Recovery capital and social networks among people in treatment and among those in recovery in York, England

David Best, Trish McKitterick, Tracy Beswick, Michael Savic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Recovery has been associated with a transition in social networks and peer influences in terms of moving away from using peers and engaging in social networks, including those in recovery. This article uses a quantitative data approach to compare a group of individuals who described themselves as in recovery from alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems with a group from the same city involved in alcohol and drug treatment. The measures used included social network involvement and an assessment of recovery capital. Those in recovery had more people in recovery in their social networks, fewer people in active use in their networks, and were much more likely to be involved in formal recovery support groups. They also reported higher quality of life, lower depression and anxiety, and higher levels of personal and social capital. The groups hardly overlapped at all in their functioning, and one of the major challenges of a recovery model will be reconciling the positive recovery networks and cultures of recovery with the narrower and less recovery focused world of many users of structured treatment services. Understanding the mechanisms for the transition from using to recovery communities is essential to understanding a core component of the recovery journey.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-282
Number of pages13
JournalAlcoholism Treatment Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • recovery
  • social networks
  • recovery capital
  • mutual aid

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