (East), Sian Prior, sits on the national Recovery Framework group. Sian’s role is to ensure that the Framework is embedded in the work of substance misuse services across Wales.