This was the total number of Recovery Capital Index (RCI) survey’s completed in June 2023; and it was the first month with 1,000+ completions since launching Commonly Well at the end of May 2020.
It’s a milestone worth a few moments of reflection.
10 years ago when we started developing the RCI, we knew that the status quo of measuring success for people overcoming addiction was missing half the story. Most were still focused on abstinence as the key measure. Clinicians only cared if your symptoms were reduced. There was very little focus on whether a person’s life was actually getting better. And there was even less focus on what elements of life contributed to an overall improvement in life.
Measuring recovery capital as we’ve defined and framed it in the RCI gets beyond the clinical and the sober-not sober paradigm. It is a necessary layer of context that compliments use and symptom measures. More and more clinicians are measuring recovery capital and operationalizing social measures. This is a really important shift in behavioral health.
In the three years since bringing the RCI to the commercial market, we have focused on working with smaller agencies and organizations. Of course, we have larger partners, but it is the smaller, hyper-local agencies that do most the heavy lifting around addiction treatment and recovery support. This is why reaching 1,000 completions in a month is an important milestone.
The agencies and organizations adding a social measure like the RCI to their outcomes strategy are looking to differentiate themselves in their community while meeting their clients where they are.
We call this demonstrating an organization’s worth in their community. The reality for many of our customers is that value-based care is going to take a while to get to them. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t add components that engage the whole person while increasing their value and worth.
As we’ve been capturing recovery capital data over the last few years, we’re beginning to systematically establish benchmarks and observe trends.
This data is complex, but now that we have regular and consistent completions month-over-month, certain patterns are emerging. Recovery capital tends to trend downward in the winter and spring and upward in the summer.
You’ll notice in the chart below, average and median RCI scores are trending down since January. This could be the result of:
more new customers with populations with lower baseline recovery capital;
a macro trend across the U.S.;
a normalization to a more accurate aggregate representation as we grow.
The primary disclaimer here is that this data is lacking controls for outliers, certain demographics, and other statistical issues. Nonetheless, it is a month-by-month measure of recovery capital from people engaged in clinical and recovery support services all across the U.S.
The other observation worth noting is that personal capital never scores higher than social or cultural capital. This represents a reality for both people struggling with addiction and our country in general. Economic distress is affecting a significant portion of our population, which is usually more pronounced amongst those affected by addiction.
Despite data that shows increases in loneliness and isolation, social capital is steady, while people’s sense of their place in the world (cultural capital) is strong.
We are tremendously grateful to our customers and partners. They are leading the way in exploring meaningful outcomes for their practice and those they serve.
More and more clinicians and clinical operations are measuring recovery capital and operationalizing quality of life and social measures. This is an important movement in the field. Addiction and mental health issues are greatly impacted by non-clinical externalities. If you want to improve your clinical outcomes, you have to know what else is affecting your client’s life.
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